Appalachian State University women’s basketball saw its season come to an end in the place it began with a 74-58 loss to Virginia in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 Women’s National Invitation Tournament on
Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena. The Mountaineers (27-7) were unable to overcome the hot shooting of the Cavaliers (25-10) as Appalachian State fell to Virginia for the second time this season.
Virginia raced out to an early 7-0 lead and led by as many as eight points (11-3) in the first four minutes of play before the Apps battled back to pull within five points (13-8) on Katie Mallow’s three-pointer with 14:17 remaining in the first half.
After two quick buckets put the Cavaliers back up by seven points (17-10) with just over 11 minutes left in the opening period, the Mountaineers reeled off an 8-0 run that saw them take the lead on Mallow’s fourth three-pointer of the game. The lead would not last long as Virginia countered with a 9-0 run of its own to jump back on top by eight points (26-18) with 7:35 left on the clock and extended its lead to 10 points (30-20) with six minutes to play in the first.
Appalachian State countered with a quick 6-0 run to pull within four points (30-26) after Anna Freeman and Chakeitha Weldon hit back-to-back fast-break layups. The Cavaliers, who shot a blistering 59.1 percent (13-for-22) in the first half, would scored five of the final six points of the half to take a 35-27 lead into the locker room
Virginia would keep its foot on the gas to begin the second half, outscoring the Mountaineers 10-4 before the first media timeout to extend its lead to 45-31 with 15:54 left to play. The Apps would never really threaten again as the Cavaliers never led by less than 12 points the rest of the way and extended the lead to 20 points (70-50) on a pair of free throws from Ariana Moorer with 2:54 left to play.
Maryah Sydnor would hit her second three-pointer of the game with 2:40 left to play and Mallow would hit one more in the final minutes to make the final score 74-58.
Mallow paced the Mountaineers with a career-high 17 points while Sydnor finished with 14 points, two rebounds and two assists. A. Freeman had 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals and Courtney Freeman finished with eight points.
Ataira Franklin led all scorers with 22 points four the Cavaliers while Moorer posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists. Telia McCall scored 14 points off the bench. The Apps shot 46.0 percent (23-for-50) from the floor and connected on seven three-point shots, but Virginia scorched the nets to the tune of 57.4 percent (27-for-47) from the floor and connected on 17-of-21 free throws.
Virginia forced 28 Appalachian State turnovers, which it converted into 35 points, and grabbed 25 rebounds to ASU’s 24. The Cavaliers finished the contest with a 42-26 edge in points in the paint. Appalachian State ends the season with the most wins in school history (27) and became the first Southern Conference team since 1984 to advance past the second round of the WNIT.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State forced 10 or more turnovers for the 101st-straight game... the Apps dropped to 0-2 all-time against Virginia... Mallow’s five three-pointers were the most since Sam Ramirez connected on six shots from deep against Davidson on Jan. 19, 2011... Appalachian State was outscored 17-6 on the fast break.
VIRGINIA 74, ASU 58
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State..27 31 58
Virginia...........35 39 74
ASU: SYDNOR 14, C. FREEMAN 8, A. FREEMAN 11 (4 ASSISTS), GARY 2, MALLOW 17, SHARKEY 4, WELDON 2, FG: 23-50, 3FG: 7-18, FT: 5-6. 24 REBOUNDS, 28 TURNOVERS, 16 ASSISTS.
VIRGINIA: SHINE 6, EGWU 8, GERSON 8, MOORER 16 (6 REBOUNDS, 11 ASSISTS), FRANKLIN 22, McCALL 14. FG: 27-47, 3FG: 3-6, FT: 17-21, 25 REBOUNDS, 19 TURNOVERS, 20 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Katie Mallow, ASU Athletics