Another buzzer-beating shot from Samford sent Appalachian State University women’s basketball to a heartbreaking 63-60 loss on Monday at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (19-9, 13-7 SoCon) fell to the Bulldogs (14-15, 11-9) on a last-second shot for the second time this season in their final game before this weekend’s Southern Conference Basketball Championships.
After Anna Freeman tied up the contest with 21 seconds left to play, Samford was able to run the clock down nearly all the way before Jazmine Martin connected on a three-pointer with just 0.3 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to their third-straight win over Appalachian.
With the loss, the Mountaineers will enter the SoCon Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will face either College of Charleston or Samford in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. inside UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena.
Appalachian led by as many as eight points in the first half, but the Bulldogs were able to battle back to grab a 33-32 lead at halftime before grabbing their largest lead of the game at eight points (40-32) early in the second half.
The Mountaineers regained the lead (50-49) on Kelsey Sharkey’s layup midway through the second half, but the Bulldogs answered with a quick 7-0 run to take a 56-50 lead with just over six minutes left to play and never trailed again, despite a furious Appalachian rally in the closing moments.
A. Freeman led all players with 26 points while grabbing seven rebounds while Maryah Sydnor added 16 points, ripped down six boards and dished out four assists.
Taylor Reece paced the Bulldogs with 20 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line while Krista Stricklin (16) and Hanna Dawson (14) each reached double figures.
Samford was held to just 34.7 percent (17-of-49) from the floor but was nearly perfect from the free-throw line on the night, connecting on 22-of-25 shots from the charity stripe. Appalachian State connected on 39.0 percent (23-of-59) of its shots from the floor, but was just 9-of-15 from the free-throw line.
Game Notes: Anna Freeman swished four three-pointers in the contest for 12 of her 26 points on the night. Appalachian grabbed 39 rebounds and nine steals to Samford’s 33 boards and five steals. Both teams dished out 14 assists on the night. Tonight’s contest saw seven knotted scores and five lead changes. The Bulldog win marks the third straight victory for Samford against Appalachian State.
SAMFORD 63, ASU 60
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Samford 33 30 - 63
Appalachian State 32 28 - 60
SAMFORD: REECE 20 (4 ASSISTS), DAWSON 14 (8 REBOUNDS), MARTIN 9, STRICKLIN 16, FLETCHER 2, MAYES 2. FG: 17-49, 3FG: 7-21, FT: 22-25. 33 REBOUNDS, 14 ASSISTS, 16 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: STRICKLIN 4, REECE 2, MARTIN.
ASU: SHARKEY 4, C.FREEMAN 2, A.FREEMAN 26 (7 REBOUNDS), GARY 4, SYDNOR 16, GATEWOOD 1, MALLOW 5, WILKERSON 2. FG: 23-59, 3FG; 5-11, FT: 9-15. 39 REBOUNDS, 14 ASSISTS, 15 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: A.FREEMAN 4, SYDNOR.
Photo Courtesy: Darcie Vincent, ASU Athletics