The Mountaineers (13-15, 10-8 SoCon) finally pulled away near the end of the game to beat the Catamounts (13-16, 7-11) in Saturday's tightly-contested game.
The Catamounts led 25-24 at the break. WCU built a three-point lead early in the second half before KeKe Cooper's three-point play tied the game at 31. Maryah Sydnor made a steal on the ensuing inbounds pass and connected for a 33-31 lead. But the Catamounts responded with an 8-2 run to regain the lead. A three-pointer by Lindsay Simpson gave the Catamounts a 44-42 lead with 7:24 to play.
But Bria Huffman came up iwth a pair steals and scored six points that led to a 10-2 run and a 52-46 lead. But WCU narrowed the gap to one point with three minutes left to play.
Appalachian stretched its lead to five points at 57-51 with 46 seconds to play, and the Catamounts never got any closer than three points the rest of the way
Sydnor led ASU with 20 points, 18 of those in the second half. Cooper and Huffman each notched 15 points apei in the win, Cooper led the Mountaineers with nine rebounds and five blocks; Huffman found four steals.
Kristen Lyon led WCU with 13 points. The Mountaineers will have to wait to find out their seed in the Southern Conference Tournament on March 7-10 in Asheville, N.C.
APPALACHIAN STATE 63, WESTERN CAROLINA 56
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
APPALACHIAN STATE 24 39 - 63
WESTERN CAROLINA 25 31 - 56
ASU: SYDNOR 20, COOPER 15 (9 REBOUNDS), JONES 4, HUFFMAN 15, TAYLOR 1, MARSHALL 6, DONIERE 6. FG: 25-53, 3FG: 0-6, FT: 13-15. 36 REBOUNDS, 7 ASSISTS, 18 TURNOVERS.
WCU: ABRAHAM 1, TERRY 5 (6 REBOUNDS), HADEN 2, WAKAMA 11, LYON 13, SIMPSON 5, LANE 2, TAYLOR 10, JOSEPH 4, CAMPBELL 3. FG: 20-57, 3FG: 6-15, FT: 10-13. 31 REBOUNDS, 9 ASSISTS, 16 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: KeKe Cooper, ASU Athletics