Appalachian State University women's basketball (7-6, 1-1 SBC) put forth a valiant effort in an 83-72 setback to Troy (11-2, 2-0 SBC) on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.
Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) poured in a season and game-high 23 points while tying a career mark with nine rebounds. Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) had it going from the field with a 5-of-9 performance and 15 points. Since the second half of the South Alabama game, the sophomore is 12-of-21 from the field for 33 points.
Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) posted a game-high 13 rebounds with five points and two assists, while Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) posted a game-best nine helpers with six points and only two turnovers.
Both schools came in as two of the fastest teams in the Sun Belt in pace of play with Troy (81) and App State in second at 78.1. Each team recorded 91 possessions, which is above each programs' season average.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the top rebounding team in the nation in Troy, 54-47, and held the Trojans to eight offensive rebounds less than their national-high of 24 per game. However, the Trojans still held a 16-8 edge in second-chance points and scored 20 points off of 20 App turnovers.
Despite a 20-for-32 showing from the line, allowing second-chance points and points off miscues, App State was right there in the mix to take over the game on multiple occasions.
After the Trojans claimed an 18-9 lead with 4:32 left in the opening period, Polacek kick-started a 12-4 run the rest of the way to cut the deficit to just one, 22-21. Five different players scored during the 5-of-9 surge, capped off by a jumper from Stanley.
Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy), who gave the Apps a spark off the bench with eight points and eight rebounds, scored in transition on a wide-open layup to keep the game to within one possession, 27-25.
Troy finished the break on a 10-3 run after holding App to just three points over the final 8:37 of the half.
The Trojans extended their lead to 14, 53-39, right out of the gate after hitting five of their first six shots in the third quarter.
Appalachian whittled the deficit down to eight at the end of the period thanks to Brooke Bigott's (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) layup with five seconds left in the frame, bringing the score to 60-52.
The freshman scored App's first bucket in the final quarter before Stanley drilled a jumper to dwindle the lead down to only four points, 60-56, and give the Black and Gold some momentum.
App State looked like it was about to take the game over, but it couldn't get over the hump as Troy put together a 9-3 run to go back up by double digits.
The Trojans kept the hosts at bay the rest of the evening by not allowing the Mountaineer offense to get into a rhythm.
Four players led the Trojans in double figures with Tyra Johnson scoring 16 points and four 3-pointers. She led a Troy bench attack that scored 45 points.
Before tip-off, Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) was presented with her 1,000-point ball after becoming the 25th member of the 1,000-point club Wofford. Joining her was head coach Angel Elderkin, athletics director, Doug Gillin, and her parents, Mark (father) and Mitzi (mother).
App State will look to bounce back next weekend. The Mountaineers hit the road for the first time in Sun Belt play, as they make the trek to Texas.
Appalachian will face UTA on Thursday at 8 p.m. (ET) in Arlington.
- Stanley's 23 points was the fifth 20-point game of her career.
- Plummer now has seven games this season with at least 10 rebounds.
- Gosnell's posted her best two-game stretch of 16.5 points and six rebounds.
- App has won the battle on the glass in 11 of its 13 games.