Appalachian State University women's basketball (7-7, 1-2 SBC) fell to UTA (10-4, 2-1 SBC) in a double-overtime heartbreaker, 99-94, on Thursday evening inside College Park Center.
Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) posted the best game of her Black and Gold career with a career-high 26 points on a stellar 9-for-10 shooting and dished out five assists.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) turned in a season-high 19 points (12 in the second) half, shot 6-of-11 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds. Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) stepped up off the bench with the second double-double of her career, turning in career highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./RJ Reynolds) had it going from outside, as she tied a season best with 17 points. Wilson and Calder combined to shoot 11-for-21 from the floor with 33 points, leading a bench attack that outscored UTA's reserves 38-19.
Appalachian tied a season high with 94 points while shooting a season-high 50.8 percent from the field. Appalachian although committed 23 turnovers that became 19 points for the visitors. UTA also capitalized on 13 offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points.
The Mountaineers had the Mavericks on the ropes in a back-and-forth affair that featured six lead changes five ties just in both overtime periods.
After UTA went 1-for-2 at the line on back-to-back trips to take a 91-89 lead, Gosnell drained a 3-pointer to push the Apps to a 92-91 edge with 2:39 left in the game.
Moments later, Wilson hit two more free throws at the charity stripe to help App retake the lead, 94-93, following a bucket from UTA. However, the Mavericks finished the final 1:05 on a 6-0 run to close out the game.
The Mountaineers had a chance to tie but committed a turnover with three seconds left in the game.
Appalachian showed grit and fight all evening as it faced multiple 10-point deficits. The Mountaineers started off the game to a slow start, which gave UTA a 10-0 jump in the first 2:08 of the game.
App wouldn't take its first lead of the game until the 5:41 mark of the third period thanks to a 6-0 spurt when down 40-36. Polacek made a layup before Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) notched a field goal. Gosnell hit a pair at the line to push the Black and Gold to a 42-40 edge.
Gosnell was pivotal in the comeback, later hitting a trifecta that broke a 45-45 tie to give App its largest lead of the game, 48-45.
UTA responded with a run of its own, piecing together am 18-6 run over the final 4:38 of the quarter. The Mavs went into the final quarter with a 64-53 edge.
For the third time in the game, the Mountaineers faced a 10-point gap and didn't quit, going 5-of-6 over a 6:24 span during a 17-9 run capped off by a Calder layup to push the Apps into a 71-69 lead.
UTA once again came back and claimed a 78-74 lead before a personal 6-0 burst by Polacek gave the Mountaineers the 80-78 edge. Polacek scored the final eight points of regulation for the Black and Gold.
UTA came back on the final trip of the game to force a shooting foul, which Cierra Johnson hit both at the line to send it into overtime.
App started off strong in the first overtime, taking a three-point lead thanks to a Polacek trey. The Mavericks came back to take the lead before the Canadian point guard hit two clutch free throws at the line to tie things up, 89-89.
Appalachian came up with the big stop on the final possession to force an exhilarating second overtime.
Cierra Johnson scored a game-high 29 points and Katie Ferrell posted a double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Appalachian State will aim to bounce back on Saturday against Texas State to close out the weekend at 3 p.m. (ET).