A team-centric performance for App State women's basketball led to a 71-59 triumph over South Alabama on Education Day in the Holmes Center.
App State captures its fourth win in the past five games, improving to 8-15 (5-7 SBC). South Alabama falls to 12-12 and 7-5 in league action.
For a second time in as many games, the defense stepped up as it held South Alabama to under 60 points on 38.2 percent shooting. Despite 10 3-pointers and 19 points from Savannah Jones and Shaforia Kines, the Apps held the rest of the team in check to just 9-of-29 and 21 points. It's only the third time this season the Jaguars were held to under 60 points and the second time in conference play.
App State had six players with at least eight points and four players in double figures in a balanced effort on offense. The Mountaineers assisted on 69 percent (18-26) of their field goals. Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) set the tone early scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first half on 7-of-12 shooting from the field with four assists.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) poured in 15 points (13 in the second half) and tied a career high with 11 rebounds (six offensive) for her first double-double of the season and the third of her career. Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, tied a season best with seven assists and pulled down five rebounds.
Another solid performance was put forth by Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson), who registered a second consecutive double-double with 10 points and a game-best 15 rebounds. Plummer also had three assists and two steals, while holding Antoinette Lewis in check with just four points on 2-of-4 shooting.
Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) was big off the bench, where she scored eight points in 13 minutes, and Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) scored eight and hit a pair of 3-pointers.
After an 0-of-5 start from the field, the Mountaineers hit eight of their next 10 shot attempts to jump out to an 18-8 first quarter lead. App State trailed 5-2 early in the game before the Mountaineers went on a 14-0 run over a 3:10 span to go in front for the rest of the game.
South Alabama made a run in the second quarter when it sliced the lead to as low as six on two occasions in the period. After Bigott hit a field goal with 1:11 left in the half, Damaya Telemaque scored herself with under a minute left, handing App a 33-27 left going into the break.
A jumper from Stanley and a trifecta by Bigott in the opening 1:15 of the half pushed the lead back to double digits, 38-27. Kines hit a 3-pointer on the following possession but Gosnell answered with a three of her own to push the lead to more than 10.
App State stayed on top of the visitors, stretching the advantage to as much as 20 in the fourth quarter with a Stanley trey. App pulled away for its third straight win at home against South Alabama and moved to 7-6 all-time in the series.
The Mountaineers will look for a fifth win in six games on Saturday against one of the top teams in the Sun Belt in Troy on Saturday at 2 p.m.