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Sunday, 16 November 2014 23:18

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Ends Regular Season Perfect

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (11-0, 7-0), ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II, finished the regular season unbeaten and untied for the first time in 52 years with a 27-21 win over Catawba (6-5, 3-4) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior fullback Chris Robinson (Newnan, Ga.) rushed for a game-high 130 yards and a touchdown while senior quarterback Miles Freeman (Sacramento, Calif.) added two scores on the ground as the Bears beat the Indians for the sixth straight year. Lenoir-Rhyne has now won four consecutive SAC Championships including three straight league titles outright.

The Bears, the nation's top rushing team in NCAA Division II, finished with 361 yards on the ground and won for the 13th straight time at home. Lenoir-Rhyne has also won 21 consecutive regular season games and improved to 24-1 in its last 25 contests.

Lenoir-Rhyne held three 10-point leads - 10-0, 17-7 and 24-14 - and was able to hold on in the end to win. Freeman scored two touchdowns on the ground in the second and third quarters, respectively, while junior defensive back Chris Shaffer (Charlotte, N.C.) picked off a pass to end the game for the Bears.

Catawba quarterback Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C.) passed for 156 yards while Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla.) threw for a touchdown and ran for a score despite the loss. On defense, Jason Taylor (Bahama, N.C.) led all tacklers with 14.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior running back Michael Patrick (Atlanta, Ga.) added 96 yards on the ground while senior linebacker Tanner Botts (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and sophomore defensive lineman Chris Green (Albany, Ga.) finished with seven tackles each in the win. Green also recovered a fumble and registered a quarterback sack in the victory.

A long second-half scoring drought proved too much to overcome as Appalachian State University men’s basketball opened the 2014-15 campaign with a 73-47 loss at Ohio on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The Mountaineers (0-1) were held scoreless for a near seven-minute stretch (19:35-12:36) in the second period, and the Bobcats (1-0) ripped off a 17-0 run to blow a close game wide open en route to their 11th-straight win in a season opener.

Appalachian trailed by just eight points (35-27) at the break thanks in large part to Chris Burgess’ (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) 3-of-4 from long range in the first half, but the Apps went 1-of-11 to open the second half and the Bobcats drilled four three-pointers to take a commanding 54-29 lead midway through the final period.

Ryan Taylor scored 10 points for the Bobcats during the run as he nailed a pair of shots from long range and connected on both a jumper and a layup. The freshman guard finished with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting in his collegiate debut.

Mike Kobani (Bodo City, Nigeria/High Point Christian Academy) brought Appalachian within seven (36-29) when he scored just 25 seconds into the final frame, but the Mountaineers would not get on the board again until Landon Goesling (Irving, Texas/Coppell) drilled a jumper almost seven minutes later.

It would be all the momentum Ohio needed as it stretched its lead to as many as xx points in the second half. The Bobcats finished 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from the floor over the final 20 minutes of play, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc.

The Apps were able to keep it close for much of the first half despite Ohio running out to an early nine-point lead (20-11) with 11:42 left in the opening period. Appalachian cut the deficit to as little as four points (31-27) when Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) hit a pair of free throws with 1:36 on the clock, but Ohio hit two shots in the final 1:16 to take a 35-27 lead into the locker room.

Burgess finished with 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting with a team-high four assists while Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]) also scored 11 and ripped down a team-best nine rebounds. Kobani finished with nine points on 4-of-6 from the floor.

In addition to his 21 points, Taylor also dished out four assists. Maurice Ndour notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Antonio Campbell poured in 13 off the bench.

The Bobcats finished with a 41-35 edge in rebounds and forced 14 App State turnovers. Both teams finished with 12 assists, but Ohio tallied six blocks to just two for the Mountaineers.

Appalachian continues its season-opening three-game road swing when it heads to former Southern Conference rival Furman for a 7 p.m. contest on Wednesday.

NOTES: The Mountaineers fell to 50-40 (.555) all-time in season openers .. the Apps also dropped to 0-2 all-time against Ohio and 2-5 against teams from the Mid-American Conference ... Kobani and Dustin Clarke (Newland, N.C./Avery County [Hartford]) made their first career starts ... four different Mountaineer freshmen played ... in addition to Goesling, Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School), Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) and Milos Kostic (Belgrade, Serbia/IMG Academy) all saw time on the floor ... Tab Hamilton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Fishburne Military Academy) did not play due to a violation of team rules ... no timetable has been set for his return ... Michael Obacha (Edo State, Nigeria/High Point Christian Academy) and Dylan Hodson (Roanoke, Va./Hargrave Military Academy) did not play due to injuries ... Obacha (upper body) is day-to-day while Hodson (lower body) is out indefinitely.

A flurry of goals early in the second half lifted Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons to a convincing 5-0 victory over Fred T. Foard for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A men's soccer championship at Dail Soccer Field at North Carolina State University on Saturday afternoon.

Gibbons led 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Jack Donovan after a throw-in by Cooper Deplantis, but the Crusaders scored three times in a 12-minute span early the second half to take command.

A penalty kick by Duplantis, who was named the championship Most Valuable Player with a goal and two assists, made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute. Duplantis also contributed defensively as a center back as the Crusaders recorded their 13th shutout of the season.

Drew Rabil’s 24th goal of the season off a rebound but Gibbons up 3-0 in the 47th minute, and just seven minutes after that Alex Paladino found the back of the net for a 4-0 advantage.

Gibbons had 22 total shots, 15 on goal, to 10 for the Tigers with seven shots on goal. Gavin Smith, the starting keeper for the Crusaders, had six saves before giving way to Anthony Palumbo, who also had a save.

Cardinal Gibbons was playing in its seventh NCHSAA men’s soccer final with four previous championships, and the Crusaders finished the season at 23-2-1. Fred T. Foard was in the final for the first time and made a great run to the finals after having a 1-3-1 record early in the season. The Tigers wound up 22-6-2.

The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the city of Raleigh served as primary host city sponsors for this championship, and Time Warner Cable SportsChannel was the presenting sponsor.

Appalachian State University volleyball dropped a five-set match to South Alabama on Friday evening, featuring scores of 15-25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-17 and 9-15.

The Mountaineers (19-8, 9-8 Sun Belt) came back from a first-set loss to tie the match, 2-2 but the Jaguars (11-16, 6-11) came up with the win in the fifth set for the match victory.

The first set began with five tied scores until South Alabama would go on an 8-2 run, recording seven kills for a 14-8 lead. The Mountaineers would attempt to catch up, but would not come within more than four points as South Alabama took the first set 25-15.

The Jaguars got the early 3-0 lead in the second set, but Appalachian eventually tied the score at 11 off a kill from Lauren Gray. From there the Apps took control scoring eight of the next ten points for an 18-13 lead.

The Mountaineers would get kills from Emily Corrigan, Jess Keller and Hailey Kerr to help them close out the second set with a 25-19 win and tie the match, 1-1.

The third set was a close one as the each team struggled to maintain a lead. With the score tied a 10 the Jaguars went on a 6-1 run to take a 16-11 lead. South Alabama would control the rest of the set, winning the third with a score of 25-16 and leading the match 2-1.

The Mountaineers dominated the beginning of the fourth set, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. The Apps did not let up, going on a 9-3 run in the middle of the set to lead 15-7.

The Jaguars would come back to trail by only two points but Appalachian regained their composure, scoring nine of the last 12 points of the set to take the fourth, 25-17 and tie the match, 2-2.

South Alabama took a 5-2 lead off several Appalachian errors and would lead by as much as five points before the Apps recording two kills to trail 8-5.

South Alabama was in control of the rest of the set, taking the fifth 15-9 and winning the match, 3-2.

Corrigan and Keller each notched 19 kills in the loss, while Gray recorded 11. Paige Brown tallied a match-high 47 assists and Meghan Mahoney led the team with 15 digs.

South Alabama was led by Jessica Lewis' 16 kills and Jenna Hassell's match-high 16 digs.

The Mountaineers hit .235 on the match, while the Jaguars hit .291, while finding 11 blocks to Appalachian's seven.

The Mountaineers return to action on Sunday when they travel to Sun Belt opponent UL Monroe.

Ashe County: 34
Maiden: 27
The Blue Devils season ends at 5-7.

Lincolnton: 48
Newton-Conover: 14
The Red Devils season ends at 7-4-1.

R-S Central: 29
Bandys: 26
The Trojans season ends at 8-4.

East Rowan: 50
Freedom: 49
The Patriots season ends at 10-1-1.

Pisgah: 16
Hibriten: 13
The Panthers season ends at 6-5.

South Point: 28
Fred T. Foard: 12
The Tigers season ends at 6-6.

Mt. Tabor: 47
South Caldwell: 0
The Spartans season ends at 9-3.

Maryah Sydnor scored 33 points in Appalachian State’s 111-74 loss to tenth ranked Kentucky on Friday night in Memorial Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) immediately trailed the Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 Southeastern) when Kentucky’s Kyvin Goodin-Rogers hit a three-pointer just 12 seconds into the game and from there the Apps would have to play catch up, never tying or leading the Wildcats for the rest of the game.

Kentucky would go on a 10-0 run to begin the game, finding six points from behind the arc from Goodwin-Rogers. Appalachian would not score until the 17:48 mark where Mia Marshall would hit two free throws.

The Wildcats continued to find points, but Sydnor started to come alive for the Apps scoring two layups as the Mountaineers trailed 20-6. Sydnor took control of the game, finding the next six points before Katie Mallow would hit two free throws for the Apps as Kentucky led 32-16 with 11:18 left in the first half.

The Wildcats ran the floor, finding six fastbreak points to lead the Mountaineers, but Sydnor could not be stopped, finishing the first half with 23 points. Kentucky led at halftime, 58-42.

Sydnor hit ten field goals in the first half and found two rebounds, while Mallow followed with six points. The Mountaineers shot 41.7 percent in the first.

Kentucky was led by Linnae Harper’s ten points at halftime as they shot 52.8 percent

The Wildcats started the second half with five points but the Mountaineers would respond, scoring two free throws from Mallow and a jumper from Joi Jones. The Mountaineers would be on the right track, finding a three-pointer from Mallow, but Kentucky did not let up, going on an 8-2 run to lead, 75-51 with 14:17 to play.

From there Sydnor scored six-straight points but it would not be enough as the Wildcats continued to find points down low and from behind the arc to lengthen their lead to 26 points. Kentucky’s fast-paced game caught up to the Apps as they failed to stop them from scoring 20 points in the last five minutes of play.

The Mountaineers recorded the last four points of the game from freshmen Katelyn Doub and Madi Story, but the Apps fell to Kentucky, 111-74.

Sydnor finished with 33 points and seven rebounds, while Mallow had 13. Marshall had the second-most rebounds for the Mountaineers, tallying six.

The Mountaineers shot 36.7 percent from the floor in the game, grabbing 32 rebounds and turning the ball over 31 times.

Kentucky had seven players score in double-figures with Jennifer O’Neill leading the way with 20 points. Azia Bishop led the team with nine rebounds, while also notching 14 points.

The Wildcats shot 52.0 percent on the night, while recording 50 rebounds and 21 turnovers.

The Apps return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 19 when they travel to Johnson City, Tenn. to play ETSU at 7 p.m.

Appalachian State University wrestling opened up is road schedule in Gilroy, California for a tri-dual with CSU Bakersfield and No. 11 (intermat) ranked Illinois.

The Mountaineers (1-3) fell in both matches on Friday at Gilroy High School. App State started the meet with a 21-12 loss to CSUB.

2014 SoCon Champion Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson), got the Mountaineers off to a winning start when he defeated Sean Nickell 3-0 to give Appalalchian a 3-0 advantage. Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) followed Parisi’s decision with 6-2 defeat to Ian Nickell at 133 to even the meet at 3-3.

True freshman Michael Longo (Corona, Calif./Santiago) returned to his home state and faced Timmy Box of CSBU. Longo lost the decision to Box 12-9 as Bakersfield took the lead 6-3.

2014 NCAA Qualifier and Southern Conference Champion Dylan Cottrell (Spencer, W.Va./Roane County) recorded his third win of the season, defeating Coleman Hammond 6-2. Cottrell’s decision knotted the score at six all. Zack Strickland (Muncy, Pa./Muncy) was defeated by Spencer Hill at 157 to again give CSUB the lead.

After missing the Mountaineer’s first dual meet of the season, Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) registered his first win against David Meza giving Appalachian a share of the lead for the final point in the match.

No. 6 (Intermat) ranked Bryce Hammond defeated Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) 6-1, followed by Nick Vetell (Trinity, N.C./Trinity) dropping the decision against Sean Pollock 6-4. At 197 Matt Williams pinned Tyler Radford (Marion, N.C./McDowell) 3:33 minutes into the bout. The Mountaineers ended with a 11-5 win from Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) at heavyweight.

In the Second match of the day, Appalachian squared off against the No. 11 Fighting Illini. Parisi won the opening contest via forfeit to give the Mountaineers an early 6-0 lead. Grigg then lost by decision to Dominc Olivieri 13-6.

Longo and Cottrell helped App State extend thier lead, both winning on decisions to put Appalachian up 12-3.

Illinois came fighting back winning three-straight major decisions against Strickland, Kee, and Przbysz. No. 19 Nikko Reyes Pinned Vetell at 4:02 in the match to stretch Illinois’s lead to 21-12. Radford then lost a 9-3 decision.

Dejournette, again ended the meet with a victory for the Apps via a 5-2 decision making the final score 24-15 in favor of Illinois.

The Mountaineers continue their road trip in California on Sunday when they travel to Fresno to compete in the Road Runner Open.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (0-1) suffered a 98-90 loss to UNC Pembroke (1-0) in double overtime Friday night in its season opener in the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge at Goodman Gymnasium.

The Braves' Brandon Watts (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) was one of five UNC Pembroke players to score in double figures, finishing with 23 points in the victory.

Brandon Winford (Goldsboro, N.C.) added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Braves, who held a 51-31 edge in rebounding in the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite the play of junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.). Perry finished with a game-high 30 points and was one point off his career high. Perry forced a second overtime with a three-pointer with nine seconds left in the first extra stanza.

Sophomore guard Darrion Evans (Morganton, N.C.) added 19 points for the Bears, who held a 10 point advantage - 59-49 - midway through the second half but couldn't pull it out in the end.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior forward Rob Noyes (Morganton, N.C.) scored 16 points and pulled downed a team-high seven rebounds and the Bears connected on 22-of-25 free throw attempts despite the setback.

On the final day of the tournament on Saturday night, Lenoir-Rhyne faces Francis Marion at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, 15 November 2014 17:46

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Drops Season Opener

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (0-1) fell in its 2014-15 season opener by an 80-67 score to Columbus State (1-0) Friday afternoon in the Loch Shop Region Challenge at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

Columbus State’s Michelle Mitchell (Eastman, Ga.) finished with a game-high 20 points while Dee Dee Deshazer (Tifton, Ga.) added 16 points in the victory.

Three players scored 13 points each for the Bears – senior guards Jenni Gust (Colfax, Wis.) and Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) and sophomore forward Morgan Cooper (Virginia Beach, Va.) – in the losing effort.

The Lady Cougars held a 36-32 edge at halftime and then used a 15-3 run to start the second half capped off by a three-pointer Britteny Tatum (LaGrange, Ga.) to take control.

Columbus State, who led by as many as 24 points in the game, forced Lenoir-Rhyne into 24 turnovers on the day. The Lady Cougars also hit eight treys and received 13 points off the bench from Ariel Johnson (Suwanee, Ga.).

The Bears held a 43-39 edge in rebounding but hit just four-of-14 three-point attempts in the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne faces Clayton State, the host school of the tournament, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, 15 November 2014 17:45

Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Advances in SAC Tournament

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (22-8) defeated Tusculum (16-15), 3-1, Friday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Bears defeated the Pioneers by scores of 25-23, 11-25, 25-18 and 25-15 and will face top-seeded and 12th-ranked Wingate (29-2) on Saturday evening in the semifinals at 5:00 p.m. Wingate swept No. 8 Newberry (15-16) in three sets in its first round match.

The Bears are the fifth seed in this year’s tournament while the Pioneers were seeded fourth.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by junior outside hitter Ashley Wells (Lovingston, Va.) with a match-high 18 kills while redshirt freshman middle blocker Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) added 11 kills and 14 digs as the Bears avenged two losses to the Pioneers in the regular season.

Lenoir-Rhyne, the sixth-ranked team in this week’s NCAA Division II Southeast Region Poll, also received a match-high 47 assists from junior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.).

Tusculum was led by Laryssa Welch (New Castle, Ind.) and Rachel Garnett (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 11 kills each in the loss. Shannon Murphy (Tinley Park, Ill.) tallied a double-double – 27 assists and 16 digs – in the setback as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne also advanced the conference tournament semifinals for the first time in eight years and improved to 8-1 its last nine matches.