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Appalachian State University women's basketball rallied in the last seven minutes of the game to get the 70-69 win over first-place Arkansas State on Thursday evening at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (8-6, 3-2 Sun Belt) came back from a 15-point deficit with ten minutes to play, beating the previously unbeaten Red Wolves (10-6, 5-1).

The Mountaineers jumped out to an 11-7 lead with 16:17 left in the first half, with Maryah Sydnor leading the Apps with eight of the first 11 points. A three-minute drought would follow for both teams until Arkansas State went on a 5-0 run to take a 12-11 lead.

From there the Red Wolves would score nine-straight points, taking a 23-18 lead at the 7:26 minute mark.

The Mountaineers would come within one point with 5:18 to play in the first off an layup from KeKe Cooper, but the Red Wolves stayed in control, leading 37-26 at halftime.

Sydnor led the Apps in the first half with 10 points, while the team shot 34.4 percent from the field.

Arkansas State was led by Aundrea Gamble's ten points as the team recorded a 43.2 field goal percentage.

The Red Wolves came out in the second half hot, taking a 15-point lead at the 14:24 minute mark. Bria Huffman would respond by hitting two-straight jumpers and Sydnor would add a layup to help the Mountaineers trail by just nine points.

Things did not look good for the Mountaineers as A-State went on an 8-2 run to lead, 57-42 with 10:04 to play. The Apps scored five-straight points but the Red Wolves continued to find baskets, still leading by 14 points with 7:37 on the clock.

Over the span of three minutes, Katie Mallow would hit three three-pointers for Appalachian, sparking an 8-2 run to trail, 65-58 with 4:36 to play in the game. From there the Apps would score eight points to Arkansas State's one, as the Red Wolves led, 68-66, after two free throws from Sydnor.

With one minute to play Mallow stole the ball and hit a fastbreak layup, tying the game, 68-68. After a made free throw from A-State's Jamie Ruffins with 30 seconds left, the Mountaineers would bring the ball down the court.

Huffman came up big for the Mountaineers, grabbing an offensive rebound and hitting a layup to give the Apps a 70-69 lead with eight seconds to play. Arkansas State quickly moved down the court, but Ashley Bassett-Smith would block a last-second shot by Gamble, giving the Mountaineers the 70-69 win.

Sydnor notched her fourth-straight double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Mallow followed with 19 points. Cooper finished the game with ten points and six rebounds, and Bassett-Smith added four blocks in the victory.

The Mountaineers shot 40.0 percent from the floor in the game, grabbing 45 rebounds and tallying 15 turnovers.

Gamble led the Red Wolves with 21 points and eight assists as the team shot 43.5 percent from the floor. Arkansas State recorded 38 rebounds and 15 turnovers.

The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday when they host Georgia State at 1 p.m

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (6-7, 4-5) won its third straight game with a 92-86 triumph over No. 20 Newberry (13-2, 7-2) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium in a South Atlantic Conference game.

Junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) scored a game-high 26 points while junior guard Darrion Evans (Morganton, N.C.) and junior forward Rob Noyes (Morganton, N.C.) totaled 23 points each, both career-highs, as the Bears won their first home game of the year.

Demarkus Smith (Johnston, S.C.) finished with a team-high 24 points and hit five treys for Newberry, who couldn’t hold a four-point lead – 80-76 – with four minutes left in the setback.

A three-pointer by Evans with 1:24 remaining gave the Bears the lead for good at 83-81 and was part of nine straight points as Lenoir-Rhyne took control from there.

Noyes, the league’s leading rebounder, added 11 boards for his fourth double-double of the year. Lenoir-Rhyne also connected on 23-of-26 free throw attempts (89 percent) and shot 60 percent (31-of-52) for the contest.

Newberry’s Mitch Riggs (Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia) added 17 points but the Wolves made just 13-of-38 three-point attempts in seeing their three-game winning streak come to an end.

The contest also featured 14 ties and eight lead changes while Lenoir-Rhyne held a 36-30 advantage in rebounding.

Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Anderson on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., in a conference game.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:14

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Falls to Newberry

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The Newberry Women’s Basketball Team (10-5, 6-3) moved into double digits in victories on the year with a 62-56 win over Lenoir-Rhyne (5-8, 4-5) Wednesday night in South Atlantic Conference action at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Newberry’s Samantha Creed (Montgomery, Victoria, Australia), the second-leading scorer in the league, led the way with a game-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds as the Wolves rallied from a 26-25 halftime deficit to take the win over the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior All-American guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) and sophomore forward Brooke Robinson (Vale, N.C.) each scored 13 points despite the loss.

The Wolves used a 6-0 run early in the second half to take a 33-28 lead with 17:41 remaining in the game capped off by a lay-up by Jaya Schultz (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and never trailed again.

Schultz finished with 14 points in the game for the Wolves, who led by as many as 12 points late in the contest. Newberry also shot 62 percent (16-of-26) in the second half and held a 36-30 edge in rebounding in the contest.

Senior guard Jenni Gust (Colfax, Wis.) added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Bears in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to face Anderson in South Atlantic Conference action Saturday at 2pm.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:08

CVCC Men's Basketball Pull Away Late for Win

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The Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team defeated Guilford Tech 78-62 Wednesday evening.

Kenny Lemon paced CVCC with 18 points. Dalton Nelson had his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Trevin Miller added 13 points and Mon'Darius Black had 11.

CVCC outscored Guilford Tech 30-15 in the final 12 minutes of the contest.

The Red Hawks improve to 9-9 overall, 4-4 in conference play. CVCC hosts sixth ranked Richard Bland College on Saturday.

Appalachian State University women’s soccer head coach Sarah Strickland announced the hiring of Amy Kolowsky as goalkeeper coach of the Mountaineers on Wednesday.

“I am so excited to add Amy to our staff,” said Strickland. “It has always been something that I’ve hoped for our program to develop players and have them want to stay connected and invest in the future of the program. She will be a fantastic addition and is absolutely prepared because of the outreach opportunities she’s taken advantage of during her career at Appalachian State. Amy is a wonderful mentor to our team and will add a different perspective on our staff after being an integral part of our squad.”

Kolowsky has spent the previous five years as a goalkeeper in Strickland’s program. After redshirting in 2010, Kolowsky appeared in 19 matches (all starts) and finished the season with 95 saves and four clean sheets in 2011.

The 95 saves are currently good for seventh in program history for a single-season total. For her career, Kolowsky made 131 saves – good for sixth all-time in program history, while also finishing her career with four shutouts.

“I am extremely blessed and excited to have his opportunity to coach here at Appalachian State,” said Kolowsky. “App State, the Boone community and App State athletics have been my family and home for the last few years, so I am excited that it will continue in a new way.”

“I’m grateful to head coach Sarah Strickland and the whole App State administration for the opportunity to work here. Having been in this program as a player and having been able to work closely with the previous assistants here has been a huge factor in preparing me for this position. They have been great leaders and coaches, teaching me a lot about what this position requires. I look forward to learning more and contributing to the App State women’s soccer program and the University as a whole in whatever way I am able.”

The goalkeeper coaching position was held most recently by Lindsay Cobb for the last 10 years. Cobb helped Strickland mold the program into what it is today and she is positive the hiring of Kolowsky is a seamless transition into continuing those successes.

“I am thrilled that Amy has accepted a position working with the goalkeepers at Appalachian State,” said Cobb. “During her five seasons in the program, she excelled as a goalkeeper, teammate and most importantly as a student of the game. Her commitment to learning our system and especially the intricacies of coaching the goalkeeper position will be huge benefit to the program.”

Kolowsky also brings club coaching experience, specifically with goalkeepers at the High Country Soccer Association (HCSA) and currently holds a USSF Class E Coaching license.

Freedom: 64
Hibriten: 13

Patton: 63
Watauga: 60

South Caldwell: 37
St. Stephens: 34

Southern District 7:
Maiden: 50
Bunker Hill: 44

Freedom: 66
Hibriten: 65

St. Stephens: 57
South Caldwell: 44

Watauga: 79
Patton: 63

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 70
Maiden: 55

Lenoir-Rhyne University has named Gary Higgins Head Women’s Soccer Coach, announced today by Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Neill McGeachy.

Higgins comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after serving three seasons as an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Tusculum (2012-14).

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach at my alma mater (Lenoir-Rhyne) and would like to thank Neill McGeachy (Executive Director of Athletics) for his confidence in my abilities to lead this fantastic program,” said Higgins.

“Lenoir-Rhyne has experienced a great deal of success over the last few years and I plan on continuing that success in the future.”

Higgins graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science before earning his master’s degree in liberal arts in 2011, where he served as an assistant coach for the Bears’ men’s team.

A four-year letterwinner on the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team (2006-09), Higgins was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference and All-Region performer who earned NCAA Division II Daktronics honorable mention All-American honors in 2007.

Higgins was also a three-year captain and led the Bears to a 19-1-1 mark in 2006 and a berth in the NCAA Division II Appalachian Regional Championship.

Higgins also played at the semi-professional level in the United States including the Reading (Pa.) Rage of the USL Premier Development League where he received team MVP honors and helped the squad reach the league semifinals in 2008. Higgins also captained the Knoxville Force of the NPSL in 2012.

Higgins, who holds his NSCAA National Diploma and USSF National D coaching license, has coached at the club level for over five years and coached ODP in the state of North Carolina.

Higgins replaces Madison Gates, who went 14-2-2 as Acting Head Coach last season and led the Bears to a fifth consecutive South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship.

Lenoir-Rhyne finished the year with a 16-4-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Finals as well in 2010. The Bears also ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Higgins is married to the former Klara Ledford.

Appalachian State University men’s basketball head coach Jim Fox announced the addition of midseason transfer John Mosser (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) on Tuesday.

Mosser spent the previous year and a half at Mercer, where he appeared in 10 games for the Bears and was a member of the Mercer squad that upset No. 3 seeded Duke in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“We would like to welcome John to the Appalachian family,” said Fox. “Having played at Mercer, John brings that championship pedigree to our team and we look forward to him having a successful career here.”

A high school standout at Green Hope High School in Cary, N.C., Mosser was a two-time all-conference selection and helped lead the Falcons to a league title as a senior, earning all-district honors along the way.

Per NCAA transfer rules, Mosser will not be eligible to play for the Mountaineers this season, but is allowed to fully participate in all practices and other team-related activities and will be eligible to play beginning in the fall of 2015.

Appalachian State returns home on Thursday when it plays host to Arkansas State at 7 p.m. before taking on Georgia State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for both games, as well as all remaining regular-season games, can be purchase by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 828-262-2079 or online at appstatesports.com/tickets.

Monday, 12 January 2015 23:07

Crawdads Hot Stove Banquet Canceled

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The Hickory Crawdads Hot Stove Banquet scheduled for Thursday, January 15th has been canceled due to a last minute, unexpected conflict. The banquet is not expected to be rescheduled at this time.

For more information, contact the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000.

Monday, 12 January 2015 23:04

Appalachian State's Spagnolo Named Captain

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Two years ago, you could find a 6-8 student from West Jefferson playing basketball at Appalachian State University’s Student Recreation Center. Today, you can find that same student on the hardwood for the Mountaineer men’s basketball team, leading the squad in rebounds (7.2 rpg) while ranking second in scoring (10.7 ppg).

On Monday, Tommy Spagnolo’s (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]) collegiate basketball journey took another step as head coach Jim Fox named him the team’s captain. A former walk-on, Spagnolo spent most of his junior season as a rarely-used role player before earning his first collegiate start in last year’s opener at NC State.

“This is a well deserving honor for Tommy,” said Fox. “He sets the tone for our program through his consistent hard work and toughness. He is someone we want our younger players to look up to and emulate. Tom cares deeply about this program and is always working to promote it both on and off the court. As coaches, we appreciate the leadership Tommy gives day in and day out.”

After earning a spot as a rotation player for most of the 2013-14 campaign, he burst onto the scene late in the year as he posted eight double-doubles in the team’s final 13 games. Spagnolo’s career appeared to be finished after last season, but his journey took another turn when the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility due to an injury sustained his freshman year at Radford.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this team,” said Spagnolo. “Coach Fox has given me a great responsibility and I’m honored to help lead my fellow teammates in a positive direction. I’ll continue to work to improve everyday and to be a beneficial influence on my teammates.”

Since then, the super senior has worked tirelessly both on and off the floor to improve his game and become a leader in Fox’s first year at the helm of the Mountaineer program. It’s an honor that was given to another former walk-on two years ago, when Nathan Healy went from bench player turned captain as a senior and earned Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012-13.

“I’m just really proud of how far Tommy has come, both as a person and a basketball player,” said Healy. “After everything he has been through, and the way he has seized this opportunity, it’s fitting that he be rewarded this way. Hopefully he can keep playing well, maybe even elevate his game to a level he might not even know he is capable of, and help App State win some more games.”

Through 13 games this year, Spagnolo has posted four double-doubles this season. He ranks third in the Sun Belt in rebounding and10th in field-goal percentage (52.3 percent).

Spagnolo and the Mountaineers return to action on Thursday when they host Arkansas State at 7:30 p.m. before taking on preseason league favorite Georgia State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Holmes Center.