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Appalachian State University women’s basketball (10-20) was led by Joi Jones’ 28 points on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough in an 81-61 decision to top-seeded Arkansas State (26-4) in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament in New Orleans in Lakefront Arena.

Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) tied her career mark on 11-for-21 shooting with two assists and two boards, while Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) snagged her first double-double of the season and second of her career with 12 points and a game-high 11 boards. The duo combined for 40 points on 16-for-30 shooting. Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) and Mia Marshall (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) combined for 13 points and 11 boards off the bench.

Arkansas State delivered the first punch with a 7-0 spurt in the opening 1:45 of the contest until Jones drained a trifecta that stopped the run. The Mountaineers weathered the storm coming back to tie the contest with a 10-3 run over the next 1:40. Jones led the charge with eight of the team’s points and a 4-for-6 start in the period.

After trading a pair of baskets, the Mountaineers took their first lead of the game, 14-13, when Carter found Marshall for a layup down low. The momentum shifted to Appalachian’s favor until the regular season champions responded by scoring 14 of the next 18 points to go into the second quarter with a 27-18 advantage. Both teams shot the ball well in the opening frame over 50 percent, but A-State had five offensive boards and seven second-chance points to Appalachian’s one offensive board.

Appalachian cut it to seven on two occasions early in the second period. A layup from Carter with 8:47 left that put the score at 29-22, but A-State went on another run that pushed the lead to double digits and never went below that. The Mountaineer offense went stagnant with a 4:15 scoring drought that led to an 11-0 run and a 16-point lead for the top-seeded Red Wolves, 38-22.

A-State eventually claimed a 46-28 advantage at the break. Jones and Carter paced the offense with 10 points apiece, and Arkansas State held Appalachian to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor while shooting 51 percent.

The Red Wolves continued the strong play in the second half en route to the victory and never leading by less than 10 points while moving on to the semifinals. App State did perform better in the final quarter, outscoring A-State, 22-16.

Four student-athletes scored in double figures for A-State, as Sun Belt Player of the Year, Aundrea Gamble, scored 26 points and 10 boards for a double-double. Khadija Brown-Haywood (14), Amanda Lawson (12) and Brittney Gill (11) rounded out the leading scorers. Gill finsihed with 10 off the glass for a double-double as well. Her stingy defense also set the tone for Arkansas State in the opening minutes of the contest.

The Mountaineers were blanketed all afternoon by A-State’s defense, as the Apps committed 21 turnovers that turned into 22 points. Appalachian had just six assists after averaging 11.6 helpers coming into the contest. Appalachian held a 19-12 advantage in points from the reserves.

Despite a 10-20 season, the Mountaineers have a reason to be optimistic about 2016-17. Thirteen of 15 student-athletes are expected to return next season, including the top three leading scorers (Jones,Story and Craven). With a highly-talented recruiting class coming in, the Apps are poised to make a run at the Sun Belt Championship.

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 23:44

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Falls to Belmont Abbey

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The Belmont Abbey Baseball Team (17-3-1) ran its winning streak to 13 games with a 8-6 triumph over Lenoir-Rhyne (15-5) Tuesday evening at Bears Field.

The Crusaders’ Nick Nunziato (South Setauket, N.Y.) hit two home runs, including a three-run home run in the first inning, and finished with five runs batted in to lead Belmont Abbey to the win.

The Crusaders, who never trailed in the contest, also received a two-run home run from Nunziato in the fifth frame and a two-run home run from Weston Clarke (Gainesville, Fla.) in the seventh inning in the victory.

Belmont Abbey was able to win despite committing four errors and giving up five unearned runs.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior shortstop Matthew De La Rosa (Austin, Texas) drew a bases-loaded walk while senior outfielder Chase Hathcock (Rockwell, N.C.) had a run-scoring hit in the losing effort for the Bears.

Belmont Abbey’s Matt Davenport (Charlotte, N.C.) allowed just one earned run in five innings of work to improve to 2-0 on the year while Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Hunter Martin (Stanfield, N.C.) (1-2) suffered the loss.

The Crusaders' Kyle Halbohn (Pawleys Island, S.C.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save of the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on King in Bristol, Tenn., on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 23:13

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps Pfeiffer

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (17-3), ranked No. 19 in NCAA Division II, swept a doubleheader from Pfeiffer (13-11), 9-6 and 8-3, Tuesday afternoon at Bears Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Pfeiffer 6
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) finished with three hits and three runs batted in and the Bears were able to survive even after plating seven runs in the third inning.

Lenoir-Rhyne was able to win despite giving up a pair of three-run home runs to Pfeiffer’s Kiana Millsaps (Taylorsville, N.C.) and Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.).

The third inning for the Bears was highlighted by a three-run home run from sophomore designated hitter Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) which tied the game at three.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) improved to 7-3 after earning the win while senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) pitched three scoreless innings for her first save of the year. Pfeiffer’s Kennedy Lester (Hamptonville, N.C.) (5-6) took the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Pfeiffer 3
Boone kept things going for the Bears, hitting two solo home runs, as Lenoir-Rhyne completed the sweep of Pfeiffer.

Lenoir-Rhyne put the contest away with a seven-run second inning highlighted by two-run hits from senior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) and senior third baseman Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.).

Freshman Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) improved to 3-0 on the year after earning the victory in middle relief for the Bears while Millsaps (2-2) took the loss for the Falcons. Sherrill hit her second home run on the day for Pfeiffer despite the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on USC Aiken on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., in a doubleheader in Aiken, S.C.

Appalachian State University men’s tennis won its third-straight match, improving to 7-1 over its last eight matches, by defeating Stetson University 4-0 at Mandy Stoll Tennis Center on Tuesday.

“Seeing the success that this team’s having on the court right now is really great for me because I get to see all of the work that they’ve done in order to achieve it,” head coach Bob Lake said. “Once again, today we brought a real high energy and were able to maintain it throughout the entire match.”

The Mountaineers (9-4) continue to have the hot rackets during this road trip, handing the Hatters (4-7) their third-straight loss while extending several of their own individual student-athlete’s streaks as well.

In doubles, No. 3 duo Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agricultural (Madison County)) and Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C.) started the day off nicely by working quickly through their opponent and winning 6-2. Next to finish was Scott Webster (Swanbourne, Australia/Scotch College) and Jan-Willem Kleynhans (Stellenbosch, South Africa/Paul Roos Gymnasium) at the No. 1. They improved to 9-1 together in doubles matches, winning 6-4 and securing the doubles point for Appalachian.

Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton) and Oliver Casey (Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist) played out the final doubles match, downing Loic Blanco/Coilin MacNamara 5-4 at the No. 2 spot.

In singles play, where the Mountaineers continue to be superb, Zach Bost (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) won his third singles match in a row and improved to 8-1 over his last nine matches. After winning a hard-fought 7-5 first set at the No. 5, Bost regained his stride and won set two handily, 6-1.

Kleynhans was next to finish as he advanced past Graham Ball at the No. 4 spot, 6-4, 6-3, before Casey picked up the No. 2 position and clinched the match for Appalachian. Casey won his eighth singles match in a row by defeating Pierre Fossier 6-3, 6-2, giving him the longest streak of the year for the team.

Despite the clinch, the rest of the singles were played out.

At the No. 6 spot, Morris defeated Gonzalo Arroyo, 6-4, 4-2, before Webster won at the No. 1 position in a tough come-from-behind victory. Webster fell 2-6 in the first set before striking back in set two, flipping the score and winning that one 6-2. Riding the momentum, Webster finished the tie-breaking third set by a recorded score of 2-1, improving to 9-2 on the year in singles.

The only loss of the game came at the No. 3 position as Maddocks fell to Laurynas Antropikas 6-4, 2-6, 4-1 in his first singles loss in six matches.

The Mountaineers will stay in the Daytona Beach area on Wednesday as they look to keep the streak going against Illinois State. First serve is set for 9 a.m.

Appalachian State University men’s golf finished its first tournament of the season at Surf Golf & Beach Club on Tuesday. The Mountaineers placed seventh after posting a final round 296 for a total of 871.

James Madison claimed the 2016 Bash of the Beach title and had the first and second place finisher. Fellow Sun Belt school Arkansas State was the runner-up. Gardner Webb’s Aaron Thomas aced the 13th hole in the final round.

Coming into the round with the lead, Patrick Moriarty (Rockville, Md./Rockville) shot a 76 and fell into a tie for ninth place. Alex Burris (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) carded the low round of the day for the Mountaineers with a 71. Burris climbed into a tie for 43rd place.

Jake Smith (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) matched Moriarty’s 76 and tied for 49th with a tournament total of 222. Chance Watson (Newland, N.C./Avery County) recorded a 79 in the final round of the tournament and finished tied for 53rd place. Caleb Keck (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham County) shot his lowest round of the tournament on day two with a 73. Keck finished tied for 56th place.

After two rounds of play, the Mountaineers are in a tie for third place after shooting 292 in round one and 283 in round two for a total of 575.

App State was tied with Western Kentucky and Gardner-Webb. James Madison led the tournament with a team score of 563 and Arkansas State was in second with 566.

Moriarty shot the low round of day one and sat in first place with his career-low 65 in round two. Moriarty carded a 71 in round one for a total of 136 and had a one shot lead over Andrew Huseman of Arkansas State. The 65 tied a school record for lowest 18-hole score.

Watson shot two-over 73 followed by an even-par 71 on day one of tournament. Watson was in a tie for 20th place. Two strokes behind Watson was Smith. Smith carded rounds of 75 and 71 and was tied for 32nd place.

Freshman Burris posted an opening round 73 followed by a second round 77 for a 150 day one total. Burris was currently tied for 52nd place. Right behind Burris, Keck shot a 151 with rounds of 75 and 76. Keck was tied for 62nd place.

Competing as an individual, Kyle Austin (Mebane, N.C./Eastern Alamance) shot 230 over three rounds with a low round of 74 in round one. Austin finished tied for 82nd place.

The Mountaineers will be back in action on Sunday in Wilmington, N.C. at Cape Fear National. App State placed 2nd at Cape Fear National last season.

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 22:51

Frank Eaves Named to All-Sun Belt Second Team

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Appalachian State University men’s basketball’s Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) was named to the Sun Belt Conference second-team for his performance on the court this season, announced by the league office on Tuesday.

The senior guard led Appalachian State in scoring this season (18.7 ppg) and ranked third in the league in scoring this season after leading the conference for the majority of the year. For his career, Eaves finished with 59 double-figure scoring games including 28 this season. On 13 occasions, Eaves scored 20+ points and finished with 23 such games in his career.

He finishes the season in the top-100 in the NCAA rankings in of points per game (59th), three-point field goals per game (64th - 2.7), three-point percentage (73rd - 38.4), total points (49th - 579), three-point attempts (53rd - 216), total threes made (51st - 83), total field goal attempts (39th - 446), free throws made (44th - 156) and free throw attempts (65th - 191).

This season, Eaves netted 30+ points on five different occasions, including a career-high 38-point performance at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 6 in an 86-80 loss to Hofstra - tied for 12th on Appalachian’s single-game scoring list. Eaves’ point total is tied for second-most this season at MSG both collegiately and professionally. His 38 points is tied with the New York Knicks’ Aaron Afflalo and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant holds the top spot with 44 points scored at The Garden.

Eaves nearly topped that performance later in the season with 37 points in a heartbreaking 101-100 loss to Georgia Southern on Jan. 25. The 37 points from the senior tied a Holmes Center record for points scored by an Appalachian student-athlete and he also tied the Holmes Center record for threes made in a game (9).

On Jan. 23 against Georgia State, Eaves became just the 31st player in Appalachian State men’s basketball program history to eclipse 1,000 career points. Eaves finished his career with 1,211 points - good for 23rd all-time. He also finished the 2015-16 season with 579 points, which makes him just the 20th player to eclipse 500 points in a season and his total ranks him seventh in the program record book.

Non-conference:
East Burke: 7
Patton: 4

Non-conference:
Alexander Central: 9
McDowell: 0

Freedom: 11
West Caldwell: 0

St. Stephens: 5
South Iredell: 1

Non-conference:
Asheville: 5
Freedom: 0

Fred T. Foard: 4
Newton-Conover: 0

Hickory: 1
South Point: 0

Highland Tech: 2
Bunker Hill: 0

South Iredell: 4
St. Stephens: 0

West Caldwell: 4
Alexander Central: 0

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Ines Flueck has been named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Defensive Player Of The Week, league officials announced today.

Flueck wins the league defensive honor for the second consecutive week.

Flueck, a sophomore goalkeeper from Coppell, Texas, tallied 40 saves with a .645 save percentage and a 7.33 goals-against average in leading the Bears to a pair of victories over Shippensburg (12-4) and Coker (15-2) at home on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Flueck tallied 17 saves against the Raiders before limiting the Cobras to just two goals to go along with 12 stops in the league opener.

Flueck, a preseason second-team all-league honoree, currently leads the conference in save percentage (59.0) and saves (82) in addition to an 8.71 goals-against average.

Brevard's Caitlyn Nemeth was named the Astroturf South Atlantic Conference Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week

Lenoir-Rhyne (4-3, 1-0) remains at home on Saturday at Noon against Wingate in a South Atlantic Conference game at Moretz Stadium beginning at Noon. The Bears have won four of their last five games.