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Monday, 02 December 2019 21:07

App's Jolly Named PFF All-American

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Based on performances over the course of a complete regular season, Pro Football Focus (PFF) College has named App State sophomore cornerback Shaun Jolly a second-team All-American.

A first-year starter from Stone Mountain, Ga., Jolly is tied for No. 6 nationally and No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference with five interceptions this season. By scoring touchdowns on a 24-yard interception return against Coastal Carolina and a 30-yard interception return against Georgia State, he is tied for No. 1 at the FBS level with two pick-6s this year.

In addition to the interceptions, Jolly has seven pass breakups, 35 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one blocked punt in 2019.

He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors with his two interceptions and three PBUs in the win at Georgia State, and his blocked punt late in the first half against Charlotte was returned 16 yards for a touchdown. Jolly also performed well at North Carolina, matching his career high of six tackles in a 34-31 win, and he had an important tackle for a 4-yard loss in the 20-15 win at South Carolina.

The PFF College site, which does play-by-play grades of every play in every FBS game, named LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. and Louisiana Tech's Amik Robertson the first-team All-Americans at cornerback.

Thanks to a 49-21 win over Carson-Newman, the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team has advanced to the NCAA National Quarterfinal and will host West Florida on Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Moretz Stadium.

The Bears are 13-0 for the first time in program history and also own the longest current home winning streak in all of Division II at 15 games. That streak also broke the program record which had stood since 1961.

Lenoir-Rhyne owns an 8-4 record in the NCAA Playoffs and advanced to the NCAA National Championship game in 2013 where they fell to Northwest Missouri St. This will be the first all-time meeting between LR and UWF.

The winner of the matchup will advance to the Final Four with location and time TBD.

The link to purchase tickets online is here and live:

Tickets will be on sale Monday through Friday in the lobby of Shuford Gymnasium or by phone at 828-328-7116 from 9 am - 5 pm each day. Tickets can also be bought at the gate on the day of the game.

Bears Club season ticket holders will have the first right to buy their same reserved seats until Tuesday at 5 pm by e-mail, phone, or in person. At that time, these seats will be released to the public. Reserved seating will not be available to the public online or in person until this time.

STUDENTS/YOUTH/SENIORS (college students with an ID/high school age or younger/seniors 65&up): $4

LR Athletics will provide one free ticket for each LR Student with their ID. LR Student tickets may be picked up at the game but they can also be picked up in the Shuford Gym lobby throughout the week in advance (preferred). Guests of LR students must pay listed price.

The President's Office will provide one free ticket for each faculty/staff member with their ID. LR Faculty/Staff tickets may be picked up at the game but they can also be picked up in the Shuford Gym lobby throughout the week in advance (preferred). Guests of LR Faculty/Staff must pay listed price.

Parking is not affected by this being a playoff game. Bears Club parking passes are still accepted for the practice field with weather permitting and the Bears Club Hospitality Pavilion will be open to Bears Club members depending on their level of giving.

Monday, 02 December 2019 20:43

CVCC Women's Basketball Continues Winning Ways

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For the second-straight season, the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball program is perfect through its first five games.

Behind dominant performances from its sophomores, the Red Hawks (5-0) handed the Mount Olive JV team a 97-52 defeat on Sunday afternoon at the Tarlton Complex.

CVCC forward Aaliyah Chaplin added to her career-high performance from Tuesday by recording her third-straight double double this season. The sophomore from Chapel Hill, N.C. scored 27 points on 13-of-22 shooting and also recorded 11 rebounds and four blocks in the contest.

Red Hawks sophomore guard Aniya Taylor tallied her second 20-point performance in three games in Sunday’s contest. Taylor, who is also from Chapel Hill, scored 23 points and added eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Former Newton-Conover High School product Ivy Eller also tied her career high at CVCC with 21 points, including making 9-of-12 shots from the free throw line, and a fourth Catawba Valley sophomore — Tazah Hardin — nearly recorded a quadruple double with 10 points, nine rebounds, nine steals and seven assists.

The Red Hawks led 23-16 at halftime, but grew their lead over the Trojans to 54-29 by the halftime break. Taylor led the first-half charge with a team-high 17 points.

Catawba Valley was at its most dominant during the fourth quarter, outscoring Mount Olive 20-9 during the final stanza, and led by Chaplin’s 17 second-half points, the Red Hawks outscored the Trojans 44-29 in the third and fourth quarters to go on to the 46-point win.

The CVCC women’s basketball team will try to make it six wins in a row to start the season on Wednesday when the Red Hawks open conference play at home against Lenoir Community College (1-6, 1-5). Tip off is set for 5 p.m. Admission is free.

App State quarterback Zac Thomas was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, and he was also one of eight quarterbacks named a "Star of the Week" by the Manning Award.

A junior from Trussville, Ala., Thomas set career highs for passing yards (326) and completions (28 in 34 attempts) while contributing to five touchdowns, including four through the air, in a 48-13 win at Troy.

Thomas served as a game captain in his home state and helped App State build a 41-13 lead early in the third quarter by going a perfect 10-for-10 on third-down conversions to that point in the game, which enabled the Mountaineers (11-1, 7-1) to earn the right to host this weekend's Sun Belt Conference Football Championship Game.

Thomas had touchdown passes of 44, 8, 6 and 25 yards. He also rushed for a 5-yard touchdown as App State improved to 21-3 with Thomas as its starting quarterback.

It was the second weekly Sun Belt award this season for Thomas, who was also honored after he led the Mountaineers to a road win against Louisiana.

Three straight wins left App State needing just one more to defeat 18th-ranked North Carolina on the road Sunday, but the Tar Heels won the final match and claimed a 19-13 victory against the Mountaineers in Carmichael Arena.

Opening its dual meet schedule with five first-time starters, App State trailed 15-13 entering the final match at 141 pounds. Jonathan Millner's 17-5 major decision at 149 pounds to open the dual accounted for the only bonus point in the first nine matches, and the Mountaineers cut into a 15-4 deficit thanks to consecutive three-point decisions from Cary Miller (4-0 win in the heavyweight division), true freshman Sean Carter (9-3 win at 125 pounds) and Codi Russell (9-7 decision at 133 pounds).

Wrestling with high energy and aggressiveness, Russell overcame an early 4-1 deficit and recorded a tiebreaking takedown with 11 seconds left against Jaime Hernandez. That set the stage for a big finale at 141 pounds, and Zach Sherman won a major decision against Bradley Irwin as the Tar Heels improved to 3-1.

App State came up just short in several matches, as Paul Carson went to a Sudden Victory overtime against Brandon Whitman at 197 pounds and Matt Zovistoski dropped a 3-2 decision against A.C. Headlee in a 157-pound matchup of wrestlers with top 25 rankings and NCAA Championship experience.

Clay Lautt pulled out an 8-6 decision against Thomas Flitz at 174 pounds, and Joey Mazzara posted a tiebreaking takedown in the final minute of his 3-2 decision against true freshman Julian Gorring at 184 pounds. Redshirt freshman Will Formato dropped a 6-2 decision against UNC's Kennedy Monday, who is ranked in the top 20 at 165 pounds.

Millner improved to 13-1 this season with his high-scoring win against Michael Goldfeder, and Miller improved to 12-1 with his shutout of Andrew Gunning, who has been ranked this season. Miller rode out Gunning in the second period to gain a big advantage in riding time, got an escape early in the third period for a 1-0 lead and delivered a late takedown.

The 2019-20 wrestling season is presented by Hungry Howies. App State returns to action on Friday, Dec. 13, with its home opener against NC State.

No. 18 North Carolina 19, App State 13
149: Jonathan Millner (APP) def. Michael Goldfeder (UNC), 17-5 maj. dec.
157: A.C. Headlee (UNC) def. #13 Matt Zovistoski (APP), 3-2 dec.
165: #19 Kennedy Monday (UNC) def. Will Formato (APP), 6-2 dec.
174: Clay Lautt (UNC) def. Thomas Flitz (APP), 8-5 dec.
184: Joey Mazzara (UNC) def. Julian Gorring, 3-2 dec.
197: Brandon Whitman (UNC) def. Paul Carson (APP), 7-1 dec. (SV-1)
285: #17 Cary Miller (APP) def. Andrew Gunning (UNC), 4-0 dec.
125: Sean Carter (APP) def. Joey Melendez (UNC), 9-3 dec.
133: Codi Russell (APP) def. Jaime Hernandez (UNC), 9-7 dec.
141: Zach Sherman (UNC) def. Bradley Irwin (APP), 14-4 maj. dec.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team dropped a tough 82-68 decision to 12th ranked Queens at the Levine Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Bears buried a season-high 17 3-pointers but shot just 34.8 percent from the field in the game. Darius Simmons came off the bench to score 20 points and went 6-for-8 from long range. Simmons went 4-for-5 from the three-point line against the Royals at the Levine Center a season ago.

R.J. Gunn and Tyson McClain added 10 points and Nas Tyson chipped in nine.

The Bears didn't go to the free throw line at all in the first half and attempted just six free throws all night.

Queens led the entire contest and had four players score in double figures. Daniel Carr and Jermaine Patterson each had 17 points and Gavin Rains had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Queens shot 50.8 percent from the field on the game and 53.3 percent in the second half. The Royals also converted 41.4 percent from long range.

Lenoir-Rhyne upset the Royals last season in the Levine Center on January 30 and knocked the Royals out of the SAC Tournament. In each of those wins, LR topped Queens by double digits.

Just a handful of games into the season, the SAC boasts only three teams with undefeated records in league play. Lincoln Memorial (3-0), Queens (2-0) and Mars Hill (2-0) have not lost in conference play.

Queens entered the week ranked No. 2 in the D2SIDA Regional Rankings. Lenoir-Rhyne entered the week tied for eighth.

The Bears are 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will continue a five-game road swing when they travel to Anderson on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.

Monday, 02 December 2019 08:45

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Romps Over Carson-Newman

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team advanced to the Super Region 2 Final for the second straight season with a 49-21 thumping of Carson-Newman on Saturday afternoon. The Bears started hot, scoring the first 28 points of the game and finished strong by scoring 21 straight to close it out. The Bears move to 8-1 all-time in home NCAA Playoff games and broke the program record for longest home winning streak at 15. The previous record of 14 stood since 1961.

The Bears forced a three-and-out on Carson-Newman's opening possession. On the ensuing punt, Preston Joseph broke through to record one of his two blocked punts on the game which Tre Luttrell scooped and returned 10 yards to put the Bears on top. For LR, it was the second straight week with a punt block returned for a touchdown with Luttrell finding the end zone both times.

The Luttrell score was one of four first quarter touchdowns for LR. Drake Starks caught a pair of touchdowns from Grayson Willingham and Ameen Stevens closed out the quarter with a 30-yard touchdown run.

Carson-Newman was resilient, storming back with an opportunistic second quarter. Taking advantage of two LR turnovers, the Eagles scored three times to cut the LR lead to 28-21. Derrick Evans ran in a 1-yarder and Braxton Westfield hauled in a pair of touchdown passes. Westfield was unstoppable, finishing with 10 catches for 139 and two touchdowns and had a pair of touchdowns called back due to penalty.

It was all Bears the rest of the way with Stevens recording three second half touchdowns. The sophomore RB finished with 128 yards for a second straight playoff game and added two catches for seven yards. The four TDs in a game are a career high for the Savannah, Ga. native who has 17 touchdowns on the year and 28 in 26 career games.

The defense held Carson-Newman to 117 yards rushing and just 2.4 yards per carry. The Eagles did account for 200 yards passing and outgained LR 317-291. However, CN turned the ball over twice on downs and lost four fumbles to go with having two punts blocked and allowing six sacks. On top of that, the visitors were flagged for 15 penalties accounting for 144 yards with two players being ejected.

Freshman WR Deondre Lester finished with a career-high 38 yards receiving on three catches. QB Grayson Willingham went 11-for-17 for 104 yards with a pair of TD strikes and one interception.

Jaquan Artis registered eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble to continue a standout senior season. On the year, the DE from Kinston, N.C. and SAC Defensive Palyer of the Year has 23 TFL and 14.5 sacks.

Quentin Hayes added 1.5 sacks to go with a forced fumble and Sherrod Williams tallied seven tackles and a tackle for loss.

The 13 wins matches the program record for most wins in a season.

This was the most points scored by the Bears in an NCAA Playoff game. The previous high was 43 against Florida Tech in 2018.

Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 25-2 over the past two seasons under head coach Drew Cronic. In that stretch, LR is outscoring opponents 1124-526.

Lenoir-Rhyne is now 8-4 all-time in the NCAA Playoffs. All five of the Bears NCAA appearances have come since 2012.

This is the third Regional Final appearance in team history. The Bears earned the right to host the Regional Final for the second time ever thanks to a last-second upset of top-seeded Valdosta St. by West Florida.

The Bears have won eight of the last nine matchups against Carson-Newman and are 2-1 against the Eagles in the NCAA Playoffs.

In the first meeting, LR jumped out to a 16-0 lead over Carson-Newman and outscored the Eagles 44-0 in the first quarter of their two matchups this season.

The win assures LR two straight seasons without a loss to a conference foe. The Bears own a 17-0 mark against league rivals since the start of 2018.

Lenoir-Rhyne is the last remaining two-seed to advance. Kutztown lost to Notre Dame (Ohio), 20-17.

LR, 13-0 on the season will take on West Florida for the first time in program history. A spot in the Final Four will be on the line as the two meet on Saturday inside Moretz Stadium.

Queens used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to erase the Lenoir-Rhyne women's basketball team's seven point lead to come away with a 72-57 win over the Bears on Saturday afternoon.

The Bears took a 31-26 lead in the halftime with eight different Bears scoring in the first half. After the Bears scored the first basket in the third quarter, Queens went on a 10-0 run to take a 36-33 lead with 6:43 left in the third period.

Queens held SAC Player of the Week Madeline Hardy to eight points. Hardy missed all six of her shots from the floor but did go 8-9 from the free throw line. Hardy has eclipsed the 400 point mark in just 37 games. Hardy has now scored 407 career points.

Kiara Moore was the only Bear in double figures. Moore scored a career-high 11 points and added five rebounds.

Queens's Kristina Eanes scored 24 points on 12-14 shooting and added five steals for the Royals. Eanes five steals were part of the 19 turnovers the Royals forced while only turning over the ball 6 times.

Thanks to a 19-6 turnover advantage the Royals also had a 20-6 advantage in fast break points.

The Bears shot a season low 29.3% from the floor (17-58)

This is Queens first win over the Bears since January 21, 2015. LR still lead the all-time series 19-10 including winning 11 out of the last 13 games.

20 of the Bears 57 points came from the free-throw line. Bears shot an impressive 20-22 from the charity line.

LR is 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. They will play an afternoon game Tuesday December 3 at Wingate. Game will start at 11:30 AM.

A second-half surge by Appalachian State women's basketball led to a 77-68 win over Mercer on Friday evening in the Holmes Center 

App State picks up its first win of the season to improve to 1-5, while Mercer drops to 1-6 on the season. 

Four players scored in double figures with Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) pouring in an efficient 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe, also a personal high. The junior has scored at least 20 points in the last three games, averaging 22.3 points on 53.7 percent shooting. 

The duo of Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) and Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) posted 14 points each, combining for 28. Gosnell and Lainey scored 22 of their points in the second half. The Apps outscored Mercer, 44-34, in the third and fourth quarters, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) rounded out the leading scorers with a season-high 10 points on top of a game-best 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. 

App State showcased a balanced offense, assisting on 13 of 25 field goals, including Polacek's season-high five helpers. Nine of the 10 players who got in the game scored. 

The damage on offense came from the charity stripe and inside the arc, as App converted a season-high 23 free throws while hitting 21 of its 40 shots inside the 3-point line (52.5 percent). 

With the scored tied 46-46 late in the third quarter, App finished the final 3:52 of the period on a 10-4 run to take a 56-50 lead. Stanley's 3-point play with 33 seconds left in the period pushed the lead to six going into the final frame. 

Nora Galve (Catalonia, Spain) had a part in consecutive buckets to begin the fourth, giving App its largest lead at 10, 60-50. Galve found a cutting Gosnell for a layup followed by a nifty drive to the basket for the bucket. 

Appalachian stayed in front of the visitors despite Mercer closing the gap to six, 70-64, with under a minute left. The next five points for the Black and Gold came from the free-throw line. Gosnell's layup sealed the deal for a team that moved to 3-0 against Mercer. 

The Mountaineers will look to keep the momentum going when it begins a string of seven straight games on Wednesday against Wofford at 7 p.m. 

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