Sports (1017)

Monday, 20 November 2017 08:59

App State Women's Basketball Nipped by Davidson

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Freshman Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) scored a personal-high 20 points, and redshirt-sophomore Kaila Craven (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern Randolph) poured in a season-best 15 points off the bench, but it wasn't enough as App State women's basketball (0-4) suffered a heartbreaking 59-57 defeat to Davidson (2-2) on Sunday afternoon inside the Holmes Center.

Trailing 57-51 with 1:41 left in the game, Gosnell hit two of her team-high four 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions highlighted by her game-tying trifecta with 16 seconds left to bring the score to a 57-57 tie. On the ensuing possession, Davidson's Justine Lyon gave the visitors the lead with 6.7 seconds left in the game. Appalachian would have the length of the court to get a shot off but failed to do so.

Gosnell made her first-career start and didn't disappoint as she also grabbed a career-best nine boards and more than doubled her scoring output in one game compared to the first three contests of the season. The Demorest, Ga., native stepped up in the second half scoring 14 of her 20 points in the stanza and hitting three of her 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Craven had her best game of the young campaign, shooting an efficient 4-of-8 from the field and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. The duo combined for 35 of the Mountaineers' 57 points and all five of the Apps' trifectas. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) posted a new career-high of 16 rebounds along with eight points, four assists, two steals and two blocks.

Turnovers doomed the Mountaineers once again as the Wildcats forced 25 turnovers into 24 points, which was 40 percent of their point total, and only committed 13 themselves. Appalachian also missed opportunities at the free throw line going 14-for-22 from the charity stripe.

Davidson jumped out to an 18-8 first quarter lead thanks in large part to nine Black and Gold miscues and holding App to 25 percent shooting in the opening period. However, Appalachian sliced the deficit in the second frame to single digits going into halftime, 28-21, after a 5-2 spurt thanks to buckets from Plummer and Gosnell over the final 1:47 to give App some momentum going into the half.

The Apps came out hitting their first three shots of the second half to dwindle the Davidson lead to just four, 31-27. Just when it looked like Appalachian was ready to take over, Davidson forced five turnovers that contributed to an 11-2 run to push the lead to as much as 13, 42-29. But slowly, the Mountaineers didn't give up as they trimmed the deficit to five points by the end of the third quarter, 46-41. Eight of the 12 points during the 12-4 surge over the last 5:34 were scored at the free throw line along with back-to-back layups by Craven and Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C/Atkins).

Gosnell's 3-pointer in the early goings of the fourth quarter brought App to within one possession of Davidson 46-44, but three straight trips at the line gave the Wildcats a 51-44 advantage. Davidson kept the Black and Gold at bay until the thrilling finish in the final 1:41 of the contest. App State outscored Davidson in the last three periods of the game after trailing by 10 points in the opening frame.

Gosnell's 20 points is the most for a freshman since Maryah Sydnor scored 30 points against Chattanooga on March 4, 2012, during the 2011-12 campaign

Gosnell is the second freshman this season to score in double figures in their first-career start (Tierra Wilson vs. Georgia Tech; 11/10/17; 15 points)

Plummer has reached double-digit rebounds in all four games this season, as she's averaging 13.5 rebounds per game. Her 16 boards are the first time a Mountaineer has amassed 15-plus off the glass since KeKe Cooper corralled 16
in a road win at Troy on Jan. 28, 2016.

Plummer's performance on the glass is the most a player in the Sun Belt has recorded in a game this season.

Craven's 15 points are the most she's scored since returning from her ACL injury, while it's also the most she has scored at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers will have a quick turnaround as they look to right the ship against North Carolina A&T on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Greensboro.

Monday, 20 November 2017 08:57

App State Men's Basketball Downs UTEP

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Sophomore O'Showen Williams (Macon, Ga./Stratford Academy) scored a career-high 19 points off the bench to lead Appalachian State past UTEP 76-72 at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach on Sunday.

Williams finished 6-of-8 (75.0 percent) from the field and went 4-of-5 (80.0 percent) on 3-pointers. He also grabbed a career-best seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

Senior Craig Hinton (Winston-Salem, N.C./East Forsyth) added 11 points on 3-of-5 (60.0 percent) shooting in a reserve role.

Junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) battled early foul trouble but finished with 12 points. He is now just 10 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Freshman Justin Forrest (Macon, Ga./Greenforst McCalep Christian Academy) grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with seven points off the bench.

The Mountaineers (3-2) used an early 11-0 run, keyed by seven points from Williams to open an early 16-5 lead.

Al late 6-0 spurt, with 3-pointers coming from junior Bennett Holley (Roanoke, Va./North Cross) allowed the Black and Gold to take a 42-28 lead into the break.

UTEP (1-3) opened the second half by scoring the first 16 points to jump in front 44-42 with 14:37 remaining in the contest.

The Miners would continue to expand their lead and built a 62-55 advantage, before App State responded with seven straight points to knot the score at 62-62 with 5:40 to go.

A 3-pointer by Williams gave the Black and Gold a brief 68-67 lead, but UTEP's Keith Frazier answered with a jumper to put the Miners right back in front with 3:59 to go.

But the Mountaineer defense locked in and held the Miners scoreless for a 3:43 stretch and got a trey from junior Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson), a layup from senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) and a free throw from Forrest to take a 73-68 lead with 39 seconds left.

After a trio of free throws by UTEP, Shabazz missed a pair of free throws. The Miners grabbed the rebound and Frazier drew a foul. He made the first attempt but missed the second, with Williams securing the rebound and getting fouled.

Clinging to a 73-72 lead, Williams nailed both free throws to make the score 75-72 in favor of the Mountaineers with 5.9 seconds left.

Appalachian fouled on the ensuing inbound and the Miners missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw. Kinney grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled. He split a pair of free throws to put the game away.

The Mountaineers held a 43-29 edge in rebounding, including a 12-5 edge on the offensive glass.

App State will be back at it on Wednesday, taking on James Madison in a road contest that will begin at 4 p.m.

The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team dropped a 78-75 defeat at the hands of Moravian Prep during the first day of the Chick-Fil-A Caldwell Classic at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute on Friday night.

Myles Williams paced the Red Hawks (2-3) with a team-high 17 points, and teammates Steve Ruszala and Tyrell Oglesby also reached double digits in scoring with 13 and 10 points each, respectively.

Hunter Meyer paced the Lions with 18 points and Bryce Foggins chipped in 10 points.

Moravian Prep led 35-32 at halftime, scoring 15 of its first half points on 3-pointers.

The Red Hawks tried to power their way back in the game in the second half, scoring 26 of its 43 points in the half inside the perimeter.

However, the Lions were able to hold on for the close three-point victory.

Behind 19 points from Nikkyana McCaskill and 18 points from Shaniya Lester, the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team defeated Brunswick Community College 69-50 on Friday night in the Red Hawks conference opener at the Tarlton Complex.

CVCC (2-1, 1-0) trailed 17-16 after one quarter of play, but quickly erased that one-point deficit behind six points in the second quarter from Lester. The Red Hawks led 38-29 at halftime.

In the second half, Catawba Valley extended its led paced by eight points apiece from Lester and McCaskill, who finished the game making 3-of-5 field goals from 3-point range.

Danielle Brisson paced Brunswick (1-2, 0-1) with 11 points, and teammate L Basnight added 10 points.

Hibriten: 35
Patton: 0
Patton's season ends at 9-4.
Hibriten advances to the third round hosting Franklin

Mount Pleasant: 28
Fred T. Foard: 14
Tigers season ends at 9-4.

Hickory Rodge: 55
South Caldwell: 28
Spartans season ends at 1-11.

Four players reached double figures, but Western Michigan used a 15-0 run to begin the second half en route to a 86-67 victory over Appalachian State on the second day of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach.

With the score deadlocked at 40-40 at halftime, the Broncos (2-2) scored the first 15 points of the second half to build a 55-40 lead. A trey from freshman Justin Forrest (Macon, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) put an end to the run, where the Mountaineers went scoreless for a 7:41 stretch.

Appalachian State (2-2) would battle back and pull to within seven points at 66-59 with 6:46 remaining, but WMU used a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach.

Junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) paced the Mountaineers with 25 points, four assists and a steal. Shabazz has now scored 978 points in his career and is just 22 points shy of becoming the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.

Sophomore Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) added 10 points and five boards.

Forrest chipped in with 13 points off the bench.

App State trailed by as much as seven points in the early portion of the first half, before a 9-2 run, with five points coming from Isaac Johnson, gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game at 27-26 with 4:50 left in the opening frame.

After the Broncos tied the score at 27-27, Forrest drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Black and Gold a 33-27 edge with 3:23 left in the first half.

But WMU used a late 11-2 run and the teams headed into the break tied at 40-40.

The Mountaineers held a 42-38 advantage in rebounding, including a 14-9 edge on the glass.

App State will close out play at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach on Sunday with a 11:30 a.m. contest against UTEP. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Appalachian State trimmed an 18-point second half deficit to as little as six points, but the Mountaineers came up on the short end of a 104-98 contest to Iowa State on Thursday evening in the first game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach.

Iowa State (1-2) turned a four-point halftime lead into an 18-point edge at 79-61 with 8:25 to go, before the Mountaineers (2-1) used a 16-6 run to pull within eight points at 85-77 with 3:12 to play.

Iowa State would push their lead back to 10 points, before a pair of free throws from junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) brought App State back to within eight points at 87-79.

The Black and Gold continued to battle and got to within six points in the final seconds, but could get no closer.

Freshman Justin Forrest (Decatur, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) scored a career-high 32 points off the bench. Forrest scored 26 points in the second half, which is a new Puerto Rico Tip-Off record for points in a half, on 6-of-10 shooting (60.0 percent) from the field, 3-of-6 (50.0 percent) from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 (90.0 percent) shooting from the free throw line.

Shabazz finished with a season-high 32 points, to go along with three rebounds. He scored 21 points in the first half, which was just three points shy of tying his career-high of 24 points in a half, set last season against Georgia Southern. Shabazz has now scored 24 or more points in all three of Appalachian State's contests this season.

Sophomore Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) had a nice all-around game with eight points, six rebounds and five assists.

Both teams came out of the gate strong and a 3-pointer by Forrest gave the Apps their first lead at 19-18 midway through the first half.

The lead would change hands seven more time in the first half, before a late 6-1 spurt by Iowa State allowed them to open a 47-40 edge. Shabazz would drain a late 3-pointer in the closing second of the opening stanza to trim the Cyclone lead to 47-43 at the intermission.

The second half started out tight, with App State tying the score at 49-49 early on. The Cyclones would then slowly pull away, ultimately building their 18-point lead.

Appalachian finished the contest with 20 assists and also saw their bench hold a 53-23 scoring advantage.

App State will take Western Michigan on Friday. Tip is set for 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Women’s Tennis Coach Tom Rees announced the signing of two student-athletes – Alexandra Garofoli and Spencer Cochran – for the 2018-19 campaign.

Garofoli, a native of Springboro, Ohio, is ranked No. 12 in the state of Ohio for U18. Garofoli’s accolades include two greater Western Ohio Conference Singles Championships and one Greater Western Ohio Doubles Title.

In addition, Garofoli is a two-time district qualifier and a sectional winner with a 2017 overall record of 26-3 in combined singles and doubles play.

“Ally (Garofoli) is ready to shine as a Lenoir-Rhyne Bear,” said Rees. “She has done it all in high school tennis and has the ability to excel at the collegiate level. It has been a pleasure recruiting her and she already feels like part of the Lenoir-Rhyne family.”

Cochran, from Charlotte, N.C., is the first player from Mallard Creek High School to qualify for the 4A State Championship. Cochran is also the 29th-ranked player in North Carolina for U18.

Cochran was the 2014 MECKA Conference Doubles Champion, a 2015 MECKA First-Team All-Conference honoree and the 2016 MECKA Conference Player of the Year.

“Spencer’s (Cochran) passion and drive to excel on and off the court makes her a perfect fit for Lenoir-Rhyne,” said Rees. “She has a heart for service and always put the team first. Spencer is super talented and I am looking forward to helping her develop her game at the college level.”

Lenoir-Rhyne is already 2-0 on the young season after a pair of fall victories and will open the new year against UNC Asheville in an exhibition. The match is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, in Asheville, N.C.

Friday, 17 November 2017 10:48

Appalachian State's Webster Enters ITA Rankings

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App State men's tennis senior Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) checked in at No. 61 in the first edition of the 2017-18 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, as announced by the office.

It's the first time in his career that Webster is in the top 125, while the Australian is the lone student-athlete to represent the Sun Belt in the rankings. The senior is recognized for his stellar play in the fall season as he captured the ITA Oracle Master's Tournament consolation title in Malibu followed by a Sweet 16 appearance in the ITA Regionals in Cary, N.C. Webster is ranked ahead of student-athletes from schools such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Miami, Oklahoma State and Utah.

Webster defeated some top talent including then-No. 33 Eduardo Mena from East Tennessee Tech at the master's and regional opponents in Coastal Carolina, UNCW and East Carolina. Webster has a career mark of 45-12 in singles action and 37-19 in doubles play following a junior campaign where he went 14-4 in singles and 12-7 in doubles. His efforts led to a First-Team All-Sun Belt selection in both singles and doubles play. His 9-3 mark in singles competition during the fall was highlighted by a seven-match win streak, while he posted a 5-1 mark in doubles.

"It's nice to be ranked after a lot of hard work on the court and in the gym," Webster said. "We had a pretty good fall which allowed me to be in this position. I'm looking to carry this confidence into the spring, which is what matters to us on the team."

Webster helped Appalachian finish with 12 wins for back-to-back winning campaigns. The Mountaineers will begin the season on Jan. 20 at UNC Wilmington.

While it’s early in her sophomore basketball season at Catawba Valley Community College, Shaniya Lester has already cemented her future.

The 5-foot-6 Red Hawks guard signed on Wednesday to further her athletic career at UNC Pembroke after she graduates from CVCC this spring.

“I feel like I made a great decision to further my college career at UNC Pembroke,” Lester said. “I chose UNCP based on family, atmosphere, education and athletics because it is like CVCC. I’m going higher from here. I still have unfinished business here at Catawba Valley Community College. My education, team and coach are important to me so I want to finish strong.”

During her freshman season at CVCC, Lester — a former North Mecklenburg High School standout and Charlotte, N.C. native — played in 29 games (19 in conference) and started in 25 of those contests.

She averaged 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as a freshman for the Red Hawks, leading them to a 21-8 overall record and 14-6 mark in conference games.

In two games so far this season, Lester is leading CVCC in three offensive categories — points per game (21.0), 3-point field goal percentage (40.0) and steals per game (5.0).

“Shaniya Lester has worked hard academically and athletically for the past year and a half, and it has paid off,” said CVCC head women’s basketball coach Tisha England. “When she chose CVCC over Louisburg, she liked the honesty and connection we had as player to coach. I never promise my players anything, but they will run and be a better student-athlete. She trusted me, and the process and the results have been good. It has been a pleasure coaching Shaniya along with helping her with life skills and life lesson. I am confident that she will impact UNC Pembroke in a positive way in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. Much success to her as she continues this journey and move forward to a new journey.”

Lester is the 13th Red Hawk women’s basketball player to sign with a four-year school under England, joining Aliyah Woods (Greensboro College), Jala Daniels (Montreal College), Ieshia Love (UNC Pembroke), Ty’Ais Cooper (Elizabeth City State), Keyona Hicks (Greensboro College), Takeyra Thomas (Elizabeth City State), Shakira Allen (Mars Hill), T’Shea Glenn (Warren Wilson), Allie Church (Warren Wilson), Maggie Stewart (Queens), Anika Jones (Johnson C. Smith) and Kadesha Gibbs (Georga College & State University).

“I want to thank coach England for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to be a better student-athlete and person,” Lester said. “I want to thank my teammates for the long-lasting memories and friendship and thank all of my family for their love and support. I look forward to making my family and CVCC family proud.”

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