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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Football Team (11-1) is ranked eighth in the AFCA NCAA Division II Coaches Final Regular Season Poll for 2014. AFCA is the American Football Coaches Association.

The Bears were ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation and won its fourth consecutive South Atlantic Conference Championship this fall under first-year Head Coach Ian Shields.

Lenoir-Rhyne also put together its fourth perfect regular season in school history in 2014 and were the top seed in the region for the second straight year.

The Bears led the nation in rushing offense (416.3 ypg) once again this year. The average was not only a school single-season record but also an all-time NCAA Division II record, breaking the previous mark set by the College of Emporia (404.8 ypg) in 1954.

Lenoir-Rhyne has led the nation in rushing in three of the last five seasons (2010, 2013 and 2014) and has earned a Top 10 final ranking for the second straight year. The Bears were No. 2 in 2013 after advancing to the NCAA Division II Championship game.

Colorado State-Pueblo (14-1) earned the top spot and received all 31 first-place votes after defeating Minnesota State-Mankato (14-1) by a 13-0 score in the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship game in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, December 20.

2014 American Football Coaches Association
NCAA Division II Coaches Poll – December 22, 2014

1. Colorado State-Pueblo (31) 14-1
2. Minnesota State-Mankato 14-1
3. Minnesota-Duluth 13-1
4. Ohio Dominican 11-2
5. Concord (W.Va.) 13-1
6. West Georgia 12-3
7. Pittsburg State (Kan.) 11-2
8. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 11-1
9. Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 10-1
10. Valdosta State (Ga.) 10-3
11. Ferris State (Mich.) 11-1
12. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 11-2
13. Delta State (Miss.) 9-2
14. Northwest Missouri State 10-2
15. West Chester (Pa.) 11-2
16. North Alabama 9-2
17. Harding (Ark.) 9-2
18. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 11-1
19. Colorado School of Mines 10-2
20. Angelo State (Texas) 9-3
21. Michigan Tech 9-2
22. Virginia State 10-3
23. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 10-1
24. Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 9-2
25. Henderson State (Ark.) 9-2

Dropped Out: None

Others Receiving Votes: Tuskegee (Ala.), 51; Texas A&M-Commerce, 23; Ashland (Ohio), 12; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 10; Shepherd (W.Va.), 8; Humboldt State (Calif.), 5; LIU Post (N.Y.), 5; Indianapolis (Ind.), 2; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 1.

Newton-Conover's Joshua Ramseur caught a seven-yard touchdown pass in Saturday's 78th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. South Carolina defeated North Carolina 21-12. The event was held at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium.

The game showcases the top seniors from North Carolina going up against those from South Carolina.

Ramseur accounted for two receptions for 16 yards and also added a tackle in on defense. Newton-Conover's defensive back Tyrell Fleming was the only other player from the Hickory Metro on the North Carolina squad.

A last-second shot by Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) would not go down and despite leading the vast majority of the game, Appalachian State University men’s basketball came up just short of upsetting Alabama in a 60-59 loss on Sunday night at Coleman Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (3-6) led for almost 30 minutes in the game (29:02), but the Crimson Tide (8-3) overcame a nine-point deficit in the first half to pick up its second-straight win.

Dustin Clarke (Newland, N.C./Avery County [Hartford]) pulled the Apps within one (60-59) on a three-pointer with 1:56 to play and Alabama, with a chance to seal the win, missed three shots in a 39-second span before turning the ball over with 27.7 seconds to play.

With fouls to give, the Crimson Tide allowed the clock to run down to eight seconds and fouled again with 3.5 left on the clock. After both teams called a series of timeouts, Clarke inbounded the ball to Eaves, who was tightly guarded by Riley Norris. Eaves was able to get the shot off, but it bounced high off the backboard and back onto the court as time expired.

Appalachian started off strong, grabbing a seven-point lead (9-2) just four minutes into the first half. After Alabama cut the deficit to two (9-7) just over a minute later, the Mountaineers reeled off a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the ballgame (16-7) with 12:28 remaining in the opening period.

The Crimson Tide cut Appalachian’s lead to one point on three occasions in the final eight minutes, but the Mountaineers never surrendered the lead and took a 29-27 advantage into halftime.

Early on in the second half it appeared as though Appalachian was in firm control as it extended its lead to eight points (45-37) with 13:01 to play in the ballgame, but Bama went on a 9-1 run over the next two minutes to make it 46-45 and eventually took the lead (52-51) on Norris’ layup with 8:09 to play.

Appalachian was able to tie it at 54-54 when Eaves nailed a shot from beyond the arc with 6:09 on the clock, but the Mountaineers were never able to reclaim the lead as they dropped their fourth-straight contest.

Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]) had one of the finest performances of his career with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Clarke and Eaves each poured in 13. Clarke fell just shy of his first career double-double with eight rebounds and Jacob Lawson (Reidsville, N.C./Oak Ridge Military Academy [Purdue]) provided a spark of the bench with six points, four rebounds, two steals and a block. He also silenced the crowd at Coleman Coliseum twice with a pair of thunderous fastbreak dunks.

Michael Kessens paced the Crimson Tide with a double-double of his own (17 points, 10 rebounds) while Levi Randolph scored 14 and dished out five assists. Ricky Tarrant scored 11 points and Norris tallied six points and eight rebounds off the bench.

On the night, both teams pulled down 38 rebounds, but Alabama finished with a 22-20 edge in the paint. The Crimson Tide shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) while App State shot 40.0 percent (24-of-6), but Bama went to the line 16 times compared to just five for the Mountaineers.

Appalachian State will not play again for nearly two weeks as it opens Sun Belt Conference play at Arkansas State on Jan. 3 before playing host to defending league tournament champion UL Lafayette on Jan. 5.

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 0-2 all-time against Alabama and 2-23 all-time against member of the Southeastern Conference ... only two Mountaineers, Spagnolo and Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) made trips to the free-throw line ... Appalachian has had just 13 free-throw attempts in its last two games against high-major teams (Alabama and Georgia Tech) ... its opponents have combined for 45 attempts at the charity stripe in those contests ... Spagnolo’s double-double was his second-straight, third of the season and 12th of his career ... all of his double-doubles have come in the team’s last 22 games dating back to last year.

Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team downed Virginia Western 77-60 on the final day of the CVCC Classic Saturday.

The Red Hawks were led by Tryle Poindexter with 24 points. Jamarkus Eison added 11 points. Ray'Quelle Days and Kenyon Tatum each had seven rebounds for CVCC.

CVCC was the only team to go undefeated at the CVCC Classic.

The Red Hawks are now 6-8 on the season. CVCC will host Tidewater Community College January 4.

Monday, 22 December 2014 09:09

CVCC Men's Basketball Opens Classic With Win

The Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team edged out South Side Community College 87-83 on the first day of the CVCC Classic Friday at the Tarlton Complex.

The Red Hawks were led by Tryle Poindexter who had 25 points. Trevin Miller chipped in 16 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds with six.

CVCC improves to 5-8 on the season. They host Virginia Western College on Saturday.

Junior striker Sam Childress (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) earned academic recognition for her performance in the classroom during the 2014 season. Childress is being recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) by earning 2014 NSCAA Scholar All-South third-team honors, announced by the NSCAA.

Along with outstanding performances on the pitch, came extraordinary success in the classroom. Childress earned a 3.97 GPA, while majoring in appropriate technology.

“We are so proud of Sam and her outstanding commitment both in the classroom and on the field,” said head coach Sarah Strickland. “It is a great day for App State women’s soccer!”

The Kernersville, N.C. native led the Mountaineers with six goals this season, while also tallying one assist. Of Childress’ six goals, three went for game-winners. In a match against Liberty, Childress netted a hat trick, including the game-winner. Two of her goals in that match came less than one minute apart to tie the game.

Childress also scored game-winners in back-to-back Sun Belt conference games at home against UL Monroe and on the road at Georgia State.

Friday, 19 December 2014 09:17

App State Wrestling Loses to NC State

Appalachian State University wrestling traveled to Raleigh to take on NC State Thursday night in the Reynolds Coliseum. The Mountaineers (2-6) fell to the No. 19 ranked Wolfpack 29-12.

Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week Dominic Parisi, won the first match of the night at the 125-weight class when he defeated Joe DeAngelo by a 6-2 decision to put the Apps up 3-0. Following Parisi’s victory, Vito Pasone extended the Appalachian lead with a pin of Bryce Meredith 4:34 into the bout.

With Appalachian up 9-0, the Wolfpack fought back and won matches in the next two weight classes. At 141, No. 16 Sam Speno defeated Michael Longo via major
decision 11-1 to bring NC State back within five points. At 149, Brian Hamann earned a pin over Javon Johnson 2:33 into the match to push the Wolfpack into the lead for the first time.

Zack Strickland gave the lead back to Appalachian when he defeated Chad Pyke by a 9-3 decision at the 157 weight class. Nick Kee then dropped a close 3-1 decision to No. 15 Max Rohskopf. Rohskopf’s victory gave NC State a 13-12 lead that they held onto the rest of the way.

At 174, Forrest Przybysz was defeated by Pete Renda via a 6-2 decision to stretch the Wolfpack lead to 16-12. Nicky Hall pinned Nick Vetell at the 184-weight class 2:46 into the match. Tyler Radford then dropped a 5-1 decision to Michael Boykin at 197.

The heavyweight match up featured two nationally ranked wrestlers. No. 2 Nick Gwiazdowski defeated No. 8 Denzel Dejournette via a 15-6 major decision. The loss was Dejournette’s first of the season as he fell to 17-1.

The Mountaineers will next compete in the Southern Scuffle tournament hosted by Chattanooga on Jan. 1-2.

NC State 29, Appalachian 12

125: Dominic Parisi (APP) dec. Joe DeAngelo; 6-2 - 0-3
133: Vito Pasone (APP) fall Bryce Meredith; 4:34 - 0-9
141: #16 Sam Speno (NCSU) major dec. Mike Longo; 11-1 - 4-9
149: Brian Hamann (NCSU) fall Javon Johnson; 2:33 - 10-9
157: Zachary Strickland (APP) dec. Chad Pyke; 9-3 - 10-12
165: #15 Max Rohskopf (NCSU) dec. Nick Kee; 3-1 - 13-12
174: Pete Renda (NCSU) dec. Forrest Przybysz; 6-2 - 16-12
184: Nicky Hall (NCSU) fall Dominick Vetell; 2:46 - 22-12
197: Michael Boykin (NCSU) dec. Tyler Radford; 5-1 - 25-12
285: #2 Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) major dec. #19 Denzel Dejournette; 15-6 - 29-12

Appalachian State University men’s basketball raced out to an early 10-0 lead, but was unable to hold on in a 75-65 loss to Charlotte on Thursday night at Halton Arena.

The Mountaineers (3-5) dropped their third-straight game despite a game-high 20 points from Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) and a double-double from Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]). The 49ers (6-4) picked up their second-straight win and downed the Apps for the second time in as many years.

Eaves opened the contest by sinking a shot from long range on the team’s opening possession before Spagnolo hit a layup one minute later. After Eaves scored again, Dustin Clarke (Newland, N.C./Avery County [Hartford]) capped off the game-opening 10-0 run with a three-point shot of his own with 17:54 left in the first half.

Appalachian would remain in control until the 49ers made a 15-6 run midway through the opening period to grab their first lead of the contest, 27-26, with 2:31 to play. The Mountaineers responded with a 6-0 run to close the half and took a 32-27 lead into the locker room.

Despite a poor shooting performance in the first half (37.0 percent), App State connected on 9-of-13 free throws in the opening stanza to help stake it to the halftime lead.

After stretching the lead to six points (37-31) in the first three minutes of the second half, Appalachian went cold over the next four minutes as Charlotte regained the lead with a 12-4 run to go up, 43-41, with 14:37 remaining and never trailed the rest of the way.

The Mountaineers were able to cut the deficit to just one point (52-51) when Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) hit a layup with 10:32 left to play, but Charlotte reeled off an 11-4 run over the next four minutes to stretch the lead to 63-55 and never led by less than four the rest of the way.

Eaves logged his third 20-point performance of the season, thanks in part to an 11-of-13 performance at the charity stripe, and tied a career-high with seven rebounds. Spagnolo scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting and ripped down 11 rebounds while Chris Burgess (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) added 11 points.

Charlotte finished with four double-digit scorers. Torin Dorn came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points while Braxton Ogbueze (13), Willie Clayton (12) and Keyshawn Woods (12) each scored in double figures. Clayton also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds and added two assists.

Appalachian finished 21-of-52 (40.4 percent) from the floor and 19-of-24 (79.2 percent) from the free-throw line, but finished just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. The 49ers connected on 30-of-65 shots (46.2 percent), including 9-of-22 from long range, but were just 6-of-12 at the line.

While App State grabbed more rebounds (38-35) than Charlotte, the Mountaineers committed 16 turnovers which led directly to 20 points for the 49ers. Charlotte also dominated on second-chance buckets, outscoring the Apps 21-9 in that category.

Appalachian State closes out its non-conference slate when it heads to Alabama on Sunday for a 6:30 p.m. matchup with the Crimson Tide. The Mountaineers will have a 12-day break before opening conference play at Arkansas State on Jan. 3.

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 13-21 all-time against Charlotte ... the 49ers have now defeated the Mountaineers in back-to-back contests for the first time since winning six in a row between 1991-97 ... the teams had traded wins in each of the previous six meetings ... the Apps dropped to 40-51 all-time against current members of Conference USA ... Spagnolo’s double-double was his third this season and the 11th of his career ... all of his double-doubles have come in the Mountaineers’ last 21 games dating back to last year ... Eaves has now scored 60 of his team-best 131 points at the free-throw line (45.8 percent) ... he has made at least seven free throws in six of the last seven games ... the Mountaineers are shooting 81.3 percent (39-of-48) from the charity stripe over the past three games ... Charlotte’s bench outscored Appalachian’s by a margin of 34-8.

Friday, 19 December 2014 09:13

CVCC Women's Basketball Wins Easily

The Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team defeated Wake Tech Thursday night 97-74.

Kianna Bowe led the way for the Red Hawks, scoring 15 and adding eight rebounds. Symone Simmons scored 15. Shakira Allen added 12 and Kelantra Allen and Keyara McKnight each added 10 points a piece.

CVCC improves to 7-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference. They are to take on Virginia Western Community College on January 3.

Appalachian State University women's basketball got an overtime win over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday night with a score of 72-70.

The Mountaineers (4-4) stayed with the Aggies (6-4) for the entire game, sending it into overtime and then winning with a layup from Mia Marshall in the final seconds.

Appalachian started the game strong, taking a 14-5 lead just five minutes into play. The Mountaineers maintained their lead, never letting the Aggies within less than four points until N.C. A&T would go on a 8-2 run to tie the game at 33 with 1:37 left in the first half.

The Aggies' Michelle Fitzgerald would hit a three-pointer and Joi Jones would respond with a jumper to end the half, but the Mountaineers trailed, 38-36 at halftime.

Appalachian was led by Maryah Sydnor's eight points in the first half as the team shot 48.3 percent from the floor.

Aprill McRae led the Aggies with 13 points in the first 20 minutes, while the team recorded a 48.4 field goal percentage.

The second half did not begin well for the Mountaineers as N.C. A&T went on a 9-0 run to lead 47-36 just two minutes into the half.

Four-straight points from Bria Carter would end the Mountaineer's drought and Katie Mallow would hit a shot from behind the arc to put the Apps down 47-43.

Katelyn Doub would add a spark for the Apps as she hit a layup with 14:14 to play. The Aggies responded with two points of their own, but Doub would hit a three-pointer off a Bria Huffman steal as the Apps trailed N.C. A&T, 51-48 with 11:48 in the game.

Five-straight points from KeKe Cooper tied the game at the 8:39 minute mark and then Huffman would hit a jumper and two free throws to stretch the Mountaineer lead. Madi Story hit a shot from behind the arc with 6:14 on the clock to put the Mountaineers up 60-53.

Things would look good for the Mountaineers until the Aggies went on another 9-0 run to take a 61-60 lead with 3:35 to play.

The Aggies' Eboni Ross would convert on a three-point play to lead the Mountaineers 66-64 and two minutes on the clock. The Mountaineers missed a shot and turned the ball over on two possessions, but Mallow would get a steal with 28 seconds left and Huffman would hit a close jumper to tie the game with seven seconds to play. The Aggies would not score, sending the game into overtime.

The Aggies struck first in overtime with two points but the Apps would respond with a free throw from Jones and then a three-point play from Cooper to lead 70-68 with 2:19 to play. N.C. A&T converted on two free throws to tie the game.

With 25 seconds left in overtime Mallow would get a defensive rebound and push the ball up the court. Huffman found Marshall in the paint and Marshall scored two points with 13 seconds left. The Aggies could not find a basket as the Mountaineers took the game, 72-70.

Cooper and Mallow led the team with 12 points each, while Cooper grabbed 12 rebounds in the win. Huffman added ten points, while dishing out a career-high eight assists.

Appalachian shot 46.6 percent from the floor, recording 33 rebounds and 27 turnovers.

The Aggies were led by Eboni Ross' 23 points and McRae's 18. The team shot 48.4 percent, while notching 40 rebounds and 26 turnovers.

The Apps will return to action on Dec. 30 when they host Catawba at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Center.

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