Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Sunday the hiring of title-winning offensive assistant Junior Adams, who spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Western Kentucky.
“Junior is a great developer of wide receivers with championship experience,” said Drinkwitz, who worked alongside Adams at Boise State in 2014 and 2015. “He is a tremendous recruiter who can identify talent and develop that talent at the highest level. We are excited to welcome Junior and his family to the App Family.”
Adams, who has coached in the postseason in eight of the last 10 years, was part of two conference championships in three years at Boise State after he helped Eastern Washington win a national championship as its receivers coach in 2010. Following a 2016 season as the receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Boise State, which had the first pair of 1,000-yard receivers in school history, he became the offensive coordinator for Western Kentucky.
Among the standout receivers Adams has coached in recent years are Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams, Cedrick Wilson of the Dallas Cowboys and Thomas Sperbeck, who is Boise State’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
A standout college receiver who earned All-America honors as a senior at Montana State after being a member of Oregon State’s conference championship team that won the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, the 39-year-old Adams also has NFL experience from working training camps with the Oakland Raiders (2010), Indianapolis Colts (2011) and Minnesota Vikings (2012) as a recipient of grants from the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship.
“I am thankful to be joining the Appalachian State football family,” Adams said. “It is a program rich in tradition, sportsmanship and winning. I know Coach Drinkwitz is an asset to the program, players and community. I’m excited to get going on the 2019 App State football season.”
When Adams took over the offense at Western Kentucky, which returned only two players who had caught at least 25 passes the previous season, Nacarius Fant had the fifth-best season in school history with 75 receptions and former walk-on Deon Yelder emerged as a record-setting tight end with 52 catches for 688 yards. Yelder received an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl that year, and the Hilltoppers’ quarterback, Mike White, also appeared at the Senior Bowl after completing an FBS-high 368 passes for 4,177 yards (fourth nationally) as a senior.
Under Adams’ direction, Boise State's passing game and wide receivers set numerous records. In 2016, the Broncos ranked 15th nationally with 298.3 passing yards per game to go along with top-10 rankings in passer rating (No. 9, 161.38) and yards per pass attempt (No. 7, 9.6). Wilson developed into one of the nation's top big-play threats with a yards-per-catch average of 20.2 that ranked No. 8 nationally, and Sperbeck also surpassed 1,000 receiving yards to make Boise State one of only four teams with a pair of 1,000-yard receivers that season.
In 2015, with Drinkwitz coordinating Boise State’s offense and Adams coaching the receivers, quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 304.9 yards per game and the Broncos rushed for 191.4 yards per game as the team ranked 15th nationally at 501.3 total yards per contest.
In Adams' five seasons with Eastern Washington from 2009-13, the team finished in the top 10 in the FCS in passing offense four times, ranking No. 1 in 2011 with 368.4 passing yards per game. The 2013 team had two players rank in the top 10 in receiving yardage, led by current NFL standout Kupp and his FCS-leading 1,691 yards with 21 touchdowns as a freshman. Kupp won the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman and joined Randy Moss as the only other freshman receiver since 1990 to earn first-team FCS All-America honors early in a career that concluded with him winning the Walter Payton Award as the top FCS player.
Adams developed four other 1,000-yard receivers at EWU, including Brandon Kaufman, who broke the FCS receiving record with 1,850 yards during the program’s national title season in 2010.
As a player, Adams caught 66 passes for 983 yards and eight touchdowns as a Montana State senior in 2002. He had the game-winning touchdown against rival Montana in a 10-7 victory that helped the Bobcats earn a share of the Big Sky Conference title.
He remained at MSU to serve as a wide receivers and returns coach, then spent the 2007 season in the same capacity at Prosser (Wash.) High School, where he helped head coach Tom Moore’s team go 14-0 and win the WIAA 2-A state title. He left Moore, the father of record-setting Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, and spent one season at Chattanooga in 2008 before starting his successful run at Eastern Washington.
Born on Oct. 20, 1979, Adams’ full name is Alton J. Adams Jr. He graduated from Montana State in 2004 with a degree in sociology.
L.A. Rams WR Cooper Kupp on Adams…
“I’ve had many coaches throughout my career as a football player, but none have had a greater impact on me than Coach Adams. His ability to coach the wide receiver position is unmatched due to his knowledge of the game as a whole, as well as his ability to maximize the potential of every one of his players both physically and mentally. The best there is.”
Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson on Adams…
“Coach Adams is one of the best wide receiver coaches I have had. He taught me the majority of my technique that I use today. He is also the greatest players' coach I have ever had, on and off the field.”
Dallas Cowboys QB Mike White on Adams…
“App State is getting a great one in Coach Adams. As far as transferring his knowledge of the game from the meeting room to the field, he is one of the best I’ve been around. I enjoyed playing for Coach Adams, and I know the guys at App State will too.”
The 16th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball dropped a heartbreaking 109-108 game in overtime on Sunday afternoon to visiting Pitt Community College at the Tarlton Complex.
Jordan Powell scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his fifth career double double to lead the Red Hawks (10-4, 2-3 in Region X) in the conference contest.
Both teams endured a physical game that included 78 total fouls, including 42 on Pitt and 36 on CVCC. Thirty-six of those 78 fouls came during the first half.
The Red Hawks and Bulldogs (8-4, 5-0 in Region X) remained deadlocked during most of the first half before Pitt gained a 54-49 lead at halftime.
CVCC trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but slowly clawed its way back within three points of the Pitt lead with just five seconds remaining.
A made 3-pointer by Red Hawks guard Byron Sanders at the buzzer tied the game 96-96 at the end of regulation, sending the contest into overtime.
CVCC managed to gain the early advantage in the extra five-minute session, but despite trailing by three points with one minute, 13 seconds to go, Pitt rallied behind a lay up by Devonte’ Pettaway and two free throws from Timothy Downing to gain a 109-108 lead.
Catawba Valley would have one final chance to score with 0.3 seconds remaining. Following an inbound pass by Sanders, the Red Hawks’ Jonathan McFall made a quick jump shot at the buzzer for the apparent game-winning shot.
However, McFall’s shot was waved off by officials due to the “Trent Tucker Rule,” which states that a team must have at least 0.4 seconds on the clock to attempt a quick shot. Anything 0.3 seconds or less must be a tip near the basket.
Five different Red Hawk players reached double figures in scoring in Sunday’s contest, including Powell, McFall (15 points), Zach De La Cruz (12), Isayah Johnson (10) and Sanders (10).
The CVCC men’s basketball team will try to end its current three-game skid when it returns to the court on Wednesday at home against Guilford Tech. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Tarlton Complex.
The Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team battled back from some third quarter adversity to seize a 73-60 conference victory against rival Cape Fear at the Tarlton Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Sherry Johnson led the Red Hawks (7-3, 3-2) with 21 points and seven rebounds. Teammates Milequa Eason (15 points), Zharia Brown (14 points) and Danielle Rainey (13 points) also reached double figures in scoring for CVCC.
Brown also recorded her fifth double double of the season with a team-high 11 rebounds.
After taking a 39-34 lead at halftime, the Red Hawks saw that advantage evaporate in the third quarter behind an 11-2 run by the Sea Devils (10-3, 7-2).
However, Catawba Valley would respond to regain a six-point lead by the end of the third quarter, 53-47.
Johnson scored nine points in the fourth quarter and Eason added five points, helping the Red Hawks stretch their lead into double digits on the way to their third Region X win of the season.
Tracey Kemp led Cape Fear with 15 points and Ny Langley added 14 points.
The CVCC women’s basketball team returns to action on Tuesday for a rare matinee game against Division I Walters State. Tip off between the Red Hawks and Senators is set for 2 p.m. in the Tarlton Complex.
Appalachian State University women's basketball (7-6, 1-1 SBC) put forth a valiant effort in an 83-72 setback to Troy (11-2, 2-0 SBC) on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.
Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) poured in a season and game-high 23 points while tying a career mark with nine rebounds. Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) had it going from the field with a 5-of-9 performance and 15 points. Since the second half of the South Alabama game, the sophomore is 12-of-21 from the field for 33 points.
Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) posted a game-high 13 rebounds with five points and two assists, while Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) posted a game-best nine helpers with six points and only two turnovers.
Both schools came in as two of the fastest teams in the Sun Belt in pace of play with Troy (81) and App State in second at 78.1. Each team recorded 91 possessions, which is above each programs' season average.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the top rebounding team in the nation in Troy, 54-47, and held the Trojans to eight offensive rebounds less than their national-high of 24 per game. However, the Trojans still held a 16-8 edge in second-chance points and scored 20 points off of 20 App turnovers.
Despite a 20-for-32 showing from the line, allowing second-chance points and points off miscues, App State was right there in the mix to take over the game on multiple occasions.
After the Trojans claimed an 18-9 lead with 4:32 left in the opening period, Polacek kick-started a 12-4 run the rest of the way to cut the deficit to just one, 22-21. Five different players scored during the 5-of-9 surge, capped off by a jumper from Stanley.
Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy), who gave the Apps a spark off the bench with eight points and eight rebounds, scored in transition on a wide-open layup to keep the game to within one possession, 27-25.
Troy finished the break on a 10-3 run after holding App to just three points over the final 8:37 of the half.
The Trojans extended their lead to 14, 53-39, right out of the gate after hitting five of their first six shots in the third quarter.
Appalachian whittled the deficit down to eight at the end of the period thanks to Brooke Bigott's (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) layup with five seconds left in the frame, bringing the score to 60-52.
The freshman scored App's first bucket in the final quarter before Stanley drilled a jumper to dwindle the lead down to only four points, 60-56, and give the Black and Gold some momentum.
App State looked like it was about to take the game over, but it couldn't get over the hump as Troy put together a 9-3 run to go back up by double digits.
The Trojans kept the hosts at bay the rest of the evening by not allowing the Mountaineer offense to get into a rhythm.
Four players led the Trojans in double figures with Tyra Johnson scoring 16 points and four 3-pointers. She led a Troy bench attack that scored 45 points.
Before tip-off, Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) was presented with her 1,000-point ball after becoming the 25th member of the 1,000-point club Wofford. Joining her was head coach Angel Elderkin, athletics director, Doug Gillin, and her parents, Mark (father) and Mitzi (mother).
App State will look to bounce back next weekend. The Mountaineers hit the road for the first time in Sun Belt play, as they make the trek to Texas.
Appalachian will face UTA on Thursday at 8 p.m. (ET) in Arlington.
- Stanley's 23 points was the fifth 20-point game of her career.
- Plummer now has seven games this season with at least 10 rebounds.
- Gosnell's posted her best two-game stretch of 16.5 points and six rebounds.
- App has won the battle on the glass in 11 of its 13 games.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team outlasted Tusculum 77-74 on Saturday afternoon to earn their 10th victory of the season. The Bears have now won three straight over the Pioneers and are 11-2 against Tusculum over the last 13 head-to-head matchups.
The game was tied at 41-41 before Deontae Weaver took over. The junior scored 14 straight LR points, including four straight 3-pointers, as the Bears extended the lead to 55-47.
For the second straight game, Djibril Diallo got the Bears off to a hot start. The senior guard scored the first eight points for LR after scoring 11 of the game's first 21 points for the Bears in a Dec. 19 victory at Belmont Abbey. Diallo finished with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
Bertrand Awana scored in double figures for the second straight game, finishing with 10 points and adding eight boards. Awana has gone 9-for-16 over his last two contests and has blocked at least one shot in 11 of the Bears 13 games this year.
Jon Jean would add 12 points and five assists to go along with four rebounds. Jean went 5-for-7 from the field and committed just one turnover.
The Bears kept Tusculum winless in South Atlantic Conference play on the season. However, the Pioneers have been a victim of some tough luck this season with three of their conference losses have been by five points or less.
The Tusculum bench outscored the LR reserves by a total of 41-25. Brandon Mitchell led the visitors with 20 points off the bench on 8-of-11 shooting.
The Bears improve to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR is back in action on Wednesday with a mid-week matchup at Wingate. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Team lost to Tusculum Saturday afternoon 66-45 in South Atlantic Conference action.
Senior Madi Suddreth shined for the Bears, putting up a double-double effort with 19 points and 10 rebounds. This was a game-high in both categories.
The Bears lost the game behind poor shooting with a 19-of-57 performance from the floor (33 percent) including 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) from beyond the arc. The Pioneers shot 40.7 percent and made 12-of-28 from distance.
Both LR and Tusculum were the same from the charity stripe, each hitting just six free throws in the contest.
The Bears are now an even 3-3 at home and lost two-straight for the second time this season. The first time came at the beginning of the season when they started 0-2.
Suddreth put up her third double-double of the season and the second in the past three games.
Lenoir-Rhyne drops to 7-6 overall, 2-3 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will continue SAC play as they hit the road for a conference clash with the Wingate Bulldogs on Wednesday, January 9 at 6 p.m.
Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Saturday the hiring of championship-winning defensive coordinator Ted Roof, a former Power Five conference head coach who spent last season with Drinkwitz as NC State’s associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
A college football veteran, Roof has been part of 13 bowl appearances throughout his career, including a 3-0 bowl record as Auburn’s defensive coordinator from 2009-11 that was highlighted by the Tigers’ BCS National Championship following the 2010 campaign. His experience also includes stints as the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, Penn State, Minnesota, UCF and Duke, where he received a promotion to head coach based on his defensive success.
“I’m very excited to welcome Ted Roof and his family to Appalachian State,” Drinkwitz said. “Ted is a tremendous leader of men who has championship experience. He understands how to develop a championship defense and has a track record of developing young men into NFL players. He will be a huge asset to this Mountaineer program.”
Drinkwitz and Roof were both on the staff at Auburn during its unbeaten national championship season, when Roof’s defense led the SEC and ranked ninth nationally by allowing just 109.1 rushing yards per game. The Tigers limited high-scoring Oregon to 19 points in the national title game.
This season, NC State had top-20 national rankings in rushing defense (13th at 109.1 yards per game), sacks (16th), red zone defense (ninth with scores on 73.8 percent of trips inside the 20), red zone TD rate (eighth with touchdowns on only 45.25 percent of trips inside the 20) and third-down defense (19th) while building a 9-3 record that led to a Gator Bowl appearance. The Wolfpack ranked 37th nationally by allowing 22.7 points per game during that 9-3 run.
“I’m really excited to be part of the App State family,” Roof said. “I’ve admired and respected the success of the football program here for a long time because of the great coaches and players that have come through here. It’s our job to uphold that standard and enhance it. I’m grateful to Eli for giving me the opportunity to be part of this staff. I’m looking forward to getting started with the players and being part of the community here in the High Country.”
Champions of the Sun Belt Conference and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, App State recently finished a season in which the defense gave up less than 20 points in all 11 victories. The Mountaineers ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense (fourth at 15.5 points), total defense (sixth at 288.0 yards), passing defense (fifth at 162.1), interceptions (11th with 17), fewest passing touchdowns allowed (tied for No. 1 with eight) and fourth-down conversion rate (first at 27.3).
Roof has coached 32 years at the collegiate level. More than 80 of the student-athletes he has coached have signed NFL contracts, and more than 20 began this season on NFL rosters.
During Roof’s five seasons at Georgia Tech from 2013-17, a stretch that included an ACC Coastal Division title and Orange Bowl win in 2014, the Yellow Jackets made significant defensive improvement and ranked third behind Clemson and Virginia Tech in total defense in league play. They were 11th nationally in third-down defense in league play and 17th in first downs allowed.
Prior to that run at Georgia Tech, Roof directed a Penn State defense that ranked 16th nationally by allowing 19.1 points per game during an 8-4 season in 2012.
A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Roof graduated from Central Gwinnett High School and was a three-year starter at linebacker for Georgia Tech from 1982-85. He was named a Freshman All-American in 1982, was a first-team All-ACC honoree as a senior in 1985 and remains one of Tech’s all-time leading tacklers with 417 career stops.
Following his 1986 graduation and a stint as an NFL player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Roof began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Alabama in 1987 and 1988.
From there, he went on to serve as an assistant coach at West Georgia (linebackers, 1989), Duke (linebackers, 1990-93), UMass (defensive line/recruiting coordinator, 1994; defensive coordinator, 1995-96) and Western Carolina (defensive coordinator, 1997) before returning to Georgia Tech in 1998. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1999 and held that position for three years.
Duke was ranked 113th out of 115th teams nationally in rushing defense the year before Roof arrived as the defensive coordinator in 2002, and the Blue Devils led the ACC in rushing defense during Roof’s first year. He was named interim head coach midway through his second season in Durham and took over the role permanently from 2004-07.
During his five years with Minnesota, Auburn and Penn State from 2008-2012, he helped lead each team to at least seven wins.
Roof and his wife, Pam Ash-Roof, have twin sons, T.D. and Michael.
Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn on Roof…
“App State got them a great one in Ted Roof. His ability to teach defense and connect with players is remarkable.”
Former Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia State head coach Bill Curry on Roof...
“As a player, Ted Roof was the finest leader I ever coached. And that includes thousands of great young men. As a coach, he is an incredible leader and just a wonderful human being who demands a lot from his players. And his players respond to his leadership. He will do a great job at Appalachian State.”
Unable to stop strong outside shooting, the 16th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team fell 85-67 to Bryant & Stratton at the Tarlton Complex on Friday afternoon.
The Bobcats made thirteen 3-point baskets in the contest, including six from the hands of Tahjay Jacobs, who scored a game-high 21 points.
Down 27-22 with just under four minutes left in the first half, the Red Hawks were outscored 14-6 and trailed 44-28 at halftime.
After returning to the game following two early fouls in the first half, Catawba Valley sophomore forward Isayah Johnson scored a team-high 17 points, including 15 of those coming in the second half.
CVCC trailed by as many as 19 points in Friday’s conference game, but cut that deficit to just eight points with exactly eight minutes remaining.
However, Bryant & Stratton capitalized on 28 Catawba Valley turnovers and pulled away late for the conference victory.
Zach De La Cruz added 11 points for the Red Hawks in Friday’s game.
The CVCC men’s basketball team will attempt to rebound on Sunday when it hosts Pitt for another conference game at the Tarlton Complex. Tip off is set for 3 p.m.
Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
St. Stephens: 32
South Caldwell: 42
West Caldwell: 38
Alexander Central: 23
Northwestern Foothills Conference:
Bunker Hill: 67
West Iredell: 54
East Burke: 62
Fred T. Foard: 59
South Fork Athletic:
Lake Norman Charter: 35
West Lincoln: 35
R-S Central: 47
Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 83
St. Stephens: 69
West Caldwell: 81
South Caldwell: 63
Northwestern Foothills Conference:
Bunker Hill: 84
West Iredell: 76
Fred T. Foard: 60
East Burke: 40
South Fork Athletic:
Lake Norman Charter: 48
West Lincoln: 26
R-S Central: 61
The Hickory Crawdads announced a change to the lineup for their Winter Caravan Luncheon, presented by K&L Dunrite. Willie Calhoun will be taking the place of CD Pelham, who was previously announced as an attendee. The rest of the previously announced lineup remains unchanged.
Calhoun entered the 2018 season as the Rangers' second overall prospect. The outfielder hit .294 in triple A Round Rock this season. He earned two stints with the Rangers during the season and was named an Organizational All-Star.
Former Crawdads Jeffrey Springs and Jose Trevino will participate in a round table discussion along with Calhoun at the Winter Caravan. Springs, who attended App State, and Trevino both made their MLB debuts this season with the Rangers. Crawdads manager Matt Hagen and Texas Rangers assistant director of player development Paul Kruger are also slated to speak at the event.
Appalachian State cut a 22-point first half deficit to just one, but came up on the short end of a 89-85 decision at Troy on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans (8-6, 1-1 SBC) came out of the gate on fire and opened a 35-15 with 10:31 remaining in the opening half. But the Mountaineers (5-10, 0-2 SBC) stormed back, outscoring Troy 23-3, including the final 14 points of the half, over the final six minutes of the opening frame to cut the halftime deficit to 46-45.
In the second half, the Trojans pushed their lead to nine points at 66-57 with 8:32 left to play. App State countered with eight of the next 10 points to trim the Troy lead to 68-65 with 6:28 to go.
The Mountaineers pulled within a point at 75-74 with 3:12 remaining on a three-pointer from Adrian Delph. Troy pushed it lead back to six, but the Black and Gold trimmed the deficit to three points at 83-80 with 17 seconds left.
App State fouled and the Trojans' B.J. Miller hit a pair of free throws to make the score 85-80. The Black and Gold answered with a old fashion three-point play from Justin Forrest to cut the deficit to 85-83 with five seconds left. App State fouled on the ensuing inbounds and Troy drained a pair of free throws to push its lead to 87-83. Following a Forrest layup, the Mountaineers fouled again and Jordon Varnado drained a pair of free throws in the finals seconds to put the game away.
Ronshad Shabazz tallied a team-high 25 points and pulled down a season-high six rebounds. Forrest added 18 points, a career-high six assists and three rebounds.
Delph tied his career-high with 18 points, including a 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) clip from deep, a career-best seven rebounds and a career-high two blocks. Hunter Seacat chipped in with 11 points and five boards for the Mountaineers.
Jordon Varnado paced Troy with a game-high 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
App State pulled down a season-high 17 offensive rebounds and won the battle on the glass 39-38.
Appalachian State will return to the High Country for a pair of games next week. On Thursday, App State welcomes UT Arlington to the Holmes Center at 7 p.m., followed by a meeting with Texas State on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Appalachian State men's basketball fell in its Sun Belt opener at South Alabama on Thursday evening by a 79-73 score.
App State (5-9, 0-1 SBC) came out of the gate strong and opened an early 11-4 edge. After the Jaguars (8-6, 1-0 SBC) cut the Mountaineer lead to 14-9, the Black and Gold countered with an 11-2 run to build a 25-11 advantage with 9:43 left in the first half. From there, South Alabama closed the half on a 25-6 run to take a 36-31 edge into the intermission.
In the second half, South Alabama pushed its lead to 11 points at 49-38, only to see the Black and Gold trim its deficit to 51-47 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Jaguars responded and built their lead back up to 14 points at 72-58 with 2:33 to play. App State stormed back and cut its deficit to 77-73 on a three-pointer from O'Showen Williams with 27 seconds remaining in the game. The Mountaineers got no closer and South Alabama converted on two free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.
Ronshad Shabazz tallied a team-high 21 points (17 in the second half), to go along with three rebounds and a season-high tying five assists. He also moved into third place on the all-time scoring list, passing Dave Abernathy (1,744).
Isaac Johnson finished with 14 points on 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) shooting and a team-high six rebounds. Justin Forrest chipped in with 10 points and three assists, while Hunter Seacat tallied eight points, three rebounds, two blocks and a career-high tying two steals.
Off the bench, Williams had 11 points, including a 3-of-5 (60.0 percent) mark from deep.
Trhae Mitchell (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Josh Ajayi (15 points, 12 rebounds) both posted double-doubles for South Alabama.
App State shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, while the Jaguars shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54).
The Mountaineers will have a quick turnaround and will travel to take on Troy on Saturday at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+. App State will then return to Boone and host UT Arlington on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. and Texas State on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.
Appalachian State University women's basketball (7-5, 1-0 SBC) showcased resiliency and persistence in a 71-63 triumph over previously unbeaten South Alabama (11-1, 0-1 SBC) in the Sun Belt opener on Thursday evening in the Holmes Center.
With the win on Thursday, it's the first Sun Belt opening victory for the Mountaineers since the 2015-16 season when they defeated ULM on the road. The win also comes against a South Alabama squad that was receiving votes in the Coaches Poll and ranked 23rd in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 ranking. Appalachian stays unblemished at home with a 6-0 mark, giving it the longest win streak at home since 2012-13 when the Apps won six in a row in the Holmes Center.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) brushed off a 0-for-5 start and scored a game and season-high 18 points, which all came in the second half. Highlighting her hot 7-of-12 shooting in the second stanza was a 10-point fourth quarter that occurred over a 4:34 span. Trailing 57-54 with 7:36 left in the game, Gosnell hit four key field goals including a pair of 3-pointers that resulted in a 10-2 run to give Appalachian a commanding 64-59 lead.
Appalachian finished off the game with more clutch free throw shooting, as Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) and Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) went a combined 7-of-8 from the line to seal the second straight win over the Jags in the all-time series. App finished the game 16-of-19 from the line for an impressive clip of 84.2 percent.
Also doing her part in the scoring column was Stanley, who was right behind Gosnell with 17 points. She did her damage from the free throw line going 9-for-10 and snagged seven off the glass.
Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds for her fourth game of the season with at least 15 boards. She was one point shy of her third double-double of the season. Plummer's defense was a key cog in the win, limiting South Alabama's leading scorer, Antoinette Lewis to just six points and six shot attempts. The six points for Lewis is the second-lowest outing for the sophomore. Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) rounded out the leading scorers with 10 points and seven boards, while Polacek dished out a game-best seven assists.
App State's fourth quarter was the difference, outscoring South Alabama 23-10 in the period. Aiding in the Black and Gold's impressive execution was a stingy defense that held the Sun Belt's top shooting team to just 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from the floor. App also outrebounded South Alabama, 15-7, in the frame. The edge on the glass led to a 53-43 advantage for the Black and Gold. The plus-10 rebounding margin is the largest margin an opponent has won the glass against South Alabama this season.
The Jaguars came in shooting a conference-high 45.3 percent from the floor and averaging 74.5 points per game. App held USA to below both of its averages in each category. In addition, the Mountaineers scored more than 10 points above the Jags' allowed average per game of 60.9 points.
The Mountaineers clawed all evening after falling early in the contest following a 23-14 advantage in the first quarter by the visitors. App's largest deficit was at 10 points, 29-19, before a trifecta by Stanley and three straight points by Story cut the lead in half to four. However, back-to-back buckets in the final 22 seconds doubled the Jaguars' lead to eight, 33-25, at the break.
In the third quarter, App climbed to within one possession separations in the final two minutes of the period. Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) brought down an offensive board for an old-fashion three-point play and Polacek's jumper also brought the hosts to within three. South Alabama kept answering Appalachian's run until the fourth quarter when it was all App State.
App State will look to keep the momentum going on Saturday against Troy, who defeated Coastal Carolina in its Sun Belt opener on Thursday evening. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. in the Holmes Center.
Coach Elderkin on the Win over South Alabama
"It's one game, and its a great start to a very long path to New Orleans. But for our team to stay undefeated at home, knocking off a team that's 23rd in the mid-major poll and getting top 25 votes, it is a major step for our program. We're very excited about the win tonight, and we'll and get ready for another tough team in Troy tomorrow."
- App State is 5-5 all-time against South Alabama.
- The Apps are 4-1 coming off a loss this season.
- Plummer is now 11th all-time in career rebounds with 656, surpassing Courtney Freeman (2009-13).
- Story is 24 all-time in scoring with 1,011-career points.
- App has outrebounded its opponents in 10 of 12 games this season.
- Story led the team in plus/minus with a plus-13, while Gosnell was a plus-12.
- Plummer led the team with a PER of 19.
- The Mountaineers tied a season high with nine steals.
- App has committed 14 or fewer turnovers in three of the last four games.
For the second time this season, Appalachian State senior Randall Diabe has been named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week.
Diabe was one of three SoCon wrestlers to reach the quarterfinal round of The Southern Scuffle on Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn. He advanced to that round with a 3-2 win against The Citadel's Sawyer Root, a fellow NCAA qualifier in 2018, before suffering a loss against the nation's seventh-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds on Tuesday night.
Diabe started the prestigious tournament with a 14-3 major decision against North Carolina's Mark Chaid and continued his run Wednesday morning with a 9-4 decision against George Mason's Eli Spencer. After a loss Wednesday afternoon, he'll wrestle in the seventh-place match.
Diabe has been named the SoCon Wrestler of the Week two times in the last five weeks, and he was also the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Month for November.
Appalachian State’s Greg Gasparato and Bryan Brown have received national recognition as the 2018 FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coaches of the Year.
Presented by AstroTurf, prior winners selected this year’s winners among the only set of college football awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches. App State becomes just the third Group of Five program to be represented among the 11 winners of the defensive back coaches award.
Gasparato and Brown will receive their award and be recognized during the American Football Coaches Association Convention in January. The other finalists were the defensive backs coaches from Mississippi State, Notre Dame and Miami.
With Gasparato coaching App State’s safeties and Brown continuing to coach the cornerbacks as a first-year defensive coordinator in 2018, the Mountaineers (11-2) didn’t give up more than 19 points in any of their wins, all of which had double-digit point differentials.
App State, which ranks fourth nationally at 15.5 points allowed per game, set a Sun Belt Conference record with only 20 defensive touchdowns allowed in 2018 and tied for first place nationally with only eight passing touchdowns allowed.
Led by the “Legion of Boone” secondary, the Mountaineers intercepted 17 passes to rank 11th nationally, with safety Josh Thomas, safety Desmond Franklin and cornerback Tae Hayes picking off four passes apiece. One apiece came from cornerback Clifton Duck, safety Austin Exford and safety Kaiden Smith.
App State also ranks in the top 10 nationally in fourth-down defense (No. 1), defensive passer rating (No. 3), fewest passing yards allowed per game (No. 5), fewest yards allowed per pass attempt (No. 5), fewest total yards allowed per game (No. 6) and fewest first downs allowed (No. 7).
According to FootballScoop, Appalachian State was one of just two teams nationally to have twice as many defensive interceptions as touchdown passes allowed. No opponent had more than one passing touchdown against the Mountaineers, who didn’t give up any in five games.
Appalachian is No. 3 nationally with only eight passes of 30-plus yards allowed and No. 4 with one pass of 50-plus yards allowed — a 57-yard play.
Previous DB coaches winners
2008: Tim Billings (Wake Forest)
2009: Everett Withers and Troy Douglas (North Carolina)
2010: Chad Glasgow and Clay Jennings (TCU)
2011: Ron Cooper (LSU)
2012: Bill Busch and Kendrick Shaver (Utah State)
2013: Jeremy Pruitt (Florida State)
2014: Dave Wommack and Jason Jones (Ole Miss)
2015: Mike Reed (Clemson)
2016: Charles Clark and Joe Tumpkin (Colorado)
2017: Anthony Campanile (Boston College)
West Caldwell: 44
Alexander Central: 39
St. Stephens: 18
South Caldwell: 22
South Fork Athletic 2A:
West Lincoln: 38
East Burke: 59
R-S Central: 40
Alexander Central: 53
West Caldwell: 47
St. Stephens: 53
South Caldwell: 65
South Fork Athletic 2A:
West Lincoln: 23
R-S Central: 59
East Burke: 50
A trio of Appalachian State wrestlers reached the medal stand at the Southern Scuffle on Wednesday, as Randall Diabe (197 pounds) and Alan Clothier (184) won seventh-place matches and Matt Zovistoski (149) placed eighth.
The Mountaineers' 43 points led three Southern Conference participants and ranked 12th among 23 teams in a field paced by Penn State.
App State had five wrestlers advance to the final day of competition in Chattanooga, and Zovistoski opened with a dramatic pin of Penn State's Jarod Verkleeren.
Trailing 5-4 in the closing seconds, Zovistoski worked out of Verkleeren's grasp by twisting his body in a way that enabled him to flip his opponent on his side. Zovistoski grabbed Verkleeren's left leg, rolled over the top of him for a go-ahead takedown with four seconds left and won on an improbable pin with time expiring.
Zovistoski's next match went to six extra periods, as seventh-ranked Jarrett Degen of Iowa State won 6-5 thanks to an escape in the first of two Tiebreaker-2 periods, and Navy's Jared Prince won by a major decision in the seventh-place match. Overall, Zovistoski went 5-3 in Chattanooga.
Clothier capped a 5-2 trip with an 8-5 decision against Lehigh's Chris Weiler in the seventh-place match, and Diabe closed a 4-2 tournament by winning a 3-1 decision against Navy's Josh Roetman in the seventh-place match. Clothier used a reversal with 54 seconds left to break a 4-4 tie, and he added a takedown in the closing seconds, while Diabe recorded a takedown with 30 seconds left to break a 1-1 tie.
Diabe began his 2-1 day with a 9-4 decision against George Mason's Eli Spencer, and Clothier's 2-1 day started with a 4-0 decision against Ohio's Hunter Yeargan. Clothier, who had lost a close match to Yeargan earlier this season, scored all of his points in the third period thanks to an escape, a takedown with nine seconds left and a bonus point for riding time.
Jonathan Millner (149 pounds) and Cary Miller (heavyweight) also competed Wednesday but lost their opening matches. Millner went 4-2 in Chattanooga, and Miller was 3-2.
App State returns to action Tuesday in Varsity Gym with its first Southern Conference dual meet of the season. The Mountaineers face Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m.
The Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team suffered just its third setback of the season on Wednesday, falling 65-40 on the road to DI powerhouse Walters State.
Sherry Johnson and Zharia Brown paced the Red Hawks (6-3) with 10 points apiece in the contest, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 10, 2018, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
The Senators (11-2) surged ahead 28-12 at halftime against CVCC, holding the Red Hawks to just six points in the first and second quarters. Johnson led CVCC with four first-half points.
Walters State outscored Catawba Valley 37-28 in the second half en route to its sixth-straight victory. CVCC was held to just 25.9 percent shooting from the field and committed 26 turnovers — 19 of which came via steals by the Senators.
Tazah Hardin added four points and nine rebounds for the Red Hawks, who lost back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 25, 2017.
The Red Hawks will try to rebound on Saturday when they return to conference play against Cape Fear. Tip off against the Sea Devils is set for 1 p.m. at the Tarlton Complex.
Appalachian State Wrestling had an eventful first day at the 2019 Southern Scuffle, presented by Compound Sportswear, with Randall Diabe's quarterfinal appearance at 197 pounds sandwiched between dramatic, overtime consolation round wins by Alan Clothier and Cary Miller.
Clothier won two of his first three matches at 184 pounds before falling behind 6-1 in the second period against Oklahoma State's Bear Hughes. Clothier received one point for a stalling penalty on Hughes and earned a two-point takedown late in the period before tying the match with a two-point reversal in the first 30 seconds of the third period. With a minute-plus advantage in ride time, Clothier was moments away from winning 7-6 in regulation, but Hughes executed a last-second escape to force overtime.
Clothier won 9-7 on a takedown with nine seconds left in that sudden victory period.
The 17th-ranked Diabe reached the quarterfinal round with a 14-3 major decision against North Carolina's Mark Chaid and a 3-2 decision against The Citadel's Sawyer Root, a fellow NCAA qualifier from 2018. After Root tied the match at 1-1 with an escape early in the third period, Diabe recorded a tiebreaking takedown with 1:21 remaining, and seventh-ranked Dakota Greer of Oklahoma State won by fall in the quarterfinal matchup.
Miller had a 1-1 start in the heavyweight division before he won a 2-0 decision against Edinboro's Jon Spaulding and pulled out a 4-3 decision against Navy's Thomas Ott in the sixth extra period. They were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, and after nobody scored in the first sudden victory period, each wrestler earned an escape from the down position in the matching tiebreaker periods.
After no points were scored in the next sudden victory period, Miller jumped ahead 4-2 with an escape and a one-point stalling penalty on Ott in the first of two more matching tiebreaker periods. Ott managed an escape in the next one but nothing more.
Matt Zovistoski and Jonathan Millner are also still alive in the tournament after they both went 4-1 in the 149-pound division on Day 1. They won two matches apiece to reach the round of 16 before suffering initial losses and winning their first two matches in the consolation bracket.
Like Miller and Clothier, Codi Russell (133 pounds) and Michael Elliott (165) started the day 2-1 with a round of 32 victory, round of 16 loss and consolation bracket win. They both dropped their second consolation matches. The other Mountaineers to post wins Tuesday were Irvin Enriquez (141), Thomas Flitz (174), Paul Carson (197), Riley Smucker (unattached at 165), Barrett Blakely (unattached at 174) and Will Formato (unattached at 157).
Wrestling continues Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Randall Diabe (197)
Mark Chaid, North Carolina: W, MD 14-3
Sawyer Root, The Citadel: W, Dec, 3-2
#7 Dakota Geer, Oklahoma State: L, Fall 5:18
Cary Miller (HWT)
Robert Winters, No. Colorado: W, MD, 8-0
#20 Joey Goodhart, Drexel: L, Dec, 3-1 (SV-1)
Jon Spaulding, Edinboro: W, Dec, 2-0
Thomas Ott, Navy: W, Dec, 4-3 (TB-2)
Alan Clothier (184)
Jake Walker, Ohio: W, Dec, 9-4
Hunter Bolen, Virginia Tech: L, Fall: 2:13
Colbey Harlan, Stanford: W, MD, 10-1
Bear Hughes, Oklahoma State: W, Dec, 9-7 (SV-1)
Jonathan Millner (149)
Matt Fields, NC State: W, Dec, 9-5
PJ Gohn, Edinboro: W, MD, 11-3
#7 Jarrett Degen, Iowa State: L, MD, 18-8
Gary Dinmore, Rider: W, Dec, 3-2
Franklin Garcia, Binghamton: W, Dec, 7-1
Matt Zovistoski (149)
Matt Swanson, Binghamton: W, Fall: 6:03
Luke Gardner, Penn State: W, Dec, 6-3
Requir Van der Merwe, Stanford: L, Dec, 4-1
Riley Jacops, Columbia: W, Dec, 6-1
Thomas Stager, Air Force: W, Dec, 4-0:
Codi Russell (133)
Brandon Loperfido, Lock Haven: W, TF: 19-2
Collin Gerardi, Virginia Tech: L, Dec, 9-4
Sean Cannon, No. Colorado: W, MD, 9-0
Nick Farro, Lehigh: L, Dec, 7-5
Michael Elliott (165)
Macoy Flanagan, No. Colorado: W, Dec, 6-1
#19 Jesse Dellavecchia, Rider: L, Dec, 7-3 (SV-1)
Cameron Pine, Campbell: W, Fall: 7:00
Laurence Kosoy, Columbia: L, Fall: 6:27:
Irvin Enriquez (141)
Kevin Kelly, Binghamton: W, Fall: 4:45
Ian Parker, Iowa State: L, Dec, 9-4
Ryan Moore, FLWC: L, Dec, 10-7
Thomas Flitz (174)
Vincent Deprez, Binghamton : L, Dec, 6-3
Max Elling, Columbia: W, Dec, 10-4
Kyle Homet, Gardner-Webb: L, Dec, 8-7
Paul Carson (197)
Aaron Naples, Ohio: W, Dec, 6-4
Stephen Loiseau, Drexel: L, TF: 18-0
Kaden Sauer, Iowa State: L, Dec, 4-2:
Angel Najar (157)
Wyatt Sheets, Oklahoma State: L, Dec, 8-2
Quentin Hovis, Navy: L, Fall: 1:26
Anthony Brito (141)
Anthony Sparacio, Binghamton: L, Dec, 5-2
Julian Flores, Drexel: L, Dec, 8-2
Demazio Samuel (197)
Luke McGonigal, Lock Haven: L, Fall: 5:24
Tyrie Houghton, NC State: L, Fall: 2:54
Riley Smucker (165)
Billy Higgins, No. Colorado: L, Dec, 6-5
Joey Mazzarra, North Carolina: W, Dec, 9-6
Colston Diblasi, George Mason: L, Dec, 6-3:
Barrett Blakely (174)
Dean Sherry, Rider: L, TF: 16-1
Joe Terry, Ohio: W, Dec, 5-4
Spencer Carey, Navy: L, Fall: 0:19
Will Formato (157)
Wyatt Gerl, CSU Bakersfield: W, Dec, 2-0
#1 Jason Nolf, Penn State: L, Fall: 4:07
Kolby Ho, George Mason: L, Dec, 10-5
The college football season isn't over, but Appalachian State already has guaranteed itself of a No. 1 national ranking in one defensive category.
By allowing just eight passing touchdowns during the 2018 season, the Mountaineers will finish in a first-place tie with Mississippi State. The Bulldogs had allowed only five entering their bowl game against Iowa on Tuesday, but the Hawkeyes had three touchdown passes in a 27-22 victory.
App State tied for the lowest mark in the last three FBS seasons, as Northwestern allowed only five in 2015 and eight led the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Notre Dame ranked third this season with 10 allowed.
For comparison's sake, the Mountaineers intercepted 17 passes as a team, led by four apiece from cornerback Tae Hayes, safety Desmond Franklin and safety Josh Thomas.
The eight passing touchdowns allowed, coupled with 12 rushing touchdowns allowed, enabled App State to set a Sun Belt record with only 20 touchdowns allowed by its defense over the course of a full season. The previous low was 23 by North Texas in 2002.
No opponent had more than one passing touchdown against App State in 2018. It didn't give up any against Charlotte, South Alabama, Arkansas State and Coastal Carolina or allow any in the Sun Belt Championship game victory against Louisiana.