In terms of conference tournament seeding, this game is as big as it gets for Appalachian. Chattanooga has already been eliminated from bye contention, while Appalachian needs a win tonight to keep their slim hopes alive. A Mountaineer loss assures a game on the tournament’s first day. Along with Appalachian needing a win, the teams they are chasing, Elon and Samford face tough games this evening on the road. Samford travels to SoCon South leader Davidson where they are a 17.5 point underdog, while Elon visits Wofford, who is favored by nine points. Elon losing is as important to the Mountaineers as winning themselves tonight.
Appalachian held a double digit lead in the second half at Chattanooga earlier this season but allowed the Mocs to slowly climb back into the game before a key possession by the Mountaineers with under a minute to go allowed the Mocs to score the go ahead basket.
Appalachian darted out to a 13-0 lead to start the game and never looked back in a 84-68 win over Elon on Monday evening. Elon did not score until well past the first media timeout (first dead ball after the 16:00 minute mark) and could not catch up with the Mountaineers, who won their tenth straight game. Appalachian’s Maryah Sydnor was one point short of matching her career high in points as she finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Anna Freeman scored 13 points with 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists and 4 blocks.
The best teams in the SoCon continued to win with a minor upset in Greenville, SC. Western Carolina led by as many as 14 points before Furman stormed back to force overtime. Western Carolina prevailed in the extra session. Second place Davidson travelled to last place UNCG on Tuesday and squeaked out a nine point win over the Spartans. Davidson led by 18 at the half, but only managed twenty points in the second frame.
SoCon standings are basically unchanged with a huge game going down on Saturday afternoon in Davidson . Appalachian hopes to get revenge for their only conference loss on the season when they visit the Wildcats. It is an absolutely big game for both teams. Factoring in the loss Appalachian suffered at the hands of Davidson in Januaray, the standings basically say that the regular season title could be decided with this result. Appalachian leads Davidson by one game in the standings, and Chattanooga by two games. If Appalachian wins, it will go up by two games over the second place team, with only three games to play. However, if Davidson wins, they tie Appalachian in the standings and own the tiebreaker with two wins over the Mountaineers. All in all, Appalachian controls its own destiny with a win, and would need help to win the regular season title if they were to lose.