Appalachian played a very smart game and rolled to an easier than it appears nine point win over Chattanooga. Mike Neal had a career high with 23 points, while Isaac Butts chipped in six points and grabbed a season high 16 rebounds. As big as the win was, it was almost equally important the losses Elon and Samford suffered on Wednesday Night. Appalachian gained a full game on the standings on both teams and really tightened up the race for the second seed in the conference tournament. Listed below are the teams records and remaining conference games.
UNCG 10-5 @GSU, Woff, @Elon Clinched top 2 seed
Elon 8-7 WCU, @Dav, UNCG
Samford 7-8 Furman, @WCU, @UTC
App St 7-9 @Cit, @WCU
Obviously, Appalachian needs to get to 9-9 in conference play. The Mountaineers cannot afford another conference loss, because Elon already has 8 wins. Elon’s chances of getting to 9-9 are pretty high with a home game against Western Carolina, but getting a tenth conference win is unlikely with games at Davidson and home to UNCG. Samford will probably get a 8th win among their remaining games, but a lengthy road trip on the final weekend of the season could create trouble. Appalachian has the easiest remaining schedule of the three teams still fighting for a bye. If there were a three way tiebreaker, Appalachian would lose, but if Appalachian tied with either Samford or Elon, the Mountaineers would win and get the bye in both scenarios. Unfortunately, Appalachian does not control its own destiny as this point in time and will have to scoreboard watch this Saturday to know their fate.