It is really tough to describe the emotion any Appalachian basketball fan must have after learning about the loss to The Citadel last night. The Bulldogs won for the sixth time last night. It was their third conference win of the season and only fourth win over a Division I team. The Mountaineers shot themselves in the foot last night. Take away Nathan Healy, who had 19 points and hit three of his six three point attempts, and the Mountaineers were 0-19 from behind the arc. The Mountaineers were 17-34 from two point range, but continued to settle for the lower percentage shots. In contrast, The Citadel only shot the ball thirty eight times from the field, but benefited from shooting 21-28 from the free throw line. Appalachian only attempted eleven free throws. The Citadel was one of the worst rebounding teams in the conference but still managed to dominate the Mountaineers on the boards, 36-26. Andre Williamson managed ten points and fourteen of the teams twenty six rebounds coming off the bench.
Appalachian can still tie for second in the North, but it will do them no good. In the event of a three way tie, Samford would win it and leave Appalachian in the third spot, which would mean playing The Citadel again in the first round. Appalachian could win on Saturday and guarantee no worse than fourth in the North. A loss to Western Carolina would put the Mountaineers in a very precarious situation. If Western can beat Samford tonight, coupled, with beating Appalachian on Saturday, Western would vault to fourth place, dropping Appalachian to fifth place by themselves. If Western and Appalachian were to tie at 7-11, the tiebreaker would go to the fourth and final SoCon tiebreaking procedure, which is the higher ratings published by RPIratings.com. As of February 19th, Appalachian holds that tiebreaker by a very slim margin, but that could change. The final comparison will basically be between The Citadel and Samford, the teams final uncommon opponents.
W/L SS Rank RPI
244. Appalachian St. 10 15 .4759 207 .4537
252. Western Carolina 10 17 .4519 264 .4503
There is a school that will receive the 2 seed bye in the tournament, but they will not deserve it, no matter who they are. Elon spent most of the first half of the conference season in first place but has since floundered, losing four in a row. Appalachian has not won three games in a row all season long, which eventually led to their demise. Samford sits in the best position at 8-8, but has two road games remaining.
SoCon North Standings
UNCG 10-7 @Elon
Elon 8-8 @Dav, UNCG
Samford 8-8 @WCU, @UTC
App St 7-10 @WCU
WCU 6-10 Sam, App St