The best possible scenario for Appalachian to forget that dreadful second half at Davidson is to get back on the court as soon as possible. That is what the Mountaineers will do when they play their second straight road conference at Furman on Monday night. The Paladins have been a scrappy team in the past, one that relies heavily on the three pointer. Furman’s last win in the series came in 2011 when the Paladins hit a game-winning three pointer in the closing seconds to defeat the Mountaineers by one.
Furman (4-7, 0-2) went an entire month without a victory following their victory over Mercer on November 24th. Their next win came on December 29th, a win over USC-Upstate. Despite their unattractive wins, three of the four Paladin wins have come at home. Furman’s Timmons Arena, is a tough place to play, mainly because it is not suited for basketball. The depth perception for a shooter is tremendously different from one half to the next. If you have ever been there, you know what we are talking about.
In their eleven games, the Paladins have used a slew of starting lineups. Only Teshia Griswold has started every game. Eleven players have started at least one game, and those same eleven average double digit minutes on the season. Griswold averages 14.4 points and 3.6 rebounds a game. Brittany Hodge leads the team in rebounding at 7.9 boards per game while chipping in 7.2 points per contest. Sarah Durdaller averages 14.2 points per game, but did not play at all during Furman’s six game losing streak.
Appalachian boasts three players in double figures in Anna Freeman (19.4), Courtney Freeman (15.6) and Maryah Sydnor (13.1). Anna scored a season low nine points against Davidson. Sydnor led all scorers with 15 points and is coming on as the season progresses. Sydnor had a slow start to the season but has just recently upped her scoring average into double figures.
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It was an absolutely ugly first half, but Appalachian fought off one Furman push after another to hold on for a fourteen point road win on Monday evening. Appalachian struggled from the free throw line for the first time all season long. We hinted about not getting the chance to get to the line at Davidson and then the poor shooting backdrop at Furman. At one point in the game, the Mountaineers were 4-14 from the line, but finished the game 16-29. Appalachian also dominated Furman on the boards 44-30, with a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass. The Mountaineers took better advantage than Furman in the turnover battle. Appalachian forced 24 turnovers from Furman, 16 of them being straight steals.
The Appalachian sophmores led the team in scoring with Maryah Sydnor scoring a game high 21 points and added six rebounds. Katie Mallow scored 15 points with the help of a trio of tree pointers, while dishing out four assists. Anna Freeman continues to be shut down, and she only managed 10 points, but did corral 13 rebounds for a very solid double-double. Kelsey Sharkey also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Around the conference, Elon knocked off Chattanooga at home in overtime, giving the Mocs their first conference loss. Davidson defeated upstart Charleston on the road to remain undefeated in conference play. The loss was Charleston’s first conference loss of the season as well. Appalachian hosts Western Carolina on Saturday at home, who just lost to Georgia Southern, giving the Eagles their second win of the season. Conference standings are updated above, but the positioning is off. Charleston will visit Samford on Saturday in the only other game of interest for the rest of the week.