Appalachian will host in-state rival Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon as the first part of a doubleheader starting at 2pm at the Holmes Center. The Mountaineers (8-3, 1-1) have defeated Western Carolina (4-9, 2-1) seven straight times including in last year’s SoCon Tournament. The Catamounts are surprisingly over .500 in conference play, although their win are over some conference cellar dwellers. Neither UNCG nor Wofford are considered contenders in conference play. The fourteen point win over Wofford win looks pretty good when you consider their scrappy style of play. However, their loss to Georgia Southern is confusing. No matter how you slice, Western is 2-1 against teams who are 1-12 in conference play. The Catamounts have beaten up on the bottom of the conference.
Western Carolina is led by senior Diamond Hunicutt who leads the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game. Hunnicutt is one of two players on the Western roster to start every game. The other is Ali Lane, who was named to the all-freshman team last year while starting 29 of her 31 games. Lane led the team in steals last year and is second on the team with 14 steals this season. Lane averages 7.5 points per game. Western’s roster features three players with who have hit at least ten three pointers on the season.
Appalachian continues to be lead by its talented threesome of Anna & Courtney Freeman and Maryah Sydnor. Anna scored her fewest points of the season in her last two games. Anna scored nine against Davidson and ten against Furman. Despite only scoring 19 points in her last two games, Anna is still averaging 18.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to go along with 4.1 assists and 3.1 steals per contest. Courtney Freeman is on a similar slump, perhaps because she started the season so hot. Courtney has cooled off to scoring 14.8 points per contest while grabbing 6.3 rebounds. Sydnor continues to play strong, as she has bumped her average up to 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. Raven Gary continues to get back into game shape, as she is the team’s best ball handler. Gary chips in 5.9 points and 3.7 assists a game in the eight games she has played in this year.
There was not much to say from this game. Western Carolina is vastly inferior to Appalachian. The Catamounts had more fouls than points for a large majority of the first half. By the time Western Carolina broke double digts, as in scoring their tenth point, the Mountaineers had already built a twenty-nine point lead, and the margin stayed around that number most of the game. The Mountaineers cruised to a 77-46 win.
Lindsay Simpson was the only Catamount to score in double figures with 15 points. Simpson was responsible for the only two three pointers the Catamounts were able to make. Western shot 27% for the game, and their starting five managed only four baskets on twenty-six attempts. Only three of Western’s sixteen field goals were assisted on.
Appalachian’s terrific trio paced them once again in scoring. Courtney Freeman led all scorers with 19 points. Anna Freeman added 17 points, 9 rebounds and five assists. Maryah Sydnor contributed with 16 points, 8 rebounds and four assists. Appalachian only made two three pointers, something it needs to improve on. Vincent emptied the bench in the rout, with every players seeing action. Khadejah Wilkerson was not dressed out Davidson and was not on the bench that we noticed on Saturday. Via instagram, we took note to a foot injury she may have sustained so it is possible that she will redshirt.
Next up for Appalachian is Wofford on Monday evening.
|College of Charleston||3-2||.600||1-1||2-1||0-0||L2||7-7||.500||3-2||4-5||0-0||L2|