Women’s Basketball 77, Xavier 73


Appalachian will face it second tough out of conference game of the season when it visits Xavier of the Atlantic 10 on Friday evening. Xavier is led by second year head coach Amy Waugh, who is a 2003 Xavier graduate. Waugh served as assistant for two years prior to be named head coach in 2011. She is Xavier’s sixth head coach in program history and the first alumnus named to the position.

Xavier only lists eleven players on their roster, over half which are made up of freshman and sophomores. Despite the short bench, Xavier plays everyone. Nine players have played in every game, while ten players have averaged at least 14 minutes a game. Not one player on their roster averages more than 32 minutes. Compare that to Appalachian, with thirteen players on their roster, with very similar underclassmen numbers, utilizes more of a seven player rotation, mostly of upperclassmen.

Xavier (3-2) has two players averaging double figures in Shatyra Hawkes (14.2) and Ashley Wanninger (10.0). Both Hawkes and Wanninger also lead the team in three pointers made with seven and eleven respectively. The two account for 75% of the team’s made three pointers. Lakeisha Crouch averages a respectable 7.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game while Jessica Pachko scores nine points a game while grabbing seven rebounds per contest. Those four players combine for 19 of Xavier’s 25 starts this season.

The Musketeers have played every game at home this season, with wins over RPI #119 Bucknell, RPI #287 Morehead State and RPI #282 High Point. Their losses are to top women’s teams in Michigan and Duke. Their opponents record who Xavier has beaten is 6-11, while their losses are to teams with a combined 10-2 record. According to realtimerpi.com, this game has been “scouted” as an Appalachian win.

The Mountaineers (4-1) come into the game with a three game winning streak, picking up wins over Campbell and Norfolk State at the ECU Invitational. As the season has progressed, Appalachian’s RPI has slowly crept into the top 100, as they are currently ranked #88. Appalachian is getting nearly 50% of their scoring from seniors Anna Freeman (21.0) and Courtney Freeman (16.4). The Freeman’s also account for over a third of the Mountaineers rebounds. As a team, Appalachian is forcing 25 turnovers a game, compared to Xavier who commits nearly 19 turnovers per game.


In a game where the Mountaineers dominated, Xavier continued to fight and force overtime in a thrilling game. The Musketeers were able to convert two four point plays in the second half. One occasion was on a traditional foul on a three point shooter who hit the basket, while the occured on a play where a Mountaineer tried to fight through a screen, at the same time Xavier hit a three.

Perhaps the most amazing statistic of the night occurred in overtime. Appalachian scored 17 points in the five minute extra period, and did so by only missing one a shot, a free throw. Appalachian hit all five field goal attempts, including two three pointers while knocking down five of six free throws.

Twenty-two fouls were called on Appalachian, and when that happens with a seven player rotation, foul trouble is going to become an issue. Maryah Sydnor fouled out with eight points and nine rebounds. Kelsey Sharkey finished with four fouls, four points and seven rebounds. Michelle Taylor and Farrahn Wood also finished with four fouls. Raven Gary did not play due to a foot injury, and her status for Monday’s game against Georgia Southern are unknown.

Anna Freeman led all scorers with 28 points and eight rebounds. Anna is now 22 points away from her 1500th career points. Courtney Freeman added 24 points and eight rebounds. We had hoped Courtney would score her 1,000th point at home against Gerogia Southern, and it is still possible. She is twenty four points short of the milestone.

Men’s Basketball 72 Duquesne 73


Appalachian hosts Duquesne in Boone tonight in the first meeting between the two schools since a Mountaineer win in in 2005. Duquesnse is a member of the Atlantic 10 conference and currently ranks #195 at realtimerpi. The Dukes will be playing their third road game of the season, having lost their previous two road games at Albany and Georgetown. Duquesne is fresh off of a three game home stand in which they picked up victories over #249 James Madison and #288 Youngstown State, but lost to #77 North Dakota State. Sounds more like a gauntlet of FCS football programs than basketball powerhouses.

Duquesne was picked to finish last in the sixteen team A-10 in the preseason poll. Head coach Jim Ferry is in his first season at Duquesne after guiding LIU-Brooklyn to back to back NCAA tournament appearances. His teams are known for a high scoring brand of basketball, despite the Dukes averaging 67 points per game this far in 2012-13.

Duquesne is replacing two 1,000 point scorers who graduated last year. Currently, three Dukes are averaging in double figures, but the scoring drops off significantly after their big three. Senior guard Sean Johnson leads the team with 13.4 points per game. Johnson rebounds well from his position on the court, leading the team with six boards per game. Johnson also leads the team shooting 84% from the free throw line and is one of four players to start every game. Freshman point guard Derrick Colter leads the team with 21 assists, but also leads the team with 22 turnovers. Colter is second on the team is scoring at 11.8 points per contest. Sixth man Quevyn Winters is third on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game, but has been inconsistent. Fifty-two of his fifty four points have come in three games. The Duquesne roster includes four players who grew up outside of the United States.

Appalachian has played better in its last two games against East Carolina and Virginia Tech, two teams who are a combined 10-0 at this point in the season. It is apparent that something happened with this team after the Campbell game and before the East Carolina game. Despite carrying a 1-4 record, and having yet to win a Division I game, these Mountaineers are improving and could be poised to break through tonight against a young Duquesne team. The Mountaineers are underdogs in their own house for the first time since playing Wofford last year. The four point spread is a good number for Appalachian. After covering two large spreads on the road, getting points at home seems like a guaranteed win. Last year, when getting points at home, the Mountaineers were 1-1, covering 8.5 against Davidson and losing by 2 to Wofford, in a game where the line was at 1.5. I’ll take the Mountaineers at home.


This game started off poorly for the Mountaineers as their weak defense continued to expose them. Appalachian was constantly leaving shooters wide open on the perimeter, and Duquesne took advantage. The Dukes were able to shoot 50% in the first half, draining seven of their twelve three point attempts as they raced out to a fourteen point halftime lead. The Dukes led by as many as nineteen points in the first half before Appalachian cut the lead in the final minutes. The Dukes surprised the Mountaineers with thirty bench points in the first half.

The second half was an entirely different story.  The Mountaineers started the period on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to five points before the first media timeout. Five minutes later, the Mountaineers tied the game at 51. In the first nine minutes of the second half, Appalachian outscored Duquesne 18-4. The remainder of the half was a back and forth affair as the lead changed several times. The game was tied for the seventh time with seven minutes to play at 61, and then again four minutes later at 67. With 2:13 to play, the score was knotted for the ninth and final time of the game at 68. The Mountaineers took the lead with 0:47 to play an a layup by Michael Obacha. On the ensuing possession, Appalachian played defense like they did in the first half. Duquense worked the ball around quickly and found an open Quevyn Winters, who nailed a three pointer with 31 seconds left, giving the Dukes the one point lead. Tab Hamilton missed a jumper, and the Mountaineers were forced to foul. Jerry Jones knocked down both free throws with 14.4 seconds remaining. Jay Canty worked down the court and hit a layup, but had to score off of his own miss, which costed the Mountaineers a valuable 2 seconds on the game clock. Duquesne missed both free throws on the foul, with four seconds left, but the Mountaineers could not corral the rebound in enough time to be able to call a timeout and set up a final play. Nathan Healy’s three quarter court shot fell well short.

Despite the result, it was good to see this team fight to the finish. They easily could have quit and gone through the motions. Duquesne went cold in the second half, shooting only 31% from the field. The Dukes only knocked down two three pointers in the second half, but both of them gave them the lead when the game was either tied or they trailed. Appalachian shot 57% in the second half, and ended up 50% for the game, the first time this season the Mountaineers had hit half their shots in a game. Appalachian’s field goal defense was also their best mark of the season. Nathan Healy led the Mountaineers with 21 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Jay Canty scored fifteen and dished out ten assists. Tab Hamilton scored nineteen points and grabbed a career high seven rebounds. Healy (3) , Canty (1) and Hamilton (5) accounted for all nine Mountaineer three pointers. Brian Okam only played nine minutes before fouling out, but was as effective as he has ever been. Okam showed an inside move, worked well off screens and absolutely posterized some poor Duke player on a two-handed slam off of a pick and roll, where he was fouled, and hit the free throw. Jamaal Trice seems to be battling another illness as he sat almost the entire second half. Tevin Baskin played six minutes and turned the ball over three times.

We were correct with our pick of taking the Mountaineers at home being a four point underdog. It didn’t look good in the first half, and if there were bettors on the other side, they had to be furious in the second half. Interesting to know that even though the Mountaineers still do not have a Division I win, they have covered the spread in three straight games. Our record moved to 2-1 on the season, with a very high number likely coming at Missouri on Saturday. I am expecting someting around twenty. Tipoff coincides with kickoff of the playoff football game, so we will do our best to get a pick in sometime on Saturday morning, most likely from tailgate.