App. State Men and Women advance at SoCon Tournament


Appalachian and Charleston played a really close game until the final few minutes when Appalachian’s pressure finally got to Charleston. Appalachian was in control for much of the game, but could never really extend their lead in the first half. Charleston led by a point on one occasion, but Appalachian quickly regained the lead. For much of the game, the Mountaineers led by just under ten points as Charleston hung around as long as they could.

The Cougars were still in the game with 2:09 remaining, as they only trailed by six points. The Mountaineers would finish the game on a 8-0 run to mark the final tally at 74-60. Six of those eight points came at the free throw line via Maryah Sydnor and Anna Freeman. Bria Huffman hit a basket as well in that final run by the Mountaineers.

Anna led all scorers with 23 points and added ten rebounds. Maryah Sydnor scored 17 points and added a half dozen rebounds. Raven Gary added 14 points, six rebouns and four assists. Courtney Freeman chipped in eleven points. Three Mountaineers, Sydnor, Anna, and Courtney accumulated twelve of the nineteen Appalachian fouls as all three were called for four. Charleston threw up another twenty three point attempts, and were mostly unsuccessful, hitting only five of them. The Cougars attempted 28 more shots than Appalachian, and the Mountaineers turned the ball over 13 more times than their opponent.

Appalachian gave up 20 offensive rebounds to Charleston, and must clean that up if they want to beat Chattanooga. The Mocs pounded Appalachian just eight days ago at home. The key to beating the Mocs is playing good perimeter defense and getting in the face of the Mocs three point shooters. Appalachian must also be very aware of Chattanooga’s post players, and do everything they can to limit the Mocs to one shot on the offensive end. Appalachian and Chattanooga will face off at noon on Sunday.

(We made the tough decision and attended the men’s game on Saturday)


Appalachian jumped all over a tired Furman team in the first half and never looked back. Appalachian used a 7-0 run the jump out to an 18-7 lead early in the first half. Moments later, a 10-2 run by Appalachian up by seventeen points, a lead they would two more times in the first half before heading to the locker room with a fourteen point halftime lead. Appalachian used active hands on the defensive end, something we had not seen all year long. Their hands were in the passing lanes on the wings, and once the ball was tipped, the Mountaineers were off and running for easy fast break points.

Furman cut the lead to five points at 38-33 early in the second half, but Appalachian once again answered with a huge run, another 7-0 run, that put that back up by double digits with 16:17 to play in the game. Furman would once again cut the lead back down to single digits at 47-40, before Appalachian finally put the Paladins away. Over the next 5:23 of game time, the Mountaineers went on a 19-5 run that gave them the Mountaineers their biggest lead of the game with just over eight minutes to play.

Furman responded with a 10-0 run, but it was too little too late for the Paladins. Tevin Baskin put a bow on the game as Furman went up for a breakaway dunk with 13 seconds left and Baskin emphatically blocked it away to preserve a 74-60 final margin.

In the earlier meeting against Furman, Appalachian had very balanced scoring, as four players scored 14 points. Scoring was very balanced against Furman in the tournament as no player scored more than 13 points. Nathan Healy and Jay Canty scored 13 as Jamaal Trice added twelve points to round out the Mountaineer double figure scorers. Baskin and Tab Hamilton added nine points each while Michael Obacha scored eight points and led the team with seven rebounds.

Next up for the Mountaineers is Davidson, who blistered Georgia Southern with three pointers, nailing ten in the first half, and thirteen for the game. Five Wildcats scored in double figures in the 86-59 win. Davidson handled Appalachian in both meeting this season, so this game will be a tall task for the Mountaineers. Most consider Appalachian the weakest of the four top seeds and predicted they would make an early exit in the tournament. Davidson and Appalachian have never met in the semifinals before and Appalachian is 1-3 all time against the Wildcats in the tournament. Davidson has easily brought the most fans to the tournament, but hopefully a 6pm start will bring a few more Mountaineers to Asheville.

Women’s Basketball 74 Charleston 65

Appalachian has played some of its best defense in the last week or so, and they will need another effort like the last few games to hold off Charleston. The Cougars are a very interesting team this season. After two years of being well below average, the Cougars have found some momentum and find themselves in sixth place in the SoCon. Charleston sits only a half game out of fifth place Samford, which would put them in great position in the tournament if they could get there. The top five seeds would have to play one fewer game to get to the conference final. Equally as interesting, if the Cougars finish 6th, which is most likely, they would potentially meet the third seed in the quarterfinals, which right now, would be Appalachian. The thought that these two teams could meet again in ten days makes this matchup even more intriguing.

In the first matchup of the season, Appalachian held on for an eight point win on the road, just a little over a month ago. Charleston was dominate on the offensive glass, with 25 for the game, something that has been a problem for Appalachian all season. Charleston only hit four of their thirty three point attempts and were 11/25 from the free throw line. Conversely, it was a game where Appalachian was successful shooting from long range, hitting six three pointers. Both shooting stats where the exact opposite of how both teams had played prior to their game. Add that Charleston has played well of late, and you have an opportunity for an upset here. Appalachian has only lost one home game this season, but have always been good for losing one game they should not have at home in the past. If Charleston can hit a few threes early it will give Appalachian a run for their money.


Even thought the final margin was nine points, Appalachian led by as many as nineteen points in the late second half while cruising to their eighteenth win of the season. Charleston battle with the Mountaineers early in a very physical contest that eventually took a toll on the Cougars. Forty-five fouls were called in the game, but Charleston’s key players took a bigger hit than did the Mountaineers. Appalachian was able to build its lead late in the second half, and was never really threatened for the remainder of the game.

The story of the game, and of the past couple weeks is the play of Kelsey Sharkey. She has shown more offensive skill recently than she has in her career. Sharkey takes high percantage shots, and has played to her strengths just about as well as Mountaineer. Against Charleston, Sharkey scored fourteen points and grabbed fourteen rebounds, while adding five blocks and three steals. Anna Freeman continued her run of strong defensive play. Anna has put up a double-double in four straight games. Her line was 18 points, 18 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 assists. Anna has blocked 12 Cougar shots in two games this season, and has 13 of her 55 blocked shots this season in her last three games.

Women’s Basketball 63 College of Charleston 55

The Appalachian women hit the road for a one game road trip to Charleston on Friday evening. The Friday game is an oddity in SoCon play for both schools. Generally, the women’s teams play on Saturday and Monday, but this weekend, Appalachian will play a Friday evening  and Sunday afternoon game. Charleston enters the game at 3-3 in SoCon play, with all of their losses coming to conference contenders Davidson, Chattanooga and Samford, all in their last three games. The Cougars will have played the top four teams in the conference in a matter of twelve days by Friday evening. Although Charleston did not win any of those three games, their results have improved dramatically  since last season.

The past two seasons, Charleston has been the team that has been considered somewhat of an easy win in conference play. The Cougars have won thirteen conference games the past two seasons after a thirteen win campaign in 2009-10. This team seems to a little different than the past. Their conference wins include a two point win over a decent Elon team at home, a two point win over Georgia Southern on the road, and stomping of an athletic Greensboro team on the road. Call it a hunch, but this Charleston team does not seem to be the pushover they once were.

The Cougars are led by Latisha Harris, who is scoring a very respectable 14.2 points per game and also grabbing 8.8 rebounds per contest. She is complimented by Alyssa Frye who averages 10.9 points per game and has already hit an amazing 42 three pointers this season. Cathryn Hardy also chips in a very solid 8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Seems the Cougars have two players they can go to in the post, and a third player who can stretch the defense on the perimeter. Appalachian will have to keep Frye in check on the outside, by limiting her shots, which in turn will allow them to focus on rebounding the ball on missed shots. Charleston only shoots 34% as a team from the field, but does average 16 offensive rebounds per game.

As we all know, The Mountaineer trio of Freeman, Freeman & Sydnor lead the team in scoring and rebounding. We have talked about Maryah Sydnor stepping up her game the last couple weeks which has had a direct toll on the production of Anna Freeman. It seems that SoCon teams are content with Sydnor scoring as long as Anna does not get hers. All three players average  over 14 points and five rebounds per game. In conference play, Sydnor leads the team with 18.8 points per game, followed by Courtney’s 13.6 points per game. Katie Mallow has also stepped up in conference play averaging 10.6 points per contest. The Mountaineers three losses have all come on the road, while two of their four road wins have come in overtime.


Appalachian State gutted out an eight point win over Charleston on the road on Friday night. Appalachian jumped out to a quick 15-10 lead in the first half before allowing Charleston to go on a 16-0 run in a matter of 5:52. In the final 5:52, Appalachian countered and ended the half on a 17-4 run of their own, taking a two point lead into the second half. The score was tied four times in the first hald and the lead changed hands twice.

The second half was a much closer battle. The largest lead any team held in the final frame was in the final minute when Appalachian was sealing the game with free throws. Charleston lead at only one time in the second half at 51-50, but it was a short lived lead that lasted all of twenty-seven seconds. The Mountaineers did not play their best game offensively, with 21 turnovers and shooting only 39.3% from the floor. The Mountaineers gave up 23 offensive rebounds to the Cougars, who attempted thirty three pointers, only making four of them.

Charleston took the game to Appalachian. They heaved up as many open shots as possible and attacked the glass. The Cougars accumulated thirteen steals and resembled Appalachian in many ways. Charleston has made obvious improvements since last season, and are not an easy win. Where Charleston was deficient was shooting free throws. They hit only 11/25 attempts and most of them were very bad misses.

Friday was an important day in SoCon Women’s hoops. Chattanooga did their job of taking down Davidson on the road. Elon and Samford both won, keeping the race for the conference title very tight at the top. Five teams have one loss while Appalachian and Davidson are in a tie for fourth, having played one less game than Chattanooga, Samford and Elon. Appalachian hosts UNCG on Sunday afternoon before facing the western road trip of Chattanooga and Samford next weekend.

Team Record Pct Home Away Neutral Streak Record Pct Home Away Neutral Streak
Chattanooga 6-1 .857 4-0 2-1 0-0 W3 13-3 .813 7-0 5-3 1-0 W3
Elon 6-1 .857 4-1 2-0 0-0 W6 9-7 .563 7-2 2-5 0-0 W5
Samford 6-1 .857 4-0 2-1 0-0 W4 9-7 .563 6-1 3-6 0-0 W4
Appalachian State 5-1 .833 2-0 3-1 0-0 W4 11-3 .786 4-0 5-3 2-0 W4
Davidson 5-1 .833 2-1 3-0 0-0 L1 8-8 .500 3-1 4-6 1-1 L1
College of Charleston 3-4 .429 1-2 2-2 0-0 L4 7-9 .438 3-3 4-6 0-0 L4
Western Carolina 2-4 .333 2-2 0-2 0-0 L3 4-11 .267 3-5 1-6 0-0 L3
Furman 2-5 .286 1-2 1-3 0-0 L2 6-10 .375 4-3 2-7 0-0 L2
Georgia Southern 1-6 .143 1-1 0-5 0-0 L3 2-14 .125 1-3 0-10 1-1 L3
Wofford 0-6 .000 0-3 0-3 0-0 L6 5-9 .357 1-4 3-5 1-0 L6
UNCG 0-6 .000 0-3 0-3 0-0 L6 3-12 .200 3-7 0-5 0-0 L6

Appalachian State Baseball (36-12, 20-7 SoCon) @ Samford (33-19, 19-11)

Last weekend, the series against Greensboro was a big deal for Appalachian, and this weekend, the baseball games mean even more. The race is super tight for the SoCon regular season crown, and both Samford and Appalachian can make major strides to achieving their goals this weekend. Appalachian is in a good spot, controlling its own destiny, needing to win four of its last six conference games to secure the title. Samford really needs a sweep as they sit a game behind second place Charleston. Appalachian has to play its final six conference games on the road, and Samford is 7-5 at home this season against conference opponents. Those game include series wins over Citadel and Furman, taking three games from Western Carolina, and being swept by Elon. Samford had won seven in a row and eleven of twelve games before falling in the series finale at Georgia Southern last weekend.

This series will be a battle of offenses versus pitching. Both Samford and Appalachian have superior pitching staffs and high team batting averages. Appalachian hits .317 as a team compared to the .303 that Samford hits. Samford’s pitching staff edges out Appalachian with a 3.68 team ERA compared the the Mountaineers’ 3.72. This could be a very interesting series considering these powerful numbers for both teams. Most likely we will see a series very similar to the one at Georgia Southern. I doubt either team sweeps, but I can see one pitching duel, a one run game, and one blowout.

Probable Starters

Game 1

ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (9-0, 3.77) vs. SU Sr. RHP Charles Basford (8-2, 3.87)

Two great performances by both starting pitchers resulted in neither one earning a decision. This game was up to the bullpens when Samford starter Charles Basford left in the eighth inning with runners on first and second base and one out. Samford reliever Joseph Burns balked the runners to scoring position before he threw his first pitch. Burns was able to force a groundout before a confusing intentional walk to the slumping Jeremy Dowdy with two outs. The second pitch to Trey Holmes hit him, which brought in the tying run heading into the bottom half of the inning.

Not to be outdone, Appalachian’s bullpen allowed a run on two hits with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to give the lead back to Samford heading into the final inning. Samford needed three outs to win the game. After Arthur Strauss was able to retire pinch hitter Brandon Burris, he issued a walk to Appalachian’s leading base stealer Hector Crespo. Strauss sandwiched a walk to Tyler Zupcic between Crespo stealing second and third base. Will Callaway endured a nine pitch at-bat and reached base on a fielders choice RBI that scored Crespo. With runners on first and second, Daniel Kassouf popped up in the infield. With the score now knotted at four runs apiece and still two outs, Samford’s bullpen had given up a lead in consecutive innings. Tyler Tewell would face Samford’s third pitcher of the inning, and he wasted no time. Tewell singled on the first pitch, scoring Zupcic and putting Callaway on third. Lex Rutledge would then balk, allowing Callway to score, and moving Tewell to second base. Jeremy Dowdy would then single on a 0-2 count to plate the fourth run of the inning for Appalachian on only two hits.

The bottom of the ninth inning was uneventful as Nathan Hyatt retired the side on seven pitches for his twelfth save of the season. Appalachian scored five runs in their final two at bats for the come from behind win. Rhyne Frankoff (1-1) was credited the win by striking out one batter in the eighth inning. Tyler Tewell collected two hits and two RBI, including his sixth home run of the season on a solo shot in the sixth inning. Hector Crespo and Tyler Zupcic also collected two hits. For Ryan Arrowood (9-0, 3.66), it was his fourth no decision of the season and he threw 100 pitches or more in his third consecutive start. Arrowood has also lowered his ERA in six straight starts. Arrowood only managed two strikeouts for the game, his lowest total of the season.

Game 2

ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (6-2, 3.08) vs. SU Sr. RHP Josh Martin (9-1, 3.42)

Since Samford’s bullpen gave Appalachian the win in the first game of the doubleheader, it was only fair for the Mountaineers to return the favor. Seth Grant pitched seven innings, only giving up four hits, but managed to find himself with his fourth consecutive no decision. Appalachian needed five pitchers in the eighth inning to retire Samford. The Bulldogs recorded five of their nine hits in the eighth and also took advantage of a two out walk to score four runs, which provided the final margin, giving Samford a 4-2 win.

Appalachian could only manage five hits and two runs against Samford starter Josh Martin, who went the distance to earn the complete game. Martin threw 120 pitches, striking out six Mountaineers and only walking one. Appalachian scored their two runs on Martin in the first inning when Crespo and Zupcic led off the game with singles. Callaway was able to reach base after a throwing error which scored Crespo and allowed Zupcic to advance to third base. Daniel Kassouf grounded into a double play, but Zupcic scored on the play. Four of the five Mountaineer hits came from its top three batters in the lineup. Appalachian scored two runs or less for only the fifth time all season and fell to 1-4 in those games.

Game 3

ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (6-3, 4.04) vs. SU Sr. RHP Kyle Putkonen (2-5, 5.85)

In the all important rubber match, Appalachian took advantage of nine free passes and twelve hits  to hold off Samford for a 9-7 win. The Mountaineers were able to chase Samford starter Kyle Putkonen after only three innings, where he allowed five hits and three runs. For the third straight game, an Appalachian starting pitcher did not garner a decision, the first instance all season. Rob Marcello was able to get through 4.2 innings, but allowed nine hits and issued four walks.

Jeremy Dowdy might have broken his slump as he hit a two-run home run in the second inning. Dowdy exited in the fifth inning in what appears to be a move to rest him, considering catching a doubleheader the previous day. Hector Crespo, Will Callaway, Daniel Kassouf and Tyler Tewell all collected two hits each. Callaway, Kassouf and Tewell all recorded their 15th double of the season. Jamie Nunn (5-0) picked up the win in relief despite allowing two runs. Tyler Moore recorded his first save of the season, the only save not recorded by Nathan Hyatt this season.

With the series win, Appalachian eliminated Samford from conference title contention. Elon still has an outside chance if they were to sweep Citadel next weekend, Appalachian were to be swept by Western Carolina, and Charleston were to be swept by Greensboro. The likelihood of that happening is very slim, but its a possibility. Most importantly, Appalachian moved its magic number to two. The Mountaineers need a combination of wins or Charleston losses to clinch its first conference title since in twenty five years. Furman remains in eighth place, and would be Appalachian’s first round opponent if the conference tournament were to start today. Furman holds a one game lead over Greensboro for the final tournament spot and can clinch that spot with two wins over Davidson, as it holds the tiebreaker over Greensboro.

#30 Appalachian State Baseball (24-6, 9-3 SoCon) vs College of Charleston (22-11, 12-6 SoCon)

Of the last five opponents Appalachian has played in baseball, four of them have had rain play a part in the games, whether it be a three games series or a single game midweek opponent. We can go back to the High Point game which was a complete rainout. The first game in the Elon series had a rain delay. The Oakland series last weekend was a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday, but the second game was postponed until Sunday. Tuesday, the East Tennessee State game was called in the third inning, which is technically another rainout. This weekend’s series against College of Charleston is forecasted to be generally seasonable temperatures, but will be cooler than what we have experienced in the past few weeks. Freeze warnings and frost will come into play on Friday Night and Saturday Morning.

Runs will most likely come at a premium, especially with the cooler weather in play. That sets up perfectly for two of the best pitching staffs in the Southern Conference. Charleston and Appalachian rank first and third respectively in team ERA. The teams are also first and or second in hits allowed, runs allowed, walks allowed and home runs allowed.

Generally, Charleston is the team in the conference who has led in most hitting statistics, but that role has been reversed, and it is Appalachian who leads in many of the power categories. Appalachian ranks first or second in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on base  percentage, runs scored, runs batted in, doubles and triples.


Game 1
ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (4-0, 5.50) vs. CofC Sr. LHP Josh Renfro, CofC, (4-2, 3.05)

Appalachian shook off a couple of early errors in the first three innings and rallied to beat College of Charleston Saturday Night in Boone. Trey Holmes commited his second and third errors of the season that led to four Cougar runs and gave them a quick 4-0 lead through two and a half innings. Appalachian chopped away with single runs in the third and fifth innings which led to a two run deficit at the stretch.

The home half of the seventh inning was when the Mountaineers finally got to work. With one out, Tyler Zupcic was hit by a pitch for the second time. Will Callaway singled on the first pitch of the next at bat, giving the Mountaineers two runners on with SoCon Player of the Month Daniel Kassouf coming to the plate. Kassouf looked at one pitch, and smashed it over the wall in right center field to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game. With two outs in the inning, Jeremy Dowdy doubled down the left field line to give Appalachian another runner in scoring position in the seventh. Trey Holmes then hit his third home run in a week on the first pitch from Josh Renfro, which gave Appalachian a three run lead through seven innings. Renfro gave up all eleven Mountaineer hits and hit Tyler Zupcic three times and Daniel Kassouf once with pitches.

Appalachian was led by Will Callaway who had three hits and two RBI. Daniel Kassouf hit his eleventh home run of the season. Jeremy Dowdyand Hector Crespo also had two hits on the evening. Ryan Arrowood lowered his ERA for the first time all season and secured the win while staying a perfect 5-0 on the season. Nathan Hyatt collected his eight save despite giving up two walks, a run and a hit in the ninth.

Game 2
ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (5-1, 2.42) vs. CofC Jr. RHP Matt Pegler (5-1, 2.11)

Appalachian clinched the series with an 8-2 victory over Charleston. For the third time this season, Seth Grant pitched eight innings or more and allowed four or fewer hits in picking up his sixth straight win. Grant (6-1, 2.22) struck out six batters, his second highest total of the season, in the 100 pitch effort.

The Mountaineer offense came alive in the fifth inning, which was highlighted by back to back doubles by Tyler Tewell and Jeremy Dowdy. Tyler Zupcic scored the final run of the inning on a triple, but advanced home due to a throwing error. At that point Appalachian led by 5-1 and would never look back. Will Callaway hit a three run home run in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to twenty games. Hector Crespo stole his team leadig 21st base of the season.

Game 3
ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (4-1, 3.76) vs. CofC Jr. RHP Christian Powell (5-1, 1.51)

Charleston’s pitching staff finally delivered a decent effort on the weekend and avoided the sweep on Easter Sunday. Christian Powell gave up only three runs in six innings and struck out five batters in the win. Rob Marcello has now given up seven hits or more in three consective outings. Marcello (4-2, 4.30) has also allowed five runs or more in those same three outings.

Will Callaway (.407) extended his hitting streak to twenty-one games with an RBI double in the sixth inning. Callaway also stole his 17th base of the season. Jeremy Dowdy (.333) and Hector Crespo (.319) added two hits each in the loss.

Despite the loss on Sunday, Appalachian was still able to extend their lead in the conference standings. Elon lost two out of three at Furman. Wofford won the series, two games to one over Western Carolina. Appalachian’s next conference opponent, Georgia Southern, swept Davidson. Samford won two of three at home over The Citadel.

SoCon Standings

Appalachian    9-3

Charleston      12-6

Elon                 12-6

Samford           9-6

Western Carolina 7-5

Georgia Southern 8-7

College of Charleston (SoCon Tournament)

The Mountaineers will most likely be big underdogs in the first round of the tournament. Appalachian only won two games against the SoCon South all season long and was handled easily by the Cougars in Boone in mid-February. I am thinking Charleston will be favored by 9 points here.

Line was posted with Appalachian being spotted six points and I decided to jump on it and ride my Mountaineers. Appalachian cruised for the most of the game besides the first eight minutes of the game. Appalachian stretched their lead by as many as 18 points late in the second half before the final margin was posted. The Mountaineers shot well all afternoon long while Charleston struggled  in all aspects of the game until late.

Appalachian State Mens Basketball: Western Carolina Postgame & Regular Season Review

Appalachian decided its fate Saturday with a lethargic end to the regular season. The Mountaineers lost to rival Western Carolina in Cullowhee by a final of 83-75. With the loss, their tournament future was clear despite several other conference games remaining on Saturday evening. The Mountaineers finished the season fifth in the SoCon North Standings. They will play College of Charleston on Friday at 11:30am in Asheville, NC. The Mountaineers regular season record stands at 12-17 and 7-11 in conference play. The seven conference wins were over each team in the North and Furman twice. The Mountaineers five non-conference wins were over Winthrop, Tennessee Tech, Campbell, Milligan and Lees-McRae.

Clearly, a disappointing season for a team that will have no players on the all-conference team and will be lucky to get Mike Neal on the all-freshman team. Appalachian was picked to finish second in the North division and senior Omar Carter was selected as the preseason player of the year. The Mountaineers final RPI number will be in the 275 range. Appalachian regressed from last years 16-15 record and 10-8 record in the SoCon. Losing Donald Sims was obviously a huge reason for the decline as Appalachian could never find a consistent scorer. Omar Carter is the only player averaging more than ten points a game.

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball: Samford Postgame and Chattanooga Pregame

The Lady Mountaineers had to stave off a second half rally from the Samford Bulldogs, but held on down the stretch to win 57-53 on the road. It was Samford’s first conference loss at home all season. The Mountaineers improved to 23-4 on the season and 17-2 in conference play. The Mountaineers dominated the boards with a 45-31 advantage. Maryah Sydnor scored ten points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kelsey Sharkey added seven points, eight rebounds and four assists. Anna Freeman added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

Later in the day, the Davidson Wildcats lost on the road at Chattanooga, Appalachian’s next opponent, and in turn gave up control of their own destiny. Appalachian has clinched at least a share of the regular season title and can win it outright with a win on Monday evening. The top three seeds in the conference tournament are now determined. Appalachian, Chattanooga and Davidson are the top three seeds, but the order is not set. If Samford and Elon tie, the tiebreaker would go to Samford, so they are locked in as the 4 seed. Elon is locked in as the fifth seed. Regardless of seeding, those two are now guaranteed a matchup in the SoCon tournament in the 4/5 game.

Since Appalachian is guaranteed to be first or second seed, we can now look into potential first round matchups. If Appalachian is the top seed, they will play the winner of the 8/9 game, which could include Charleston, Wofford or Georgia Southern. If Appalachian is the two seed, they will play the winner of the 7/10 game. The seven seed will come down to Monday’s results which will be either Western Carolina or Furman. No matter, the opponent or their seed, Appalachian will have beat their first round opponent twice already this season.

SoCon Standings

App State        17-2        @Chattanooga

Davidson        16-3        @ Samford

Chattanooga     15-4      Appalachian

Samford         12-7           Davidson

Elon                11-8           Western Carolina

Furman          9-10            Ga. Southern

Updated SoCon North Standings 2/23/2012

So what has changed in a day? Everything. As expected, Elon lost big on the road at Davidson. Western led by double digits in the first half over Samford, but the Bulldogs made a late push before falling by two points on the road. UNC-Greensboro has locked the North Division championship with the Elon and Samford losses. Greensboro’s game against Elon on Saturday means nothing to them, but plenty for the Phoenix. With a win and a Samford loss, Elon clinches the two seed. If Elon and Samford tie at 9-9, the 2 seed goes to Samford, with two head to head wins over Elon. If they tie at 8-10, it brings the winner of Appalachian and Western Carolina into play. A three way tie with Appalachian gives Samford the two seed, Appalachian the three seed and Elon the four seed via head to head games against the three schools. Appalachian split those four games, while Elon was 1-3 and Samford was 3-1. If there is a three way tie between Elon, Samford and Western Carolina, the four seed goes to Elon with a 1-3 record against the tied schools. Samford is 2-2, getting swept by Western Carolina, and in turn sweeping Elon. Western would be 3-1 against the tied schools and grab the two seed. In short, these four teams can be in any of three seeding spots, and in some cases four, depending on the results on Saturday afternoon.

Getting the two seed is critical and only Samford controls their own destiny with a win. What is the big difference between the third, fourth and fifth seeds? The third seed in the North plays The Citadel in the first round of the tournament. The fourth seed plays the fifth from the South and the fifth seed plays the fourth in the South, which will either be Charleston or Furman, who are currently tied at 8-9. Charleston is most likely to take the four seed, with a game against Citadel on the road, which is really a couple miles up the street, while Furman travels 30 minutes up the road to Spartanburg. If Furman and Charleston stay tied after Saturday, Charleston gets the four seed since they beat South Division champion Davidson while Furman lost to the Wilcats twice.

SoCon North Standings

UNCG      10-7       @Elon

Elon             8-9        UNCG

Samford       8-9      @UTC

App St          7-10     @WCU

WCU             7-10      App St

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball: Appalachian @ Georgia Southern 2/4/2012 | Appalachian @ Charleston 2/6/2012 Postgame

This was the beginning of a rough stretch of 5 games in 10 days for the Lady Mountaineers, and it started on the road in a gym the Mountaineers had not won in several seasons. Earlier in the season, Appalachian beat the Georgia Southern Eagles in Boone, 64-45. With every team gunning for the Mountaineers, any game on the road was going to be especially tough.

Appalachian held a slight lead in the first frame of play leading 30-27. In the second half, Appalachian turned up the defensive pressure, limiting the Lady Eagles to only 19 points in the second half. Appalachian held Georgia Southern to only 32% shooting for the entire game and held on to a 57-46 win. Courtney Freeman led all scorers with 19 points while Kelsey Sharkey grabbed ten rebounds in only 16 minutes of play. Catherine Williams chipped in 13 rebounds and 6 points in 25 minutes of action.

The following Monday night, Appalachian faced a Charleston team that they handled easily in Boone earlier in the season. Charleston had just played one of their worst games of the season against Davidson, only scoring 23 points in the game. This is another games where the Lady Apps started off slowly, as the scored was tied at 21 at the half. Appalachian used another strong defensive performance in the second half and held Charleston to 20 second half points en route to a 50-41 win. Anna Freeman led the Mountaineers with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 8 steals.