One more month of baseball…

The headline makes it sound like a depressing post that dreads the end of the season, but it is exactly the opposite. There are a minimum of sixteen games remaining, including two games in the SoCon Tournament, but hopefully there are more. Dreams of an at large bid in the NCAA tournament are just that, not only for Appalachian, but for the entire SoCon. The league will have one representative this year and it will all come down to Memorial Day weekend in Charleston, SC. Although a couple schools have created breathing room in the conference standings, there is not a clear favorite to win in May.

Davidson, who the Mountaineers host this weekend, has been in control for the majority of the conference slate. The Wildcats maintain a four game cushion over the Mountaineers, but there is only a three game difference in the loss column. Positioning is key for the Mountaineers for the SoCon tournament. A sweep by either team this weekend in Boone will be big for the tournament. Appalachian has yet to sweep or be swept by any SoCon school this season. However, the Mountaineer bats are coming alive in their last sixteen games, averaging over seven runs per contest. In the Mountaineers first twenty three games, the Apps failed to score ten or more runs in a game. In the last sixteen games, the Apps have hit double digits in runs in six games.

Even with a more explosive hitting attack, the Mountaineers have been without one of their stars in Dillon Dobson who has had shoulder soreness for several weeks now. Billy Jones has juggled the batting order, but it has worked to their advantage. Five different players have taken their turns swinging the bat efficiently including three who are over .300 on the season. Freshman Matt Brill is currently batting .371 with three home runs. Tyler Stroup has been a nice surprise playing left field, batting .303, with two-thirds of hits being singles on the season. Michael Pierson is batting .309 with five home runs and twenty RBI. Pierson leads the team in hits, walks and total bases and is tied for the team lead in runs scored.

A more important key to Appalachian success this weekend against Davidson is the pitching staff. The weekend rotation of Jamie Nunn, Tyler Moore and Jeffrey Springs has been incredibly solid of late. Nunn has been abused by bad luck the most this season, but his last two starts have been very promising. Tyler Moore has been the biggest surprise of them all. Moore can throw forever, and leads the team with four complete games and sports an 8-2 record with a 3.08 ERA. Sunday starter Jeffrey Springs leads the team in with five starts resulting in a no decision. Springs leads the team in strikeouts despite one fewer start than Nunn and Moore. Assuming 27 innings are played this weekend, Appalachian needs the starters to pitch at least 20-22 innings. The bullpen is limited and cannot be relied on to carry the team.

Davidson has only played two games in the last eleven days, having been victimized by weather with three rain outs. The Wildcats are 3-3 in their last six games and their last three Friday night games have all been decided by one run. Should be a great series to watch in Boone as weather does not seem to be a threat to cancel any games.


Baseball (7-2, 2-1) wins series over Davidson

Reminder: Baseball updates will be abbreviated until after the SoCon Basketball Tournament concludes this weekend in Asheville.

Game One:

Appalachian opened its conference schedule with a 4-1 win over Davidson on the road. Jamie Nunn continued his strong start to the season, keeping Davidson off balance over seven strong innings. Nunn scattered five hits and struck out eight Wildcat batters, while walking three batters. Nunn is now 3-0 on the season, pitching 20 innings and striking out 19 to only five walks.

William Head, who has assumed the starting role at third base, picked up two hits as did Alex Leach. The corner infielders also picked all three of the Mountaineers RBI in the game. Jaylin Davis and Preston Troutman walked twice each. Taylor Thurber pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Rob Marcello picked up his fourth save of the season.

Game Two:

Appalachian carried a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning before falling in the final at bat to Davidson. Billy Jones made his first mistake as coach by leaving in Josh Wilson for what was going to be a three inning save. The Mountaineers could only retire one batter in the bottom of the ninth as Davidson produced three runs and three hits while capitalizing on two Mountaineer errors.

Jeffrey Springs pitched well enough to win despite giving up nine hits to the Wildcats. Springs struck out six batters in six innings, but had to work for it as he threw a season high 108 pitches for the game. Wilson was relieved by Thurber in the ninth, but the damage was done, as all runs were charged to Wilson.

Appalachian had six hits in the game, but no Mountaineer collected multiple hits in the game. In all, the Mountaineers struck out ten times for the game. This was a winnable game for Appalachian, even with the offense scoring their fewest runs of the season in their second loss.

Game Three:

Appalachian woke up on Sunday morning and made up for lost time from Saturday. After only accumulating six hits on Saturday, the Mountaineers pounded out 15 hits and exploded for ten runs. The Mountaineers bolted out to a 7-0 lead and never really looked back. The Mountaineers did get into a small jam in the eighth inning, where they led 10-4, but were able get out of a bases loaded jam against the Wildcats.

Sam Agnew-Wieland (3-0, 4.82 ERA) pitched seven innings striking out eight while walking one. The “Hyphen” was also wild on occasion as he hit two batters and had two wild pitches. Luckily the offense built enough of a lead for those statistics to become moot this time around. Ryne Frankoff made his first appearance of the season and gave up a run in the eighth inning. Tyler Moore threw six pitches in the ninth inning and was rewarded with three easy groundouts.

C-Notes: Appalachian has stolen 22 bases this season, with Hector Crespo tying a school record on Sunday with his 85th career stolen base…..Both Mountaineer third baseman are batting over .380…..William Head is second on the team batting .440 while Noah Holmes is batting .381….DH Dillon Dobson may lose some AB’s to Holmes as he is batting a team low .156…Appalachian failed to hit a home run against Davidson


Men’s Basketball 52 Davidson 87

If this game is anything like the last matchup between Appalachian and Davidson, it will be over before it starts. Davidson executed a brilliant game, hitting over 50% of their shots for the game, and Appalachian played one of its poorest games of the season. This does not suggest that is the sole reason Davidson won two weeks ago. Davidson is a better team, but they have not been as good this season as they have been in the past. It is a beatable team, but only one team in conference play has been able to beat them this season. Somehow, Georgia Southern beat Davidson in Statesboro, while Appalachian is fresh off of a sweep of the Eagles on Saturday night.

The scheduling gods were not kind to Appalachian this season when they have had to face Davidson. Appalachian was in Statesboro on Thursday night for an overtime game, and luckily had the sense to fly to Statesboro for the game. Earlier this season, Appalachian was just a few days removed from the western swing of Samford and Chattanooga.

In their first meeting this season, Appalachian was concerned over the status of two of their starters. Jay Canty re-aggravated a thumb injury two days before Davidson and was basically ineffective. Mike Neal turned his ankle two days prior and was also equally unproductive. This time around, Neal and Canty appear to be healthy and Nathan Healy has played two great games in a row. Oddly enough, Appalachian always played Davidson tighter in Belk Arena versus in Boone. No team has beaten Davidson more times in the past few years in Mecklenburg County than Appalachian.

Davidson has now moved to a 17 point favorite over Appalachian, after opening at 16. The Wildcats have never been good against the spread, and that notion holds true this season as they are 8-11. Since beating Appalachian, Davidson has shot under 30% from three point land in every game. The ‘Cats are 3-3-1 in conference games against the spread, but I get this feeling that 17 is just way to big of a number. The first time around, these two teams played on the opposite end of the spectrum. I seriously doubt it happens again in the same matter. It will not take much for me to take Davidson, but I believe this line gets bigger before gametime, and my feeling, once again is that Appalachian will cover.


Our feeling was this game was perhaps going to a lot closer than the first meeting between the two rivals. We could not have been more wrong. Davidson buried Appalachian early and often en route to a thirty-five point win. There is no secret, Davidson is much better, and on defense, Appalachian remains terrible. Davidson had more assists than Appalachian had made field goals.  The Wildcats shot 65% in the first half. The score was never tied, and Davidson led the entire way.

Nathan Healy led the Mountaineers in scoring with 13 points but was only 4/11 from the field. Tevin Baskin chipped in twelve points in nineteen minutes. Mike Neal scored nine points, but was 3/12 from the field. Jay Canty also scored only four points, and was 1/10 from the field. The Mountaineers shot 30% from the field for the entire game.

Due to the nature of the game, Brian Okam was able to get a few minutes late and made the most of them. Okam played ten minutes, but had 4 rebounds and two blocked shots in the limited action. Normally one would insert a joke that says something about, you know the Mountaineers are in trouble when Brian Okam is a bright spot. Right now, I personally believe that Okam might be a better play than Michael Obacha right now. I have not seen much improvement in Obacha all season, and he and Okam are basically the same player. They are both foul prone and offensively limited. So why not start the guy who is four inches taller and three years older? Okam may be a better option in the short term as the season may have grown long on the freshman. Now is the time to use Okam more if there are any intentions of using him in the conference tournament.

Appalachian did not cover the spread, their worst ATS loss in over 40 games. There is not much more to talk about. Appalachian is 12-6 ATS the spread this season and our picks are 11-7.

Women’s Basketball 49 Davidson 56

Just a little over a month ago, Appalachian and Davidson played a game exactly how most fans would see it, for one half. And suddenly, Davidson figured out the Mountaineers. The Wildcats went to a zone defense, and the Mountaineers were finished. Appalachian could not get in the paint, could not hit an outside shot, and allowed Davidson to run away from them. Not only did Davidson beat Appalachian, but they created a blueprint for the rest of the conference to follow. It was not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination. Davidson took away the strengths of the Mountaineer game. Appalachian’s strengths are getting open looks close to the basket, and hitting free throws when the defense gets overly aggressive. Appalachian is not a three-point shooting team. Statistics may show they shoot a high percentage from behind the arc, but the three is not a huge part of their offensive game plan.

Davidson took advantage of their size down low. Davidson is tall, but not extremely athletic. They can frusturate you as equally as their men’s team can. The Wildcats have been rolling through the SoCon, outside of a home loss to first place Chattanooga. Part of that is due to scheduling. Davidson has played the better teams in conference pla,y all at home thus far. Of their final nine games, five of them on the road are all against conference contending teams. Davidson not only visits Appalachian on Saturday, but also faces a three games in eight days road stretch against Chattanooga, Samford and Elon.

On the other hand, Appalachian’s three conference losses are all on the road. The Mountaineers spent January in a fog after losing to Davidson. They were beating teams they were supposed to, but it was not looking very pretty. The Mountaineers are buried in fourth place in the conference, three games behind Chattanooga, and two behind second place Davidson. Since losing back to back games at Samford and Chattanooga, Appalachian has won their last two games convincingly. They set the tone with tough defense which led to easy buckets. Look for more of that against Davidson. Anna Freeman has played much better the last two games than the previous ten or so and that is what this team needs to succeed.


Davidson can do something to Appalachian that no other team can in the conference. Their size can completely take Appalachian out of its game. The result all but eliminates Appalachian from regular season title contention. Davidson usually does not blow people out, and scores just enough points it seems to get away with a win. To say this game was poorly officiated does not describe the level of incompetence the officials showed. Outside of having zero control of the game from the start, two of the three looked overwhelmed from the start. Davidson was called for two fouls in the first half, and ten in the second half. The issue was that Davidson was called for five of those ten second half fouls in the final eight minutes of the game. Davidson was allowed to play with an aggressiveness that the Mountaineers were not afforded.

Complaining about 0fficiating usually is not very kosher in the blogosphere, but it was valid. Outside of inconsistent foul calls, there were timeouts granted to Davidson when they did not possess the ball, plenty of travelling violations that were called jumpballs and other inconsistencies. Davidson won the game getting to foul line eleven more times than the Mountaineers in a game that played sloppily on both sides.

Maryah Sydnor scored 18 points to lead the Mountaineers while Anna Freeman added 15 points. Anna Freeman was held to a season low three rebounds and was only 5/17 from the floor, including 3/12 from behind the arc. The twelve three point attempts were the most for Freeman on the season. Up next is Furman on Monday evening, a part of a double header with the men playing the Paladins following the women’s game at 5:30. Appalachian will now play for tournament seeding for the remainder of the season. Hopefully the Mountaineers can avoid Davidson until the final, if they can get there.

Men’s Basketball 56 Davidson 79

After a whiteout Friday in Boone filled with sleet, freezing rain and occasional snow, Appalachian basketball will do their best to whiteout Davidson on Saturday afternoon. In an interesting twist, Appalachian marketing thought it was wise to distract Davidson with a whiteout, encouraging fans to wear white. Unfortunately, Davidson just played Western Carolina on the road, who also hosted their own whiteout, which went unsuccessful as the Wildcats won by five points. Not to mention, one of Davidson’s primary colors is white, so this has backfire written all over it.

Davidson is easily the class of the Southern Conference, and has played a tough schedule outside of league play. The Wildcats lead the South division with a 7-1 record , and are a whole two games in front of second place Charleston. In the North, Appalachian is sitting in fourth place, but the race is much tighter. Two games separate first and last in the North. Each game a team in the North plays against the South is very important to get a win. Otherwise, teams in the North have done a good job protecting their home court against each other. The Mountaineers are only a half game out of a top four seed in the SoCon Tourney.

Davidson and Appalachian sometimes bring out the best in one another. These games are always tightly officiated, and the intensity level is always high. Davidson may say that they get everyone’s best shot, but outside of Western Carolina, Davidson is the one team that Mountaineer fans want to be beat more than any other in the league. The series between the two teams has been close through the years, but Davidson has been successful in the Holmes Center, posting a 7-2 record. Appalachian has won three of the last four in the series, which included a sweep three seasons ago. The Wildcats have won three games in a row coming into Saturday, which is their longest winning streak of the season. The usual suspects who never seem to graduate lead the Wildcats in scoring. De’Mon Brooks leads the team with 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Jake Cohen chips in 13.2 points and 5.4 rebounds a game while Nic Cohran scores 10.3 per game. The Wildcats have hit 150 three pointers this season, with four players having hit 21 or more threes on the season. Davidson is also proficient on the free throw line, leading the country in that category, shooting 79.8% on the season.

Appalachian has found itself in a rather precarious situation. Maybe the Mountaineers were looking ahead to playing Davidson. Against Georgia Southern on Thursday night, Appalachian looked the team from November and December rather than the team of the first three weeks of January. Appalachian might be without Jay Canty and Mike Neal, two very important pieces of their offense, who suffered injuries against Southern. If neither can play, it is going to take a monumental effort from the Mountaineers to pull off the upset. The team that finished the game against Georgia Southern was a skeleton crew, but somehow they pulled out a win in overtime after giving up a seventeen point lead. How this game is played hinges completely on the availability of Canty and Neal. A win was already going to be a tall task, and with only one day of practice and rest before Davidson comes to town, and beat up lineup, Appalachian is going to need close to a miracle.

We are guessing the line is going to be around eleven or twelve points. We will update in the morning with the line and our guess. Appalachian is 10-3 against the spread this season while Davidson is 6-10 against the spread.

10:46 AM UPDATE: The line opened up at 8 points, in favor of Davidson and has slowly inched up to ten points as of Saturday morning. The big question mark is whether or not Appalachian will have Mike Neal or Jay Canty. Without them, you have to think Davidson is a good call here, as Appalachian looked awful against Georgia Southern without either player on Thursday. With both players, Appalachian is an easy call getting ten points at home. We will make our pick as soon as we can get more information as to their status.

12:34 UPDATE: Jay Canty is playing today. No confirmation Neal, but we think he participated in shoot around this morning.


There is not much to say about this one. Appalachian was outmatched from the beginning of the game and was never in it. Davidson played brilliantly by shooting 52% for the game and four players reached double figure scoring. Davidson showed how they are better at every position on the court. Appalachian shot themselves in the foot by only making six baskets in the first half and trailing by 22 points at halftime. Jay Canty played but was ineffective, shooting 2/12 for the game. Tevin Baskin was a bright spot, only because he was 12/15 from the free throw line for 18 points. Nate Healy scored thirteen for Appalachian. Mike Neal started the game, but was limited and only played seventeen minutes.

There was an interesting moment in the game. In the second half, with Davidson in control by over twenty points, Davidson found a wide open De’Mon Brooks in the post, who threw a brutal head fake to Nate Healy who went airborne. Healy landed sqaurely on top of Brooks and brought him to the ground, consituting a flargrant one foul. (There are two levels of flagrant fouls, this one being the lesser of the two). Healy had been riding the refs all afternoon. You could tell he was frusturated and was tired of not getting his way. The foul showed it. It also showed some heart from Healy, which we all knew he had. He just was not going to let a team waltz into his gym and blow them out. This brought back memories when Healy was the recipient of an intentional foul last year at home against Elon. Hopefully we will see a different Appalachian team in two weeks when they travel to Belk Arena in two weeks.

Our pick of Appalachian covering ten points was purely based on the fact that Neal and Canty were going to play. We had a false hope, and the Mountaineers shooting 30% for the game did not help things. So, after covering their first ten games, the Mountaineers have dropped four in a row against the spread. They stand at 10-4 while we are 9-5. The season is finally evening out as we expected.


Women’s Basketball 49 Davidson 65

For the Appalachian women, this game is hard to consider a must win, since it is only the second conference game of the season, but this game means plenty for the team and coaches. Davidson was a favorite to win the conference this season after having a big season last year and sweeping the series with the Mountaineers last year. However Davidson has played a tough schedule outside of the conference and has struggled while playing many of their games on the road. Appalachian has won every game it has supposed to while falling only twice this season, on the road against teams from power conferences.

Both teams have defeated Georiga Southern at home to start conference play. Davidson knocked off the Eagles by twelve while Appalachian cruised to a thirty-two point win. Davidson (4-7, 1-0) was won both of its home games, but none by a convincing fashion. Davidson has scored 63 points once this season. That is the game they prefer to play, a possession oriented style. In fact, the Wildcats have managed sixty or more points in only three games this season. The way to beat Davidson is with Appalachian’s pressure, something they were unable to establish last year. Sophia Alexandravicious leads the team in points and rebounding and was a favorite for conference player of the year. Laura Murray is a capable guard, but Appalachian should be too much for Davidson tomorrow. Appalachian has been scoring points in bunches, and are a better team than last year at this point. Davidson is missing some pieces so I expect a Mountaineer win, which will be huge in the race for the conference title and conference championship seeding implications.


Appalachian allowed Davidson to creep back into the game one too many times in first half on Saturday, and it eventually led to their demise as the Wildcats rallied from a tied game at halftime, to win going away, 65-49. It was the fewest points Appalachian scored all season, with their previous low coming last weekend on the road at West Virginia.

Generally, when an officiating crew allows the teams to play, especially for Appalachian, it has been a good thing. On Saturday, against a Davidson team with slightly more size, a game with fewer fouls calls actually hurt the Mountaineers. It allowed Davidson to be more physical, and kept Appalachian off the free throw line. Appalachian leads the country in free throw percentage, which is a huge advantage, except when the Mountaineers only get to the line eight times like on Saturday. If you keep Appalachian off the line, you have neutralized a strength.

Davidson also switched to zone defense, which aided the fewer foul calls. Appalachian could not shoot out of the zone. The Mountaineers were 4/25 from behind the arc, and 2/16 in the second half, where Davidson switched to the zone defense exclusively. Not many teams can play zone against Appalachian, as most of the other teams in the conference do not have the size on the perimeter, to keep Appalachian out of its high post offense. Even in the zone, Davidson was able outrebound Appalachian by ten, which is another huge advantage. Davidson executed a great game plan and it worked. I do not think Davidson is more talented, but was able weaken the strengths of Appalachian. For the record, the Mountaineers shot 32% for the game, and commited 20 turnovers.

For the rest of the season, the Mountaineers will be chasing. They are the first contender in the conference with a loss in the SoCon play. Luckily Appalachian has some very winnable games until the run into the back to back games against Chattanooga and Samford. It has been a long time since Appalachian has lost two games in a row, and with class starting back in a week, I think the Mountaineers will get back into a groove. The holiday break in Boone can be tough on student athletes without many friends in town, the weather turning, and nothing but practice and once a week games on their schedules. This team thrives on repitition and games. It’s a dark spot for the season, but this team will it around.

Davidson (4-9, 0-3) @ Appalachian State University Baseball (13-2, 3-0)

Davidson has lost four games in row, most recently losing at North Carolina and NC State. The Wildcats are hitting .236 as a team and are averaging 4.5 runs per game, while also striking out an average 8.8 times per game. The Davidson defense is averaging 2.7 errors per game and holds a .931 fielding percentage.

Appalachian has won eight straight games, highlighted by two wins over SEC Louisiana State and one victory over ACC Duke. The Mountaineers are hitting .291 as a team and are averaging 10 hits per game. Appalachian has only allowed 33 runs in 12 games this season with the pitching staff holding an impressive 2.55 ERA. Appalachian has drawn 50 walks this season and 13 batters have been hit by a pitch.

Game 1: ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (2-0, 2.16 ERA) vs. DC Sr. RHP Ryan Overcash (1-2, 3.26 ERA)

Appalachian rolled to its ninth straight win behind the strength of its bats on a cold, windy day at Smith Stadium. The first four batters in the Mountaineer lineup collected 11 of the 16 Mountaineer hits on the day. Daniel Kassouf (.426, 3 HR, 13 RBI) had four hits and drove in two runs. Tyler Zupcic (.327, 1 HR, 14 RBI) had three hits, scored three times, drove in two runs, and stole two bases. Will Callaway(.340, 11 SB, 16 R ) had two hits, two RBI, stole two bases and also scored twice.

The windy day did not allow for the best pitching conditions, but Ryan Arrowood (3-0, 3.27) was still able to get through 5.1 innings, striking out seven batters, but walking four and giving up four runs. Tyler Moore( , 0.90) was excellent in relief, squashing a Davidson rally and not allowing a hit in 2.2 innings. Josh Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth, lowering his ERA to 7.71.

Game 2: ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. DC Sr. RHP Brian Russell (1-0, 2.76 ERA)

A close game was no longer in the fifth inning when Appalachian scored nine runs en route to its tenth straight win in a 16-3 thrashing of Davidson. It was a 4-3 game heading into the bottom of the fifth inning when two Davidson pitchers combined for six walks and allowed Daniel Kassouf (.424, 18 RBI) to hit his fourth homerun of the season with the bases loaded. Kassouf had both of his hits and all five of his RBI in the fifth inning. Hector Crespo (.294, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 9 SB) also added a pair of hits and three RBI and also collected his team leading 15th walk of the season. Overall the Mountaineers pounded out 14 hits and drew six walks to only four strikeouts.

Seth Grant (2-1, 2.94) saw his ERA rise slightly, allowing three runs in eight innings. Grant struck out five batters and only surrendered one walk. Midweek starter Jamie Nunn finished off Davidson in the ninth inning with only seven pitches. The win gave Appalachian its first opening series conference win since 1999.

Game 3: ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (2-0, 1.12 ERA) vs. DC So. RHP Danny Mooney (1-0, 3.38 ERA)

It certainly was not a pretty game, but it was good enough for Appalachian to win its eleventh straight game and sweep Davidson on a sunsplashed day on the mountain. The Appalachian pitching staff was subpar across the board, which may have been magnified because the Mountaineer bats were not as lively as they have been in past games. Rob Marcello (2-0, 1.19) pitched 6.2 innings but was erratic, walking five batters. David Port struck out the only batter he faced in the seventh inning. Mountaineer closer Nathan Hyatt, who entered the game without giving up a run all season, surrendered three runs in his one inning of work to set up extra innings. Only thirteen of Hyatt’s thirty pitches were strikes. Tyler Moore (2-0, 0.75) was credited the win in two innings of relief.

At the plate, the Mountaineers were led by Michael Pierson, who pinch ran for Daniel Kassouf in the eight inning. Pierson scored in the eighth off of a Andrew Leach fielder’s choice. In the ninth, a Pierson single went to waste, but it was all the confidence he needed in the  tenth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Pierson’s speed on a swinging bunt to the Davidson shortstop was too tough to handle and gave the Mountaineers the walk off win. It was the fifteenth game in a row where the Mountaineers have allowed four runs or less.

SoCon Standings

Appalachian            3-0

Elon                         5-1

Charleston               4-2

Western Carolina        2-1

Samford                    2-1

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball: Chattanooga Postgame

The Mountaineers had a chance to win the conference championship outright, but the Chattanooga Lady Mocs had other plans. Chattanooga led by ten at the half and held on for a 80-71 win. The win did not help the Mocs tournament seed, they were already guaranteed the third seed, but it did not stop them from shooting lights out most of the night. The Mocs shot just below 50% from the field, hit eight three pointers, and was also 20-24 from the free throw line. Appalachian had several opportunities to tie in the second half, but committed costly turnovers down the stretch. Anna Freeman led the team with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, three steals, and two blocks. Freeman also became ASU’s all time lead shot blocker.

The Mountaineers still share the conference championship with Davidson, and will be able to call themselves conference champions and hang another banner in the Holmes Center next season. However, the players and coaches are sure to have a bad taste in their mouth. I am sure the team is hungry to face whoever stands in their way to winning the conference tournament and berth to the NCAA tournament. Their first opponent will be the winner of Georgia Southern and Western Carolina. The Eagles have given these Mountaineers fits in the past and the Catamounts have played a lot better in the second half of the season. Appalachian has the best road record in the league at 11-4 and won their only nuetral court game.

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball: Chattanooga 2/27/2012

It comes down to tonight for the ouright SoCon Championship for the Mountaineer women when they face Chattanooga on the road. Appalachian holds a one game lead in the conference standings and has secured a share of the title with Davidson. However, tonight is all about conference seeding. With an Appalachian win, they secure the first seed in the Southern Conference Tournament and force Chattanooga and Davidson to the other side of the bracket.

In the first meeting this season, Chattanooga led by as many as ten points in the first half before going to the break only up by one point on the Mountaineers. Appalachian went on a 15-6 run in the final 11:55 of the first half. On the opening possession of the second half, Anna Freeman blocked a Whitney Hood shot that led to a layup by Maryah Sydnor. Appalachian took the lead and never relinquished it for the rest of the game in a 62-51 win. When you consider the score with with 11:55 remaining in the first half, Appalachian finished the game outscoring the Mocs by a 49-28 margin over the games final 32 minutes. Appalachian outrebounded the Mocs by a similar margin for the game, 48-25.

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