Appalachian continues its non-conference schedule for their first game of the season while school is on break as they travel to long time rival East Tennessee State. The Mountaineers (6-1) are looking for the sixth straight win since dropping their road opener at Virginia Tech by three points. Appalachian has won three straight games in the series, most recently a twenty-four point win last season in Boone.
East Tennessee State (2-3) owns wins over Morehead State and Memphis, while they have lost by double digits in all of their three losses. Most recently, the Bucs lost to Louisiana State by thirty four points, and to Chattanooga by thirty three points. The Bucs have only made fifteen three pointers in their five games, while giving up 5.8 three pointers to their opponents. The Bucs do a really good job on the offensive glass, averaging seventeen offensive caroms a game. The Bucs are sloppy though, giving up 22 turnovers a game, which holds them to 61.2 points per game.
Appalachian has been on an extended break, not playing since a December 3rd win over conference opponent Georgia Southern. Appalachian held the Eagles to 43 points, in what could be considered their best defensive performance of the season. Appalachian forced 24 turnovers while only allowing sixteen made field goals. Georgia Southern was 1/21 from behind the arc.
Anna Freeman is eight points away from scoring her 1,500th point. Freeman leads the team with 21 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Playing a strong second fiddle is senior guard Courtney Freeman who graduated over the weekend. Courtney is averaging 18.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, good enough for second on the team in both categories. Maryah Sydnor is scoring 10.6 points per game after a slow start to the season. Sydnor is also grabbing 5.9 rebounds a game, good enough for third on the team in both major categories. As a team, Appalachian is outscoring their opponents by almost twenty points per game.
Update: Raven Gary will not play tonight.
Appalachian shook off a sluggish first half on defense to run away with a 85-57 win on the road at East Tennesee State. Appalachian led by four points at the break after leading by as many as 13 points in the first hald before allowing the Bucs to climb back into the game before halftime.
The second half was tight for the first seven minutes, and saw ETSU take their first lead of the game with 12:59 to play in the second half. That is where the game changed drastically. The lead ETSU took was their last of the game, and the field goal that put them on top was also their last made basket of the game. Yes, ETSU basically went the last thirteen minutes of the game without a bucket. From that point, Appalachian went on a 36-7 run to end the game. Appalachian scored nine points in the first seven minutes of the second half, but averaged 2.7 points per minute in the final third of the game.
The top free throw shooting team in the country, Appalachian improved that number hitting 18 of their 19 attempts, with the only miss, ironically, coming from the team’s best free throw shooter in Anna Freeman. Maryah Sydnor led all scorers with 23 points. Courtney Freeman finished with a monster double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Katie Mallow chipped in with 16 points. Anna Freeman was plagued with foul trouble and only played twenty-five minutes, but still managed 13 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. The Mountaineers move to 7-1 on the season and will play at West Virginia on Friday evening.
C-Note: Anna Freeman scored her 1,500th point of her career and moved into fourth place on the all time scoring list. She is on pace to eclipse 2,000 points sometime in the SoCon tournament.