Women’s Basketball 84, Gardner-Webb 43

Pregame:

The Mountaineer women (1-1) continue their season with their second home game this evening against Big South opponent Gardner-Webb. The Mountaineers fell in a heartbreaker to Virginia Tech six days ago in Blacksburg. Appalachian is led by senior Anna Freeman who is averaging 27 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Anna is also a perfect 12/12 from the free throw line this season. Courtney Freeman is second on the team in scoring with 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest. The Mountaineers have owned Gardner-Webb in the past, and this game also looks to get ugly after the disappointing loss last week.

Gardner-Webb will be playing its second road game of the season after falling to UNC-Greensboro this past weekend. The Runnin’ Bulldogs w0n their first three games of the season, all at home, over Lipscomb, Tennessee Temple and Montreat, by at least twenty points or more in each game. Against UNCG, both teams shot under 33% from the field, under 15% from three point range, and under 55% from the foul line. The two teams also combined for 56 turnovers. Catrina Green led Gardner-Webb with 20 points and 17 rebounds in the loss. On the season, Green is averaging a double-double, with 13 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Jessica Heilig adds 10.8 points and 4 rebounds per game while Jasmine Dale pours in 11.5 points per game.



Postgame:

As we imagined, Appalachian dominated Gardner-Webb from the start. Gardner-Webb scored the first point of the game, and it was their only lead as Appalachian cruised to a 84-43 win. The Mountaineers had Gardner-Webb doubled up for most of the second half before the final margin was decided. Gardner-Webb shot poorly throughout the night and could not keep up the with the pace the Mountaineers forced. Gardner-Webb had 34 turnovers of the night, with Appalachian scoring 41 points off of those mistakes. Appalachian also dominated in the paint, with a 54-26 edge.

The Mountaineers were led by the Freeman duo, Anna and Courtney who combined to score 49 points on the night. Courtney led all scored with 26 points, leaving her only 71 points away from 1,000 point mark for her career. At her current pace, Courtney could score her 1000th point in the Mountaineers next home game on December 3rd against Georgia Southern. Anna Freeman added 23 points and continued her ways of filling up the stat sheet, adding ten rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Anna hit all four of her free throw attempts to remain a perfect 16/16 on the year. Anna is also on pace this year to score her 2,000th point late in the season. At her current pace, she would need to average 22.3 points per game to score her 2,000th point in the first game of the conference tournament. Anna is currently averaging 25.7 points per contest.

 

#24 Appalachian State Baseball (37-12, 20-7 SoCon) vs Gardner-Webb (28-25, 10-11 Big South)

First time in school history.

It has been a common theme for Appalachian State baseball this season. There have been so many instances, it is hard to cover them all. However, Appalachian added another school first to its resume this weekend. Appalachian comes into the final week of the regular season ranked 24th by Baseball America, which only ranks twenty five teams compared to other news outlets who rank thirty teams. The honor comes on the heels of winning its fourth series in a row, and second in a row on the road in conference play. Last weekend’s opponent, Samford, had a chance to win the conference going into the series, but Appalachian squashed those hopes with a 9-7 win on Sunday.

Gardner-Webb will be a different opponent for Appalachian on Tuesday. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are only 6-10 on the road this season, with wins over Wofford, North Carolina, Liberty, Charleston Southern, UAB and Prebyterian. The Bulldogs are 0-2 this season when playing a road game following a road win. Gardner-Webb will also be without the services of starting pitcher Andrew Barnett, who got the start against Appalachian earlier this season. Barnett did not get the win, but kept Appalachian guessing and struck out eight batter in 6.1 innings. Barnett was the starter for Gardner-Webb on Friday evening’s loss to Presbyterian. It’s a possibility that we see Matt Fraudin (1-5, 3.84) who has ten starts on the season. It also possible we see Brock Wilson (4-2, 3.37) who has started six games this year. Fraudin started on Saturday but only threw 44 pitches before being lifted. Wilson has only surrendered one home run in 34.2 innings of work and opponents bat .211 against him.

ASU Fr. LHP Jeffrey Springs (1-0, 4.82 ERA) vs. GWU Jr. RHP Brock Wilson (4-2, 3.37 ERA)

In somewhat of a surprising move, Chris Pollard handed the ball to freshman southpaw Jeffrey Springs against Gardner-Webb. It was Springs’ ninth apperance of the season and his first start since facing South Carolina on the road – 61 days ago. It was announced before the game that Springs would only throw about 50 pitches and his rust was apparent early on. Springs hit two batters, walked two and allowed a run and three hits in his three innings of work. Following Springs, seven other Mountaineer pitchers were needed to finish the game, including solid performances from Jordan Jessup (2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 4 K), Jamie Nunn (0.2 IP, 2 K) and Nathan Hyatt ( 1 IP, K, S), who tied a school record with his 13th save of the season.

Only five Mountaineers recorded hits on the evening with Tyler Zupcic leading the charge with three hits. Zupcic scored twice and raised his season average to .344. Brandon Burris started in right field as Tyler Tewell was behind the plate giving Jeremy Dowdy a much needed rest. Burris drove in two runs on one hit, and made a fantastic diving catch in right center field to keep a run off the board for Gardner Webb. Daniel Kassouf added a sacrifice fly and Preston Troutman also drove in a run and was walked once.

Appalachian has the chance to reach the forty win mark this weekend, (Thurs-Sat) with a series against Western Carolina. Appalachian’s magic number is two to win the conference title. Any combination of two Mountaineer wins of Charleston losses secures the championship and the first overall seed in the conference tournament. The difference between the first and second seed is massive. First seed would potentially play at 5pm on the first day of the tournament compared to 10am for the second seed, depending on where Furman finishes. Furman is the host institution and game times may be adjusted to allow the Paladins to play the 5pm game as long as it stays in the winners bracket.

Southern Conference Tournament Bracket

#27 Appalachian State Baseball (24-7, 9-3 SoCon) @ Gardner-Webb (18-16, 3-6 Big South)

Appalachian State visits Gardner-Webb in a midweek game on Tuesday in Boiling Springs, NC. The Runnin’ Bulldogs will be playing their 28th home game on the season. The Bulldogs are currently 14-13 at home this season, most recently, winning only two of their last seven home games and are ranked #160 in the RPI. Gardner-Webb has impressive road wins at North Carolina and Wofford, but also has two losses to non-Division I schools  Brevard and Mars Hill. The Bulldogs are averaging 5.1 runs per game while giving up 5.3 runs per contest.

Appalachian was ranked by several publications this week. Last week, the Mountaineers came in at #30 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, while this week they moved up three spots to #27. Appalachian moved back into the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper rankings at 30th. In the Perfect Game Top 50, Appalachian moved up six spots from last week to #27. Finally, the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll left Appalachian out of its Top 25, but would have been ranked 29th based on number of votes.

Probable Starters:

ASU Fr. LHP Jamie Nunn (3-0, 1.64) vs. GWU So. RHP Andrew Barnett (1-3, 5.20)

Appalachian was fooled by Andrew Barnett for most of the night and could only produce seven hits as they lost for the second game in a row. Barnett did not get the win, but he deserved it. Barnett was known as a strikeout pitcher and he lived up to his billing, striking out eight batters in only 6.1 innings of work.

Appalachian’s seven hits came from four players. Tyler Tewell (.375), Trey Holmes (.237) and Brandon Burris (.429) collected two hits each. Daniel Kassouf beat a throw and was credited with an infield single in the second inning. Hector Crespo struck out four times. Will Callaway ended his 21 game hitting streak. The five errors Appalachian commited in the game were a season high and were commited by five different Mountianeers.

 

Appalachian State Football: Appalachian vs. Gardner Webb 10/6/2007

Here we go with Week 6:

Gardner Webb (2-2) @ #5 Appalachian State (4-1)
10/6/07

Time: 2:30pm

TV: None
Kidd Brewer Stadium
Surface: Field Turf
Capacity: 16,650
Jeff Sagarin Rankings:
ASU:     69.13
Elon:    42.54
Home advantage: 2.93 points
ASU is favored to win by 29 ½  points

Series: ASU leads 6-0
Last Meeting: ASU 41, GW 6

 

The wonderful time of the year has finally arrived. The Apps will be back in Boone for the first time in three weeks, and since then, the weather has snapped cooler in the mornings. This time of the year has brought Homecoming, where some fans make their only trip of the year to Boone, with plans of seeing old classmates and get the first look of the changes that have been made to campus since their last visit. The Homecoming games brings a totally different feel to the college football setting. No longer are fans trying to get back into the swing of tailgating, but starting to get back to mid-season tailgating form. Anyone can put some burgers and dogs on the grill, but the real test is trying to bring in some different entrees and beverages. Homecoming is also special at Appalachian because of the values that the campus are built around: Family. Homecoming has become another Parents weekend. It is usually the highest attended game of the year, and this Saturday should be no different. For Appalachian’s opponent, it will be their game of the year. Appalachian State should make it their game of the year because it is the next game on the schedule.

 

This game is most likely the easiest game Appalachian will have for the rest of the season. It is the final non-conference game before the bye week. Luckily, ASU will catch a bye week when it is most needed. ASU is still hurting physically from the effects of the Michigan game, and emotionally from the Wofford game. The Mountaineers need a breather and the cure will be Homecoming and a bye week before facing long time conference rivals in Georgia Southern, Furman and The Citadel in consecutive weeks.

 

The Runnin’ Bulldogs have had an up and down season thus far. They have conveniently won their home games(Jacksonville and Austin Peay), and lost their road games (Mississippi State and Ohio). Gardner Webb has continued to use a two quarterback game plan for the most of the season. Devin Campbell started against ASU last year and finished the game with 96 years passing with three interceptions and three sacks. Sophomore Stan Doolittle did just that against the ASU defense. Doolittle finished the game with two carries for negative seven years, completed zero passes and was sacked once. Doolittle’s best play of the day was a quick punt that went 41 yards and landed inside the ASU 20. This year, both players are competing just under 60% of their passes. Doolittle has thrown two interceptions and Campbell has 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Both signal callers prefer throwing to Duvaughn Flagler who has 29 catches for 374 yards and three touchdowns.

 

 

Like I said last week, I could look good by saying that Kevin Richardson and the running game would find their groove against Elon. It just so happened as Richardson went for 158 yards and inched even closer to the ASU all time record. Richardson needs only 602 yards to break John Settle’s record and looks to feast on Gardner Webb again this week. Richardson went for 64 yards and one touchdown against GW last year, as Armanti Edwards stole the show with 101 yards rushing and 195 yards passing and three total touchdowns. Chances are that Trey Elder will lead the Mountaineers as Edwards continues to rest a sore shoulder. Elder ran for 115 yards and three rushing touchdowns to go along with 161 yards passing in the victory over Elon. While Elder has started, it is obvious that his favorite target is Hans Batichon. In the past two games, Batichon has caught 11 passes for 167 yards, which averages to a very clutch 15 yards per catch.

 

Now is my time to sound off a little bit. The ASU defense has been catching some serious grief in the last couple weeks. Most of the problems have come in stopping the running game, which many have blamed for the loss to Wofford. Against Elon, on their Family Day and in front of a Rhodes Stadium record crowd of 13,100, the App defense played much better. Elon came out with all their emotions worn on their sleeve. They sent a statement in the first quarter that said they were not going to go down without giving it their all. ASU survived a missed field goal and 200 yards passing in the fist quarter alone by the Phoenix offense. ASU was trailing in time of possession by 4 minutes going into halftime. In the second half, the running game got going and the defense was able to rest as Elon couldn’t stop the Mountaineers. ASU was able to make up the lost time in first half by running the football and eventually ended the game Beating Elon by five minutes. Do the math. Elon had the ball for just over 11 minutes in the second half. The ASU defense played better by not playing at all. In the fourth quarter, the defense was fresh enough to intercept an errant Elon pass and return it for a touchdown. Whenever the defense can put points on the board, any team stands a good chance to win. My point is, despite giving up rushing yards to Mike Hart, and letting Lance Kriesien run out of the pocket, the App defense was fine. The heat played into the beginning of the Elon game, and basically all of the Wofford game. When the ASU ofdefense starts getting back into form, it will have a direct correlation with the ASU running game controlling the clock and putting points on the board.

When it comes down to it, ASU must control the clock on offense. The Elon defense looked pitiful in the second half last week. It was not because they are a bad unit, but because ASU had set the tempo. ASU carried the ball 62 times for 365 yards rushing. The Mountaineer offense is best when it throws the ball around 20-25 times a game. This week, a young Gardner Webb defense will have trouble containing Elder, Richardson, and Devon Moore(172 yards, 2 touchdowns). It seems as if the Apps wanted to keep Moore a secret until later in the year, but felt the time was now to develop a player who will likely start in the 2008 campaign. Gardner Webb may have some success passing the ball as the game wears on, but it will not be a real factor in the game.  The Mountaineer fans are eager to see their team at home. The Mountaineer team is also ready to get back to friendly confines of Kidd Brewer Stadium. Shouldn’t be a problem rolling in this game, but ASU will make sure they are super sound before they start pulling starters. ASU has an all time record of 32-11-2 in Homecoming games but have won 21 of the last 25 Homecoming games. The trend should continue.

 

The First Pick:

Yosef 007           40

Running Dawgs    7