Women’s Basketball 67 Georgia Southern 54

The final does not look all that impressive, but a road conference win is just what Appalachian needed. The Mountaineers had lost three conference road games, and won another in overtime. Appalachian extended a twelve point halftime lead to twenty points late in the game. Southern finished the game on a seven point run in the final minute to make the score look more respectable, but this game was never really in doubt for Appalachian.

Appalachian was dominated on the boards in the first half, getting outrebounded 22-13 by the Eagles. The Apps responded in the second half with an eleven rebound edge to win the battle on the boards. One disturbing statistic was the turnovers. Appalachian forced Georgia Southern into 14 first half turnovers while only committing three themselves. In the second half, Appalachian committed 19 turnovers, which is enough for an entire game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Mountaineers. Finally, after hitting 6/12 threes against Elon, Appalachian went back to their old form, and went without a three point basket for the entire game. Eventually, this has to improve. With Davidson and their zone defense coming to Boone on Saturday, Appalachian is going to have to hit some. Davidson is too big for Appalachian to rely on their post play.

Anna Freeman had her second big game in a row with 18 points and 6 rebounds, leading all scorers. Maryah Sydnor added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Courtney Freeman scored 15 points and snagged six rebounds. Kelsey Sharkey played another great defensive game with 11 rebounds and 7 steals, while also chipping in 7 points. From Kelsey, you will take that every game, although her weakness is her free throw shooting. She accounted for Appalachian’s six missed free throws by herself.

Men’s Basketball 64 Georgia Southern 62 (OT)

The most confusing team in the SoCon will make one of its longest road trips in conference play when Georgia Southern faces Appalachian on Thursday evening in Boone. The Eagles have struggled on the road this season, only posting two wins against Kennesaw State and Virginia Tech. Since the win at Virginia Tech, a team who the Mountaineers lost to three weeks prior to Southern’s win, the Eagles have gone winless on the road and have posted some pretty ugly losses. Southern has lost every true road game since and have averaged losing by 14.7 points per game. Southern has struggled when they have had trouble scoring this season. The Eagles have won all but one game where they have scored 62 points or more this season, and have lost all but one when they have scored 62 or fewer. That is a rather low magic number, while Appalachian has lost every game where the opponent has scored 72 points.

The Eagles feature three double figure scorers in Eric Ferguson (14.2), CJ Reed (11.7) and Tre Bussey (10.7), but beyond that, the productions falls off considerably. Their next three highest scoring players combine for 16.3 points per game. The Eagles are also a team that fouls a lot compared to their opponents, fouling the opponent close to eighteen times per game. That is an average good enough for a single bonus in both halves of play. In turn, the Eagles do not draw fouls well enough, and it shows as they are out-shot on the free throw line by over three percent.

Appalachian is a team that draws exactly nineteen fouls a game and shoots well from the free throw line, but can be streaky when they do not frequent the line enough in a game. Evidence is provided in their last two games, losses at Samford (11/18) and Chattanooga (16/23). Both games were decided by four points or fewer and another free throw here and there could have been huge in the closing minutes. Appalachian needs to own the glass on Thursday, as the Eagles only average just over thirty rebounds a game, while the Mountaineers average nearly thirty-six rebounds a game. The Mountaineers have out-rebounded Georgia Southern on the season by 21, in one less game.

Our first line we saw gave the Mountaineers an eight point advantage. Our first feeling was that eight was somewhat of a high number, until we started researching Georgia Southern. The Eagles are bad on the road, winning only two of nine games, and are coming off a terrible performance to the worst team in the league in The Citadel. That was coming off of beating Charleston and Davidson in back to back games. However, all those games came at home, and the Eagles are back on the road, and have to deal with a very chilly Boone climate off the court. History has shown that Georgia Southern teams have not fared well coming to the mountains, across all sports, when the weather outside is below 40 degrees. Appalachian has won five in a row over Georgia Southern at home. We are not confident about the eight points, despite Appalachian playing well this past weekend outside of a six minute stretch in Chattanooga. We would like to see a spread of 6.5 to be comfortable, but we are not likely to see it. I have a feeling the line might take off toward 9 once the day wears on. We will update throughout the day as usual, if the line does change.

12:38 PM UPDATE: Line has edged downward to -7.5 for the Apps. Leaning toward an Eagle cover.

5:16 PM UPDATE: Earlier this afternoon, the line dropped another whole point, all the way to -6.5, and that was the number we were looking for. It’s been a bore this year picking games, but we will ride the Apps at home.


For the second time in a week, Appalachian was forced to overtime by an inferior opponent by losing a double digit lead in the second half. This time around, Appalachian lost a 17 point lead with 8:44 to play before holding off Georgia Southern in overtime. Last week, Appalachian lost in overtime after losing a nineteen point lead on the road in Chattanooga. This time the Mountaineers managed to win, against one of the least talented teams in the conference.

When Appalachian took a 52-35 lead with 8:44 to play, the lead was large, but never seemed safe the entire game. This game was one where Georgia Southern was a couple of made shots away from making a run, and turning the game around. Over the next six minutes of play, Appalachian could not score, much less get the ball across halfcourt without having to work out of a trap. The Eagles managed to trim the lead slowly, as Appalachian could only manage five points in the last eight plus minutes of the game. In overtime, Appalachian “outscored”  Southern 7-5, which was good enough on this night.

So you ask, how did this lead evaporate? This game may be better explained than “The Chatty Collapse.” Jay Canty re-injured the same thumb he has had trouble with all season, and only played two minutes. Midway through the second half, Mike Neal suffered a foot injury, that was awkward to say the least. Neal took a contested three pointer and he drew contact from an Eagle defender, but no foul was called. Neal landed off balance, and tried to walk the injury off before crumbling to the floor in agony. Neal would not return to the game, and Appalachian’s lead would begin shrinking. Head Coach Jason Capel was forced to run with a lineup that included Chris Burgess, Tab Hamilton, Jamaal Trice, Nathan Healy, Tevin Baskin and Michael Obacha. Six players split minutes for the remainder of the game and overtime. This, after a long road trip that included another overtime game. We wrote a few days ago how this team was an injury away being run ragged as far as minutes played per player. Neal is considered on the plus side of questionable for Saturday against Davidson, while Canty is considered closer to doubtful than questionable for Saturday.

The spread came down to 6.5 points in favor of Appalachian, which would have worked out just fine had the Mountaineers not lost both Neal and Canty. So, after covering their first ten games, Appalachian has been figured out by Vegas and has dropped three straight covers. Two of those covers leave a sour taste in your mouth, as the Mountaineers had both games covered in the second half with ease, before falling apart and going to overtime. Appalachian is now 10-3 against the spread and our picks are 9-4. Depending on the injuries for the Mountaineers, I expect Davidson to be favored big time on Saturday, perhaps as many as 11 or 12 points. Davidson has not been a team that has ever played well against the spread, so this line will be especially intriguing on Saturday morning.

Women’s Basketball 79, Georgia Southern 47


Appalachian will begin conference play on Monday night with a game against Georgia Southern, a team that has played Appalachian tough in the Darcie Vincent era. Appalachian won both games last year by double digits, but only averaged 60.5 points points per game in the series. Before last year’s wins, Appalachian dropped five of its previous six to the Eagles.

Georgia Southern is struggling this season with a 1-3 record, their lone win coming over RPI #333 Kent State. The Golden Flashes are 0-6 on the season. Georgia Southern opened their SoCon slate with a twelve point loss to Davidson, who was the media’s preseason favorite to win the conference. The Eagles turned the ball over 27 times in the loss. Unfortunately, the Georgia Southern link for statistics is not working, so we cannot provide a more in depth preview.

The Mountaineers win over Xavier helped them leap frog from 88th to 60th in the latest RPI rankings. Appalachian is the final team in the SoCon to start their conference slate. With that, Appalachian is stuck in the middle of the conference standings. As you can see, Chattanooga, Samford and Davidson are near the top as everyone expected. There have not been any major upsets this season.

SoCon Women’s Basketball SoCon Overall
Team Record   Home Away     Record Pct Home Away    
Chattanooga 2-0   2-0 0-0     6-1 .857 4-0 1-1    
Samford 1-0   1-0 0-0     4-2 .667 3-1 1-1    
Western Carolina 1-0   1-0 0-0     3-3 .500 2-2 1-1    
College of Charleston 1-0   0-0 1-0     3-4 .429 1-1 2-3    
Davidson 1-0   1-0 0-0     2-4 .333 1-0 0-3    
Appalachian State 1-0   1-0 0-0     6-1 .857 3-0 1-1    
Furman 0-1   0-0 0-1     3-3 .500 3-0 0-3    
Elon 0-1   0-1 0-0     2-3 .400 2-2 0-1    
UNCG 0-1   0-0 0-1     1-3 .250 0-1 0-2    
Georgia Southern 0-2   0-0 0-2     1-5 .167 1-2 0-3    
Wofford 0-2   0-0 0-2     4-3 .571 1-0 2-3    


Appalachian was challenged throughout the game with stingy defense and a Georgia Southern team who substituted relentlessly in the second half, doing whatever it could to slow down the Mountaineer attack. Appalachian scored fifty second half points to earn a blowout win over the Eagles, 79-47. Appalachian played some great defense of its own on Monday evening. Georgia Southern only made one of their twenty-one three points attempts and managed shooting only 31.6% for the game. No Eagle was able to manage double digit scoring. The Mountaineers forced 24 turnovers and allowed only four assists.

Appalachian was able to celebrate a career milestone for Courtney Freeman, who netted her 1,000th point on the free throw line in the second half. Freeman had only scored six points at halftime, but the Mountaineers made a point to get her the ball late in the game. Courtney hit six free throws in the second half and hit six of her ten attempts in the second frame to finish with exactly 1,000 points for her career. Freeman became the 22nd Mountaineer with 1,000 points, following classmate Anna Freeman who scored her 1,000th last season against Longwood. Courtney finished with 24 points and nine rebounds for the game. Maryah Sydnor chipped in 19 points on 8/12 shooting and added six rebounds. Anna Freeman was saddled with foul trouble and only played 28 minutes in the game but managed to score 14 points, grab six boards, assisted on four baskets and swatted three shots. Kelsey Sharkey added six points, eight rebounds, and four steals.

C-Notes: Anna Freeman wound up eight points short of her 1,500th point….Anna needs to average 24.2 points per game for the remainder of the regular season to hit 2,000 career points. Courtney Freeman was named Women’s Basketball Playeer of The Week by the SoCon….The same honor was bestowed on Jay Canty on the men’s side for his efforts against Missouri and Duquesne…Men’s Basketball opens SoCon play on Saturday at Western Carolina….The Women will enjoy a 15 day layoff for exams before travelling to ETSU on Dec 18th.


Appalachian Football @ Georgia Southern

Here we go with Week 10:

#15 Appalachian State (6-3, 4-2 4th)  @ #2 Georgia Southern (7-1, 6-1 9th)

Time: 2pm

TV/Video: ESPN 3

Radio: WKBC 97.3 Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Winston Salem, Hickory & High Country; WATA 1450 Boone, Blowing Rock; ESPN 730 Charlotte, Rock Hill, Salisbury; WCOG 1320 Greensboro, Winston Salem, WMFR 1230 Greensboro, High Point; WSML 1200 Burlington, Greensboro; WCMC 99.9 Raleigh, WZGM 1350 Black Mountain, Asheville; WPWT 870 Bristol, Johnson City; WTOE 1470 Spruce Pine, WDNC 620 Durham, WLON 1050 Lincolnton

Paulson Stadium         

Surface: Natural Grass

Capacity: 18,000

Jeff Sagarin Ratings: 

ASU: 57.37

GSU: 66.32

Home: 3.02 points

Georgia Southern is favored by the Sagarin ratings by 12 points (rounded).

Series: Appalachian leads 14-12-1

Last Meeting: Appalachian 24, Georgia Southern 17, October 29, 2011, Boone, NC

WXAPP’s Statesboro Gameday Weather Trends:

It’s gonna stink.   

            Appalachian’s backs are against the wall, with everything to lose this weekend. A loss would shred any hopes the Mountaineers have of sharing the conference title. A loss would also put Appalachian’s chances of making the playoffs in serious jeopardy. For Georgia Southern, a win gives them the conference title, and the automatic bid to the playoffs, and most likely, a very high seed and home field advantage for at least a couple rounds in the playoffs. The Eagles final two opponents are out of conference and one would expect Southern to beat Howard and lose at Georgia. Interestingly enough, a Southern loss and an Appalachian win would have quite the opposite effect on both teams. If anyone knows anything about the matchups when these two programs battle, it is that anything can and will happen at any given time. The last two seasons, both visiting teams have been the top ranked team in the country and both lost. Appalachian fell in overtime in 2010 in Statesboro, while Georgia Southern lost their top ranking in Boone last year. An Appalachian win still gives them a chance at sharing a title, but would need a little help, and coupled with a home win over Furman next week, would almost certainly put the Mountaineers in the playoffs. Southern controls their destiny as long as they win, but with a loss, which would be their second in conference, would leave them on the outside, also needing help from other teams. So, as is the case when these football powers meet, everything is on the line, and it all comes down to which team wants it more.

             Beyond all the similarities between the Appalachian and Georgia Southern football programs, they share another common bond in 2012 that they have not shared before. Earlier this season, the Citadel Bulldogs upset both schools in back to back weeks. From that point on the conference race has been wide open, and the Bulldogs are the direct reason why both Appalachian and Southern are in the little mess they are in currently. Several times over the years, both schools have played with plenty on the line, but the extra loss on both teams’ schedules has put them in precarious situations. Rarely does this game serve as eliminator as far as conference contention is concerned. Since those back to back wins, The Citadel has beaten one team – Western Carolina.

            Last year, coming to Boone, Georgia Southern entered as the country’s top ranked rushing and scoring offense. The triple option was back and it was shredding teams left and right. When Georgia Southern left Boone, they were the second ranked rushing offense. Appalachian held the Eagles to 135 yards on the ground, averaging only 2.7 yards per attempt. Southern quarterback Jaybo Shaw had not thrown an interception all season before the Appalachian game, but left with two interceptions to his name. The Mountaineer defense came to play in what was their third and final triple option opponent of the season.

            Southern enters this weekend as second ranked rushing offense, with similar numbers to last year in the yardage category, but the Eagles are not scoring at the same rate. Their scoring is down almost ten points a game and a lot of that can be attributed to the turnover category. Last year, the Eagles lost eighteen fumbles in fourteen games. This season they have lost twelve fumbles in eight games. That works out to only ¼ of a fumble more per game, but it is significant. Aside from poor ball handling, the Southern kicking game has had a hard time replacing one of their best kickers of all time. Adrian Mora nailed 57 field goals in his career, and made 146 straight extra points before missing two in a playoff game last year. This season, the Eagles have had two freshman, Alex Hanks and Ryan Nowicki split kicking duties. Nowicki kicked the first two games for the Eagles, and missed two costly field goals against The Citadel, and has been relegated to being the backup place kicker since. Hanks missed two extra points a couple weeks ago against Furman. Last week against Chattanooga, an overtime win for the Eagles, Hanks missed two field goals. Hanks is 6/10 on the season, but those misses have costs the Eagles some points this season. In a game of such magnitude, turnovers and missed opportunities to score points can be tough to overcome in a game that will certainly be driven by emotions and momentum.

            Jerick McKinnon has been Southern’s quarterback for a majority of the season but has split time with Ezayi Youyoute. McKinnon is a year older by class, and is a little heavier at 208 pounds. Youyoute was the starter at the beginning of the season, but had a case of the fumbles and has seen less time behind center. Youyoute is two inches taller at 5’11, and is twenty pounds lighter than McKinnon. Youyoute saw his most significant playing time in a month last week with ten carries. Youyoute has 450 rushing yards on the season, but 371 of those came in the first three games of the season. McKinnon is a more consistent runner, and went through a large workload last weekend. McKinnon had been averaging thirteen carries per game before last weekend, when he ran twenty-eight times for 141 yards. It was his second 100-yard game of the season.

            Dominique Swope was the leading rusher for the Eagles before sitting out last week with an illness. Swope has twelve touchdowns and 729 yards rushing on the season, hitting the century mark five times. Swope did not play against the Mountaineers last year, but the Eagles have been leaning heavily on him since. In his last twelve games before sitting out last week, the Eagle offense has handed the ball to him 255 times over that span, which averages to 21.25 carries per game. Swope’s injury is undisclosed and his status is questionable for Saturday. Also questionable is Robert Brown, a 1,000 yard rusher in 2010 for the Eagles, who has had a hard time recovering from a concussion. Brown has missed three of his last four games and may sit out this week as well.

            Appalachian is not alone in the injury department. Jamal Jackson exited in first half of the win over Western Carolina. Jackson took a hit to his knee, which caused some swelling and he is also listed as questionable this weekend. For those interested, the term “questionable” is commonly known as having a 50/50 chance to place. It almost is considered a game time decision, by seeing how the player feels in warm-ups before the game. Appalachian quarterbacks have had knee injuries in the past. If the knee affects Jackson’s ability to run on his usual 6-10 keepers per game, than it is probably best he does not play. The spread offense is not as productive without a 100% healthy quarterback. On the other hand, Logan Hallock played marvelously for the Mountaineers in relief. He set a school record for completion percentage in a game, formerly held by Armanti Edwards. Any time you can break a record held by Edwards, you have played some good football. However, the defense that he will face on Saturday is quite a bit better than what he had to play against last week. It will take another performance like last weekend by Hallock, if he gets the call, in order to beat Georgia Southern in Paulson.

            Another great game was had by Steven Miller, who burst into the Appalachian record books by becoming only the 12th Mountaineer running back, and 14th player, to rush for 1,000 yards in a season at Appalachian. Miller’s 245 yards gave him his second 200-yard game of the season as he joined the likes of Armanti Edwards, Devon Moore, DeAndre Presley and Kevin Richardson who have all rushed for 1,000 or more yards in the last ten years. Miller ran thirty-four times against the Catamounts, which was also a career high.

            Since both teams have so many question marks coming into this game, it sets the stage for a somewhat unknown player to have a breakout game. It would be hard to imagine Swope, Brown and Jackson all sitting out, but the coaches have played cat and mouse with their teams’ significant injuries. However, there has been one player for Appalachian that is somewhat known, but for whatever reason, the recognition is not there. It is understandable in the Southern Conference, for a receiver to get any credit, that he has to be outstanding and he has to have done it for a long time. I am talking about Sean Price. He has had his games, and Appalachian will need a big game from him in order to beat Georgia Southern. When he is active on the field and catching several passes a game and getting vertical, Appalachian has been hard to beat. Every game Appalachian has won this season, Price has averaged at least twelve yards a catch.  Price sat out two games, which were both Appalachian losses, and in the third loss, against Wofford, Price was held to less than eight yards per catch. The Mountaineers are also 5-0 when Price catches a touchdown this season. Take it a step further and Appalachian is 6-0 this season when throwing a touchdown pass. All seventeen touchdown passes by the Mountaineers have come in their wins. Pretty amazing when you sit back and think about it. Last year, all of Appalachian’s touchdowns against Georgia Southern were in the air, two to Brian Quick and one to Andrew Peacock. In 2010 loss, the two touchdowns were both on the ground. This has been something we have tracked all season and into parts of last year. If Appalachian wants to win, it needs to get everyone involved in the passing game, and keep Georgia Southern’s defensive line running sideways and backwards. It is almost the only hope Appalachian has. The Mountaineer defense has struggled mightily all season against the triple option, and it could be a long day if Appalachian has to play from behind while the option eats up the clock. We must also consider the weather in Statesboro on Saturday. It is going to be a warm November day in Statesboro while Appalachian has had to practice indoors up to this point in the week thanks to the snow from Sandy. This is a tough one to call, but if everything goes just right, Appalachian can win.

The First Pick:

The Stink                     19       

Mountaineers             20

#27 Appalachian State Baseball (25-9, 10-5 SoCon) @ Georgia Southern (22-16, 10-8 SoCon)

Appalachian will go on the road for only the second time this season for a conference series with Georgia Southern who has won seven games in a row. The Eagles have seem to found their groove after losing All-America candidate Victor Roache to a broken wrist earlier in the year. Appalachian and Georgia Southern have played three common conference foes this year. Both teams swept Davidson, and both teams won two games against Charleston. Elon swept Georgia Southern at home while Appalachian managed a win at Elon. The Eagles lost a series to Furman, while winning one over UNC-Greensboro. The Eagles are currently ranked #74 in the RPI according to WarrenNolan.com.

The Eagles have had ten different pitchers get a start this year and that has lead to a 5.10 team ERA. Third baseman Eric Phillips has helped pick up the slack from Roache’s injury. The senior is batting .397 and leads the team in hits, RBI’s, doubles, and total bases. Freshman catcher Chase Griffin is hitting .320 with nine home runs but has 27 strikeouts in only 97 at bats.

Appalachian will look to break out of its recent hitting slump. The Mountaineers are only batting .209 in its last two games, losses to Charleston and Gardner-Webb. It was the first time this season the Mountaineers suffered back to back losses. Errors doomed the Mountaineers against Gardner-Webb and have been a problem all season long. The issue is not constantly booting the ball or making a bad throw, but avoiding the first error. The Mountaineers have committed an error in 20 of the 31 games this season. The problem is that 37 errors have been commited in those 20 games. That basically says Appalachian commits 1.85 errors a game, in games where an error occurs. There have been 11 games where errors have not been committed. There have been nine games where one error was commited. So, in turn, Appalachian has commited 9 errors in 20 games with one error or fewer. In the other eleven games, Appalachian has commited 28 errors, which is 2.5 errors per game.

Probable Starters:

Game 1

ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (5-0, 4.63) vs GSU Jr. RHP Chris Beck (4-2, 3.49)

Both starting pitchers got off to a rough start, but it was Ryan Arrowood who was composed enough to keep Georgia Southern at bay in a 5-1 win for the Mountaineers. Arrowood struggled with control in the early innings, with three walks in the second and third innings, but settled down in innings four through seven, scattering three hits to keep his record perfect on the season. Arrowood allowed one earned run and struck out seven batters on 105 pitches.

Appalachian got on the board early with three runs in the first inning off of Georgia Southern ace Chris Beck, who gave up four runs on the night in six innings of work. Appalachian loaded the bases in the first with back to back singles by Tyler Zupcic and Will Callaway. Beck then sandwiched a strikeout of Tyler Tewell with walks to Daniel Kassouf and Jeremy Dowdy which brought in the first run of the game. Trey Holmes singled to bring it two runs to give Appalachian an early 3-0 lead. Daniel Kassouf added his 12th homerun of the season in the third inning which Southern answered with an RBI bunt by Eric Phillips in the bottom of the inning. The score would stay 4-1 Appalachian until the ninth inning when Callaway knocked in Hector Crespo, who singled and was bunted over to second base by Zupcic. Nathan Hyatt finished the game with a rare four strikeout ninth inning in a non-save situation.

Brnadon Burris finished the game going 3-4 at the plate, but did not score. Callaway and Tewell added two hits each. Appalachian pounded out twelve hits on the night and did not commit any errors in the field. Georgia Southern head coach Rodney Hennon was ejected in the ninth for arguing the play at the plate where Crespo scored. He will not be able to coach Saturday’s game.

Game 2

ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (6-1, 2.22) vs GSU Jr. RHP Justin Hess (1-1, 5.67 ERA)

The issues that the Appalachian Baseball team had been facing in 2012 reared their ugly heads once again. Appalachian commited four errors, which led to five runs for Georgia Southern. It was largest margin defeat of the season for Appalachian in the 13-3 Eagle rout. The day may have been Georgia Southern’s for the taking, with the team rallying for their coach who was suspended for the remainder of the series after being ejected on Friday night. It was also the nightcap for a day of festivities as the the Eagle Football team held their annual Blue-White game.

Seth Grant (6-2, 2.98) had won his last six starts, but was nowhere near form in what became his shortest appearance of the season. It was the first time all season Grant did not get through the fifth inning. In fact, it was not a good day for the entire ASU pitching staff. Every pitcher allowed at least one run besides Chad Farmer who threw a hitless sixth inning with two strikeouts.

Appalachian was able to get its ten hits in the first six innings, but could not get a timely hit and was able to score only three runs.  Hector Crespo (.318) recorded three hits, a run and an RBI. Will Callaway (.400), Tyler Tewell (.383), and Noah Holmes (.208) had two hits each in the losing effort.

Game 3

ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (4-2, 4.30) vs GSU So. RHP Will Middour (1-2, 4.61 ERA)

A furious late rally by the Mountaineers was not enough as Georgia Southern won the series with a 7-6 win on Sunday afternoon. Appalachian was winless on the season when trailing after eight innings and Georgia Southern had not given up a lead in the same scenario. Daniel Kassouf swatted his 13th homerun of the season in the eighth inning, a three run bomb which pulled Appalachian back within two runs heading into the ninth inning.

Down to their last out, pinch hitter Preston Troutman legged out an infield single which was followed by a single by Hector Crespo which put the tying run on first base. Tyler Zupcic doubled down the left field line which plated Troutman and put runners on 2nd and 3rd base. It was up to Will Callaway to deliver the game winning hit, which he came just inches from doing, when Eagle center fielder Scooter Williams made a diving catch to seal the victory.

Rob Marcello suffered the loss moving to 4-3 on the season and saw his ERA move to the highest point of the season at 4.59.  Kassouf had two hits and four RBI on the day. The starting six through nine spots in the Appalachian lineup went 0-12 on the day with two walks.

With College of Charleston playing one more series than the rest of the conference, the standings looks very odd. By winning percentage, there is now a four way tie between the Cougars, Elon, Appalachian and Western Carolina. However, Appalachian and Western are in better position with only five conference losses each.

@SoConSports Standings

Charleston        14-7

Elon                 12-6

Appalachian     10-5

Western            10-5

Sanmford          10-8

Geo. Southern    10-8


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: 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.

Appalachian State Basketball: Appalachian @ Georgia Southern 2/4/2012

The Lady Mountaineers travel to Georgia Southern that should favor the Apps on paper in all aspects of the game. The Eagles are 3-9 in conference play, good for tie for eight place while the Mountaineers remain in the top spot in the league with 10-1 record. In the past, the Mountaineers have had trouble winning in Statesboro. Last season, the game was moved up two hours early in anticipation of some inclement weather. The Mountaineers were driving the day of the game, so their schedule was rushed getting off the bus to play. This season, the Georgia Southern game is part of a long road trip that includes a game on Monday at College of Charlseton. Once the Mountaineers get home sometime early Tuesday morning, they will have travelled just shy of 800 miles and played two basketball games in four days.

Appalachian State Football: Appalachian vs. Georgia Southern 10/20/2007

Here we go with Week 8:

Georgia Southern (4-2) @ #5 Appalachian State (5-1)

Time: 3:30pm

Kidd Brewer Stadium
Surface: Field Turf
Capacity: 16,650
Jeff Sagarin Rankings:
ASU:     70.22
GSU:    51.07
Home advantage: 2.93 points
ASU is favored to win by 22  points

Series: ASU leads 10-9-1

Last Meeting: ASU 27, GSU 20 20T


Finally, after nearly two months of football, Appalachian State will host a conference game when the Georgia Southern Eagles come to Kidd Brewer Stadium this weekend. Another thing that has taken forever to get here is the next game. It was nice to have a week off, and I am sure the players enjoyed it very much. However, when I woke up last Saturday morning, I knew something wasn’t right. The sun was up. I was raring to go. I even considered packing up the truck with the tailgating supplies, just because it felt right. When the weekend arrives in a couple days, everything will be packed just like always, waiting for another Black Saturday.


The easy games are over. The conference schedule is in full swing as the Mountaineers will close the season with five league games. Georgia Southern is the first test for ASU coming off the bye week. Southern is coming off a crushing overtime loss to the Elon Phoenix. Southern has bitten by the injury bug, and I am sure they are looking forward to another 7+ hour bus ride up to North Carolina. ASU on the other hand is well rested and is about as healthy as they have been all season long. When asked about the status of Armanti Edwards, Jerry Moore kind of said that he expected #14 to start against the Eagles.


Georgia Southern seems to be getting back to old team we all used to know. The Eagles lead the nation in rushing at 351 yards a game and are scoring 41.5 points a game on the season. Most of the offense comes from the skills of Jayson Foster. Foster is fourth in the nation with nearly 160 yards rushing per contest, and has scored 15 touchdowns. However, in the last 3 games, Foster has been held to less than 100 yards rushing in each contest and has only scored one touchdown in each of those games. Georgia Southern is so beat up by injuries that it is allowing teams to focus more on Foster. In his two games against ASU, Foster has carried 24 times for 101 yards. Lamar Lewis, Chris Teal and Mike Hamilton will carry the load when Foster hands it off. All three carried for at least 70 yards against Elon.

Whether it is Armanti Edwards or Trey Elder who starts for the Mountaineers this Saturday, one thing is for certain: The Apps are going to be scoring. Southern is outscoring ASU on a per game basis, but Southern also had two overtime games this year, and Western Georgia isn’t exactly Michigan. The Apps offense is a little more balanced than their opponent on Saturday. ASU is running the ball for 201 yards a game and passing for another 220 yards. By spreading the ball around, ASU avoids having one guy get all the numbers. Kevin Richardson has averaged a steady 72 yards a game on the ground, and is only 522 yards away from the ASU all time record. Hans Batichon is catching 4 passes a game for a 63 yard average. Trey Elder leads the conference in passing efficiency as he has tossed for 921 yards and 8 touchdowns while completing 66 percent of his passes.


I fully expect Georgia Southern to ride the coat tails of Jayson Foster. At some point, a coach has to realize that when you give a kid a chance to make a play on every down, eventually he going to take enough hits that he becomes ineffective. I think Chris Hatcher has done a great job so far this season, but before too long, the Eagles are going to have to mix it up a bit. I am hoping this isn’t the weekend they plan that. Unlike the past two seasons, ASU has been coming out of the gates kind of slow. The second quarter is actually when ASU has scored 40% of its points, while holding the opposition to 13 total points in the second stanza. If Georgia Southern sets the tempo early with some big plays by forcing the ASU defense to run backwards, we could be in for a shoot out.


On the other hand, ASU leads the Southern Conference in passing efficiency while Georgia Southern allows over 250 yards a game through the air. It is pretty easy to figure that ASU will test the Southern secondary. In the spread offense, ASU has always passed in order to set up the run, which provides a perfectly balanced offense. If ASU is successful in the passing game, look for ASU to run away early and coast to an big victory.


The fact remains, Georgia Southern is coming to Boone and they expect to win. Georgia Southern has a fan base that expects success and that enthusiasm runs throughout the players. The Eagles will want to end the string of home victories for ASU. Also fresh on their mind is the heart wrenching loss they suffered last year in Statesboro. Appalachian must also remember that they are still playing Georgia Southern. The seniors on the ASU team remember the beating they took in 2004 when Southern won 54-7. Bad losses are on the minds of both of these teams in the past and this year. The two losses Southern suffered this year were in overtime and they can only imagine what could have been. ASU played a bad game against Wofford and you think about it, this game is only a couple plays away from pitting two undefeated teams. Forget the records though. Its plain and simple this weekend. These two teams are going to get after each other on every down. I expect Southern to play like its their last game. The hard part for Southern is that they are beat up, while ASU is as ready to go as they been since the first week. ASU will work off some rust in the first few drives, but they should be excited to play. Black Saturday always bring out the best in the ASU fan base. The Apps should get a victory this week, but its wont be easy to contain Jayson Foster.

The First Pick:

Black Out           34

Beagles              24

Appalachian State Football: Appalachian @ Georgia Southern 10/18/2008

Here we go with Week 7:

#2 Appalachian State (4-2, 2-0 T2) @ Georgia Southern (3-3,1-2 T5)

Time: 3pm

TV: SportSouth
Stadium: Paulson Stadium
Surface: Natural Grass

Capacity: 18,000
Jeff Sagarin Rankings:
ASU:     63.83
GSU:    56.52
Home advantage: 2.78 points
ASU is favored by the Sagarin rankings by 4 ½  points (rounded).

Series: Series tied 11-11-1
Last Meeting: GSU 38 ASU 35, October 10th 2007


Rivalries are what college athletics are all about. There are teams you play within the conference every year, but its those couple of schools, for whatever reason, that have always stuck out through the years. If you want one, look no further than Georgia Southern and Appalachian State football. The series is dead even. Its has back and forth that way for a couple of years now. Sometimes things happen during a rivalry that makes it extra special each time the series is renewed. Eagle fans will never forget the goalpost incident of 2003 after ASU snapped a four game Southern win streak. Georgia Southern returned the favor in 2007 by dancing on the ASU field after a three point win over the two-time defending champions. That is what makes it all so fun. Traditionally this game is always a fight for conference and playoff positioning. Rarely does one team have three losses heading into this game. It would not matter though. If these teams were winless, the intensity would still be the same. Something about these schools on the gridiron, always brings out the best in each team.


Every year it seems, when you talk about the Georgia Southern football team, the conversation always starts with the quarterback position. Over the years, the Eagles have had some great athletes lining under center. Greg Hill, JR Revere, Jayson Foster are a few that have given plenty of defensive coordinators nightmares over the years. The Georgia Southern record book is littered with their names. Antonio Henton is another Eagle quarterback that will try to match the numbers of his predecessors. Henton, a transfer from Ohio State, is one of the first true dual threat quarterbacks that Southern has had in a few years. Henton is a good passer with a strong arm and is equally as dangerous on the ground. He is very similar to James Madison‘s Rodney Landers, who he outweighs by 15 pounds. Henton has scored 13 total touchdowns on the year is Southern’s leading rusher at 58 yards per game. Henton completes right at 57% of his passes and his only downfall is the six interceptions he has thrown in six games.  Four of those interceptions have come in the last three games against conference opponents Chattanooga, Wofford and Elon.


I will repeat myself, Henton is leading rusher for the Eagles at 58 yards per game. When is the last time you could say that about a Georgia Southern football team. As a team, Southern is averaging only 155 yards on the ground. Gone are the days of 400 yard rushing games week in and out. The Eagles are also getting outrun by their opponents by over 30 yards per game. The Eagles have been allowing 454 yards a game on defense, last in the conference. At 30 points a game, the Southern defense is ranked eighth in the conference. They have also given up more first downs (24 per game) than any other team in the conference. No wonder Southern isn’t running the ball like they used to. Give credit to the “Hatch Attack” offense, but you also have to give credit to the Southern defense for not stopping opposing offenses.


Just when Mountaineer fans thought the offense had been corrected, along came Samford, easily the most underrated team in the conference. Two first quarter fumbles puts the Apps in an early hole that they eventually recovered from. Samford was able to deliberately run their offense. They were trying to burn clock and run trick plays from the kickoff. Once it was all said and done, Armanti Edwards emerged once again as the conference offensive player of the week after throwing for 307 yards and adding another 63 yards on the ground in a four touchdown effort. Edwards has thrown seven touchdown passes compared to zero interceptions, including a sparkling 77% completion percentage in the last two games. In his two career games against the Eagles, Edwards has averaged 180 yards rushing and 194 yards passing per game.


The Appalachian defense woke up just in time against Samford. Samford was close to adding to their lead when Cortez Gilbert blocked a field goal attempt that kept the deficit at seven points. The offense scored on the next series. The Mountaineers held the Samford offense to only 16 yards in the second quarter. The Samford offense converted their first four  third down conversions in the opening quarter. After that, Samford converted only 4 for 15 for the rest of the game. The defense also held the Samford rushing attack to 4.1 yards per carry, and only allowed 376 total yards on 78 plays(4.8 yards per play). Leading the defense was sophomore linebacker DJ Smith who tallied 12 solo tackles which was enough to win the defensive player of the week in the conference.


This game will be a high scoring affair without any question. Although Appalachian appears to have a better defense, nothing can make up for the second straight week on a long trip, coupled with the Statesboro heat. Although the forecasters are not calling for temperatures like we have seen in the past, the heat is still an issue in south Georgia. Also, both Appalachian and Georgia Southern are last in the league in time of possession. For Appalachian its all about the quick strike offense. For Georgia Southern, although their defense cant seem to get anyone off the field, they still average 33 points per game. Another key will be the fact the both Appalachian and Southern are two of the league’s most penalized teams in the league. That means lots of clock stoppages and more chances for offensive plays. Also, Georgia Southern is also one of the worst teams in the league in a category I like to call the pass protection ratio. It is not completely scientific, but work with me. Southern quarterbacks have been sacked 14 times and have thrown 7 interceptions compared to 188 attempted passes, for a percentage of 11.1%, which represents the chance that a Southern quarterback will be intercepted or sacked on each passing attempt. (Wofford leads at 1.8%, while Chattanooga is last at 15.9%). Basically, more interceptions leads to more changes of possessions which leads to more clock stoppages. Throw in the fact this game will be televised and you are looking at a very good chance that this game may take three and half hours to complete. The better conditioned team may win. Both of these teams are also filled with youth, although I suspect that Appalachian has more experience in key positions to pull out a victory. Appalachian is only 3-8 all time in Statesboro and have never won two in a row in Paulson Stadium. I feel that streak will be broken this weekend.

The First Pick:


Mullets                         34

Beards                         41