By Katherine Jamtgaard for App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. — The App State women’s basketball team defeated Coastal Carolina, 81-74, on Saturday, marking a fifth consecutive win in its series with the Chanticleers.
Four Mountaineers scored in double-figures, led by sophomore Emily Carver. For a fourth consecutive game, Carver scored more than 20 points for the Mountaineers and was successful on at least five 3-pointers. Carver netted a career and team-high 27 points and shot 6-of-8 from the 3-point line. She was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line. The Asheville, N.C. native pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and matched senior Taylor Lewis in the steals category, as each recorded four.
Freshman Alexis Black drained 18 points, shooting 5-of-7, which included 3-of-4 treys. Black, graduate student Brooke Bigott and redshirt senior Janay Sanders each shot perfectly from the charity stripe, helping the Mountaineers to a .905 team free throw percentage.
“I really challenged our team at halftime to be better on the defensive end. I thought our third quarter defense was some of the best defense that we (have) played and it really helped us get separation,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “I have a phrase with our team, ‘excellence doesn’t blink,’ and I feel like our team was able to withstand (Coastal’s) runs and able to play our brand, our style of basketball. It’s when we have the most success.
“Coastal Carolina is a very good team coming in here with three wins,” Elderkin added. “They can shoot it from the outside and inside, so I just thought we did a really good job. Our bench really helped us today, so I’m just really proud. They do a thing every Monday: stay ready so you don’t have to get ready, and I thought Taylor Lewis, Alexis Black, and Mariah Frazier gave us really key moments today off the bench.”
App State recorded 24 points off the bench and 24 in the paint, in addition to 18 fast break points.
Black netted six points in the first quarter while redshirt junior A’Lea Gilbert, junior Faith Alston, Bigott, and Sanders each contributed two points to keep App State within four of Coastal Carolina’s early, 18-14 lead. Early treys from Lewis and Bigott brought App State to within two points (22-20) in the second period and the Mountaineers kept pace with CCU. Carver and Black sunk late, back-to-back treys but despite the Black and Gold’s best efforts the Chants took a 44-38 lead at the half.
After trailing Coastal Carolina at halftime, the Mountaineers found a spark in the third quarter. Layups from Bigott and Sanders and a trey from Carver cut CCU’s lead to 49-45. Black and Sanders each drilled a pair of free throws, enabling the Mountaineers to meet Coastal Carolina at 49-all. Another 3-pointer from Carver gave App State a 52-49 lead for the sole lead change of the game. The Mountaineers held the Chants to six points in the third quarter while going on on a commanding, 21-0 scoring run. They closed out the third period with a 60-50 lead.
App State kept command of the lead in the fourth quarter with layups from Carver and Sanders keeping the Mountaineers ahead, 64-59. Black and Carver sunk back-to-back treys before Bigott and Lewis made it to the hoop for layups, putting App State ahead, 74-64. An Alston fadeaway jumper gave the Black and Gold a 76-71 lead. The Mountaineers sealed their victory with free throws from Carver and Bigott.
The Mountaineers will head to Atlanta, Ga. to take on Georgia State on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The Mountaineers will host their Uncorked event on Friday, Jan. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at Venture Wine and Chocolate Co. App State will then host Louisiana on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. for Alumni Weekend. Single game tickets are available. App State women’s basketball alumni are invited to sign up for a pre-game alumni event at the McKinney Alumni Center on Jan. 28.