BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State outscored the UNCG women's basketball team 44-27 in the second half Sunday to take control of a close contest and record an 81-58 Southern Conference victory inside the Holmes Convocation Center. It was the third-straight road game for the Spartans, who are in the middle of a long stretch in which they are playing eight of 10 away from Fleming Gymnasium.
Junior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) fell just one rebound short of her third-straight double-double, leading the Blue and Gold with 14 points and nine rebounds. She was joined in double figures by freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) who chipped in with 12. Also helping out on the glass was senior forward Sidnei Harmon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) as she posted eight rebounds.
The Spartans (3-13, 0-7 SoCon) turned the ball over 22 times in the contest and the Mountaineers (12-3, 6-1 SoCon) took advantage by scoring 28 points off those miscues. Appalachian State gave it away 20 times, leading to 16 points for UNCG. Both squads ended up with 65 shots from the field, but the Mountaineers hit 30 of their attempts to finish at 46 percent while the Spartans ended up with a 32-percent performance. ASU also won the overall rebounding battle 46-41, but the Blue and Gold surpassed its season average with 19 offensive boards. UNCG went to the free throw line 24 times thanks to 25 Mountaineer fouls, but could only knock down 13 of the attempts.
A three-pointer by Mason and a turnaround jumper by Stevenson gave UNCG a 5-2 advantage at the outset, but ASU responded with five-straight points to take the lead. The Spartans were not fazed, however, scoring 13 of the next 15 points to burst in front by an 18-9 score with 10:57 on the clock. A total of six different UNCG players scored in the first nine minutes to aid the Spartan cause.
The home side found its rhythm over the next three minutes as a 10-4 run, capped by a layup from Maryah Sydnor, sliced the UNCG advantage to 22-19. With the Spartans leading 24-21 after a jumper by sophomore guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb), Appalachian State reeled off 10-straight points, including Farrahn Wood's third three of the half, to push ahead 31-24 at the 5:29 mark.
A pair of free throws by Michelle Taylor gave the Mountaineers their largest cushion of the period at 37-29 with 1:02 remaining, but after the Spartans forced an ASU turnover, Mason took the ball nearly coast to coast and put in a layup as the buzzer sounded to leave the halftime margin at 37-31.
Mason paced UNCG with seven points in the first 20 minutes while Wood posted nine for the Mountaineers – all from beyond the arc. The Spartans out-toughed ASU on the glass, securing 23 rebounds to the Mountaineers' 21 - including an 11-6 edge on offensive caroms – and both squads nailed 13 field goals with the Blue and Gold taking six more shots from the field (36-30). Of the 10 Spartans who played in the half, eight found their way onto the score sheet while all but one secured a rebound.
ASU came out on fire at the beginning of the second half, out-scoring UNCG 10-2 to extend its advantage to 14 points. The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, but the Mountaineers kept feeding the ball to Anna Freeman and eventually seized full control of the proceedings.
Stevenson kept fighting for the Spartans, scoring six of her eight second half points down the stretch by getting to the basket, and subsequently, the foul line.
UNCG closes the book on its current road swing Wednesday, Jan. 23, with a SoCon matchup against Davidson. The Spartans and Wildcats will tip at 7 p.m. inside Belk Arena.
- UNCG -