App State women’s basketball downed ULM, 70-60, in the first round of the Sun Belt Championship on Friday afternoon at the Pensacola Bay Center.
App State improves to 14-11 overall and advances to the quarterfinal round to face the second seed from the West Division, UTA, tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) and Michaela Porter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) paced four Mountaineers in double figures with 14 points apiece, while Gosnell grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Porter registered seven rebounds as well and nailed a personal-high four trifectas.
The duo of Faith Alston (Centerville, Va./Paul VI Catholic) and Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./RJ Reynolds) came off the bench to score a combined 24 points. Alston poured in a career mark of 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and tied a personal best with seven assists. Wilson hit three of her four field goals from beyond the arc for 11 points. Wilson and Alston scored 24 of the reserves’ season-high 27 points.
All it took was a 10-0 start in the first 4:36 of the game to take a commanding lead that App State never relinquished.
ULM responded by closing the gap to four, 15-11, before Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) sparked a 5-0 spurt with a trifecta and free throws made by Alston and Janay Sanders (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) to give the Apps a 20-11 edge going into the second period.
App State quickly grew the lead back to double digits and at one point took a 40-20 advantage thanks to Wilson’s trifecta late in the second period. The Mountaineers went into the half with a 40-24 lead.
The Warhawks didn’t go away quietly as they came back to slice the lead to single digits, 49-42, with 1:15 left in the third period. Alston stopped the run with a basket followed by a Porter trifecta to push the score to 54-42 in App’s favor going into the final period.
ULM never threatened the Mountaineers the rest of the way. Alston’s consecutive treys midway through the quarter widened the lead to its largest at 24. App State pulled away for its fifth Sun Belt Tournament win in the last five seasons.
Appalachian scored 19 points off turnovers while hitting 11 3-pointers to ULM’s zero. The Mountaineers also assisted on a season-high 18 baskets.
Kierra Brimzy led ULM with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting while Diamond Brooks scored 18 and shot 8-for-10.
App State is 10-0 all-time against ULM.
The Mountaineers are 5-6 in the Sun Belt Tournament.
Pre Stanley led the team in plus/minus at 29 while scoring seven points with six assists.
Gosnell and Porter combined for 28 points and 16 rebounds.
Stanley is fifth all-time in school history in scoring with 1,531 points, surpassing Sam Ramirez (1,525 points; 2007-11).
Sixteen of Gosnell’s 28 rebounds over the last three games are on the offensive end.
App State has hit at least 10 3-pointers in three consecutive games.