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Janay Sanders
Janay Sanders was one of two players to score 11 points for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Women’s Basketball Season Ends in Sun Belt Quarterfinals

The App State women’s basketball team fell short to No. 2 seed Texas State, 56-47, in the final quarterfinal game of the day on Friday. App State went 11-20 (6-12 SBC) during the 2022-23 campaign.

“I’d like to start off by giving Texas State credit. We are not typically a team that turns the ball over and I think that was something that hurt us today. Their changing defenses created a little bit of an issue for us, but I do think our team fought really hard,” said head coach Angel Elderkin.

“Honestly, I felt like we couldn’t get out of our own way. I think our effort was there. Our execution wasn’t as sharp as it’s been, but something we talked about with this tournament was rebounding. I thought our kids really took that to heart by winning the rebounding battle, which is something that’s been a deficiency of ours. As a coach, you talk about free throws and turnovers and the game is just so simple it just comes down to the little things and Texas State got to those better than us tonight.”

Redshirt senior Janay Sanders and freshman Alexis Black each scored 11 points. Sanders went 5-of-5 from the line and contributed three rebounds. Redshirt junior A’Lea Gilbert led the team with six rebounds, while junior Faith Alston and sophomore Mariah Frazier each pulled down five. Alston also dished out a team-high four assists.

App State shot 87.5 percent from the line and recorded 41 rebounds as well as 18 points from the bench. The Mountaineers held the Bobcats to eight points in the third period.

Black put the Mountaineers on the board with a 3-point play, cutting into Texas State’s early 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter. A layup from Gilbert and trey from Black cut the deficit to 12-8, but the Bobcats pulled away to 19-8 at the end of the quarter.

App State came back in the second period as freshman Chaé Harris and Alston made layups. Sanders sunk a pair of free throws and sophomore Emily Carver landed a 3-point bucket. As sophomore Zada Porter hit a jumper, the Mountaineers closed the deficit to 23-19. A trey from Black cut the lead to 28-22.

Sanders, Alston, and Frazier combined for nine points in the third quarter. Despite scoring droughts for both teams, Black capped the quarter with a last-second jumper, bringing the Mountaineers within four of the Bobcats’ lead (37-33).

In the fourth and final quarter, Gilbert made it to the hoop for a layup and Carver made a three-point bucket, cutting Texas State’s lead to 41-38. A pair of free throws from Sanders as well as a layup, closing the gap to 44-42. Frazier made it past the defense for a layup, keeping the Mountaineers within two at 46-44. Texas State responded with an 8-0 scoring run to pull away to 54-44. Sanders made a layup and the free throw that followed to push the score to 54-47, but it wasn’t enough as Texas State made one last layup to take the 56-47 win to advance to Sunday’s semifinal round.