As time expired, Pre Stanley’s (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) game-winning basket lifted App State women’s basketball to a thrilling 58-56 victory over South Alabama at the Mitchell Center on Saturday evening.
The Mountaineers are 11-11 overall and 8-8 in Sun Belt play, while South Alabama falls to 12-10 and 9-7 in league action.
App State matches last season’s win total and earns its first winning road record since the 2012-13 season at 7-5. Appalachian also went 6-3 on the road in league play.
With 1.8 seconds left in the game, Stanley curled around a Michaela Porter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) screen before being met by a perfect Faith Alston (Centerville, Va./Paul VI Catholic) pass. The senior lifted for the shot as time expired and sealed a gritty victory for the Black and Gold.
App State led 56-51 after Janay Sanders (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) went 1-of-2 from the line. Baskets by Antoinette Lewis and a deep 3-pointer from Savannah Jones with 13 seconds left in the game tied things up. App State missed its first game-winning attempt but forced a turnover on the ensuing end that set up the game-winner.
Appalachian started the fourth quarter on a 14-3 run while trailing by six thanks in large part to a 4:24 scoring drought in which the hosts missed their first four shots. App State outscored the Jaguars 45-21 in the fourth quarter through both games.
The Mountaineers struggled from the field in the second and third quarters (25 percent) but shot 50 percent in the final frame. App outscored South Alabama 34-16 in the paint after being outscored 28-26 on Friday. App State shot 45.2 percent from inside the arc.
Stanley scored 11 of her team-high 17 points in the second half while shooting 7-of-15 from the field and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Rockledge, Fla., native bounced back after scoring four points on Friday. Stanley is now sixth all-time in scoring with 1,490 points, surpassing Muriel Higginboth (1,477 points; 1978-82). Sanders turned in a solid performance once again with 14 points and four rebounds, while Porter turned in 13 points, seven rebounds, and four steals. Porter has nine games with at least three steals.
The Mountaineers grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the win after pulling down only six in the first game.
App State is still in the race for a first-round bye in the Sun Belt Championships. The Mountaineers close out the regular season next weekend against Georgia Southern at the Holmes Center.