skip to Main Content
Faith Alston
Faith Alston had a career high 36 points in the Mountaineers win.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Advances in Sun Belt Tournament

The App State women’s basketball team will advance to Friday’s quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Championship after knocking off No. 8 seeded Georgia State, 73-68, in the second round.

Senior Faith Alston led the charge against the Panthers, netting a career-high 36 points, which is the most points a Mountaineer has scored in a postseason win in program history. Her total also ties her with Maryah Sydnor for eighth-place in the all-time list for single-game scoring leaders. Alston accounted for four of the Mountaineers’ eight treys and pulled down three rebounds and dished out two assists.

“First and foremost I would like to give credit to Georgia State and the way that they competed and showed up today,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “This is March and March games are gritty. Since we exited here in March we always talk about how tough teams win in March, so we built a plan this season for that and I’m just so proud of our players for executing that plan. The game wasn’t pretty in spurts, but we won. And that’s what you want to do in the tournament, you want to survive and advance. I’m really proud of our group and the effort we gave answering runs, going on runs ourselves and maintaining our composure.

“For us today it’s iBackAPP and so, people ask, ‘why do you back App?’ I back App for Mariah Frazier, who is a graduate student in our program, and gives everything she has, and Faith Alston, who is a senior in our program and gives everything that she has. For the fans that were in the stands, we had special parents, we had Dr. Sheri Everts, our chancellor, in the stands, and then we had people watching. You’ve got to back App, because these players, I’ve asked them to finish empty. Tomorrow was not promised. Tomorrow needed to be earned, and they did just that today for App State and for each other.”

Fifth-year senior Taylor Lewis and sophomore Rylan Moffitt pulled down seven rebounds apiece, while sophomore Alexis Black netted 12 points. App State and Georgia State tied eight times and swapped the lead five times. The Mountaineers recorded 18 second-chance points compared to Georgia State’s nine as well as 12 fastbreak points compared to Georgia State’s six.

Tensions ran high in the fourth quarter as Georgia State went on a 10-0 run to lead by three midway through the period. The Mountaineers and Panthers tied seven times in the last seven minutes of play, swapping the lead four times. Carver gave the Mountaineers a 67-66 edge with a free throw with 0:43. In the last 16 seconds of the game, Alston was sent to the line three times, sealing the win 73-68 with six total freebies.

Despite an early Georgia State lead, Alston went on a six-point run of her own in the first period to give the Mountaineers an edge in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Lewis combined with Alston for nine of the Mountaineers’ 17 points in the period. App State boasted a 12-point lead (27-15), building off a 9-0 scoring run that featured jumpers from Moffitt and Alston, as well as a trey from Black. A late trey from sophomore Chaé Harris brought App State to a 32-21 lead, but Georgia State chipped away at the deficit with a 7-0 run of its own. The Mountaineers led 32-28 at the half.

Late in the third quarter, Georgia State closed the gap to a mere two points, but free throws and a trey from Alston pushed App State back ahead, 52-45. A pair of freebies from Black with 0:57 left, extended the Mountaineers’ lead to 54-48. Alston led the Black and Gold through the fourth quarter, netting 13 of the Mountaineers’ 19 points.

The Mountaineers will advance to the quarterfinal and challenge No. 1 seed Marshall at 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 a.m. ET) on Friday. The winner of Friday’s game will advance to Saturday’s semifinal.