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Emily Carver
Emily Carver once again led the Mountaineers with 15 points.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Defeats Georgia State

The App State women’s basketball team clinched a 63-55 victory over Georgia State on Thursday as it welcomed students from 15 area schools for Education Day. The Mountaineers welcomed 1,700 fans and came within 123 of its attendance record of 1,823, set on April 3, 2019 when the team won the WBI title.

“I just feel today’s a win for so many reasons,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “A phrase that I’ve been using with my team and it’s really interesting as we head into our pink game on Saturday, was from Kay Yow and she always said, ‘whatever’s delayed is not denied’ and obviously our team had been in a rut, but that’s a little bit deeper for me. Since I became the head coach at App State, the elementary school game was just a passion of mine. I want the youth to be around our program to see our kids play and to have a dream like our players had.

“As an athletic department, just like a basketball team, we pounded the stone and they never gave up with my vision. […] This vision started nine years ago. It was executed in October from our marketing staff and I’m just so grateful to be a Mountaineer and to have our athletic department behind me to execute what they did today. Tremendous environment. And my hope is somebody left that building today with a joy of basketball they didn’t have prior to watching our ladies compete.”

Sophomore Emily Carver and junior Faith Alston netted double digits, with 15 points and 13 points, respectively. Carver has been the Mountaineers’ top scorer in seven games and has scored double digits in 15 games this season. Alston turned in an all-around performance with a team-high nine rebounds and team-high seven assists.

App State (9-15, 5-8 SBC) made 10 of 23 3-point attempts (43.5%), while holding the Panthers (10-16, 4-9 SBC) to just 1-of-7 makes from behind the arc. The Mountaineers forced 21 Panther turnovers, while turning the ball over only nine times in front of the home fans.

Alston, Carver, sophomore Mariah Frazier and senior Taylor Lewis combined for 12 points in a low-scoring first quarter. Georgia State took a slight 15-12 edge to close the first quarter. In the second period, redshirt junior A’Lea Gilbert completed a three-point play to cut Georgia State’s lead to 22-19. The Mountaineers went on a 7-0 scoring run late in the quarter as freshman Alexis Black drilled a 3-point basket, Alston got to the hoop for a layup, and sophomore Zada Porter sunk a pair of free throws. Black capped the quarter with a free throw to put App State up 30-27 at the half.

The Mountaineers and Panthers battled through a tight third quarter that included four tied scores and four lead changes. Frazier broke a 40-40 tie with a layup, which was followed by a Carver layup that extended the Black and Gold’s lead to 44-40. With 12 seconds left, Porter landed a trey that gave App State a 47-40 lead.

Porter’s hot shooting continued into the fourth quarter, as she opened it with a jumper. Alston kept the Mountaineers ahead 52-42 with a trey. The Panthers fought back, but it wasn’t enough, as Carver drained a well-timed 3-point bucket. Carver went on to sink back-to-back treys to put App State up 62-53 over the Panthers. The Mountaineers clinched the win after Carver was sent to the free throw line, sealing the victory, 63-55.

App State will host Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. on Saturday for its Play4Kay Pink Game.