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Faith Alston
Faith Alston led the Mountaineers in scoring for the 18th time this season with 25 points.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Downs Coastal Carolina

The App State women’s basketball team defeated Coastal Carolina, 73-63, on Thursday. The Mountaineers held a steady lead over the duration of the game.

“After the week in Georgia, we got back and realized that oftentimes it happens where you start to focus so much on your opponents that you lose sight of what’s truly important and that was us. So I really challenged our team to get back to our pressure and our pace. I thought we defended really well tonight, ” said head coach Angel Elderkin.

“I am disappointed about the let-up in the fourth quarter, that’s something that I’m definitely going to have to go back to, like how many times we put Coastal at the free throw line and the offensive rebounds we gave up. For the most part, holding a team to 12, 15, and 11 in three quarters was the expectation and now it’s just cleaning up and showing our team that when we do guard and defend it’s going to make our offense a lot easier. I’m just really proud of the way our group responded today,” said Elderkin.

Five Mountaineers scored double-figures, led by senior Faith Alston, who recorded her second double-double of the season with a team-high 15 points and 10 assists in her 40 minutes on court. Thursday’s game marks Alston’s fourth consecutive game as the team’s top scorer. The Centerville, Va. native is now a mere 24 points away from reaching 1,000 collegiate career points.

Fifth-year senior Taylor Lewis and sophomore Alexis Black each netted 11 points, while sophomore Chaé Harris and freshman MaKenzie Drout netted 10 points. Black and freshman Lexi Bugajski each shot 3-of-4 from the arc, accounting for six of the Mountaineers’ 11 treys. Harris and Drout also contributed two treys apiece. In the rebounds category, Harris and sophomore Rylan Moffitt each pulled down a team-high eight.

The Mountaineers shot 40% from the field and 40% from the arc, while holding the Chanticleers to one 3-point bucket. App State also recorded 28 fast break points, compared to CCU’s seven.

Lewis put the Mountaineers on the board early with a layup in the paint. The Chants tied the score twice in the first quarter, but the Mountaineers were quick to break the ties with a layup from graduate student Mariah Frazier and a pair of freebies from Alston. Late in the quarter, Bugajski drained her first career trey. Harris closed out the period with a trey of her own.

The Black and Gold faced a scoring drought in the second quarter, which Lewis broke midway through the period with a layup and Harris promptly followed up with a 3-point bucket. Black and Drout each knocked down 3-point buckets to keep the Mountaineers ahead. With 0:03 left in the half, Bugajski fired off a buzzer beater to bring App State to a 34-27 lead.

App State held Coastal Carolina to 11 points in the third quarter. Alston led the Mountaineers with nine points, scoring eight points in less than two minutes. After Black and Bugajski contributed two more treys, Alston made a fastbreak layup in the paint. At the end of the quarter, App State took a 51-38 lead.

Drout, who netted seven points in the fourth quarter, opened the period with a jumper, which she promptly followed up with a 3-point bucket. The Chanticleers worked to chip away at the Mountaineers’ lead, coming within six with less than a minute left in regulation. Alston and junior J’Mani Ingram were set to the line and each drained a pair of freebies to seal the 73-63 victory.

App State will host Georgia Southern for Alumni Day on Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men’s program. App State women’s basketball alumni are encouraged to take part in a pregame brunch.