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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 Louisiana-Monroe

The App State women’s basketball team clinched a 78-71 victory over ULM to highlight National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Wednesday. Senior Faith Alston also received a game ball for reaching 1,000 career points on Jan. 18.

“What a great win. What an outstanding win,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “There’s four more home games to watch this group, and I’m going to just continue to beg people to come out and see this team play. If you can’t see their heart, feel their heart, tonight it was just on full display. I’m just so proud of this group for staying with our process, and being able to take down a tough ULM team with some dynamic scorers that are ahead of us in the standings. But this was just a great team win.

“I’m really excited, especially when we’ve played a lot of the season without Emily Carver and without Taylor Lewis and to see the way that they’re contributing to our team right now,” said Elderkin. “This is what this game is about: how do you deal with adversity and this group is showing it every time we step on the court.”

Alston, sophomore Emily Carver, and fifth-year senior Taylor Lewis all netted double figures against the Warhawks. For a 16th game, Alston was the Mountaineers’ top scorer with 24 points. She has scored double-figures in all but two games this season. Alston shot 9-of-11 from the line and combined with Carver for six of the Mountaineers’ seven treys. Carver scored 15 points and recorded a team-high six assists. Lewis netted 14 points on the night, two points shy of her career-high 16 and was one rebound away from a double-double, pulling down a team-high of nine.

App State shot 76% from the line, which included a perfect 6-of-6 in the last 30 seconds of play. The Black and Gold held the Warhawks to eight offensive rebounds, eight second chance points, and forced 17 turnovers.

The Warhawks, who had been ranked 22nd in last week’s College Insider Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 and received votes this week, were first to score with a layup in the opening seconds of play. It was their only lead of the game. A layup from Carver tied things up at 2-2, before a jumper from sophomore Alexis Black set the tone for the remainder of the game. The Mountaineers held ULM to a mere six points in the first quarter, building a 10-point lead with free throws from Alston and sophomore Chaé Harris, a trey from Carver, jumpers from Harris and sophomore Rylan Moffitt, and a layup from graduate student Mariah Frazier.

Carver, Lewis, and Alston combined for 15 of the Mountaineers’ 22 points in the second quarter, contributing five points apiece. Despite a scoring drought midway through the quarter, App State maintained a 10-point lead over ULM for a 38-28 edge at halftime.

In the third quarter, Lewis made a layup and the free throw that followed to complete a three-point play. She also shot a perfect 3-of-3 from the line during the quarter. Moffitt and Black got around the defense for layups, but ULM managed to cut the deficit to 57-51 to end the period.

Despite mounting tensions in the fourth quarter, Alston netted 15 of the Mountaineers’ 21 points, shooting 3-of-4 from the field, 2-of-3 from the arc, and 7-of-8 from the line. ULM steadily closed in on the Mountaineers’ lead, but treys from Alston, a layup from Carver, and a jumper from Lewis kept the Warhawks at bay. With 30 seconds left in play, ULM came within one of the Mountaineers’ lead, but six free throws – four from Alston and two from Lewis – sealed the victory for App State.

The Mountaineers will head to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan in the second installment of the MAC-SBC Challenge. The game is set for 2. p.m. on Feb. 10 and will be available to stream on ESPN+.

The Mountaineers will return for a four-game homestead from Feb. 15-24, with games against Marshall, Georgia State, Old Dominion, and James Madison.