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Emily Carver
Emily Carver scored a career high 22 points to lead the Mountaineers against James Madison and had 21 points in their next game against Georgia Southern.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Downs Old Dominion

The App State women’s basketball team (5-7) opened Sun Belt play with an 81-55 victory over new league member Old Dominion (8-6) on Thursday.

“This past week with our team, after coming back from Christmas and really for me, doing an autopsy of where we were and who we were, we talked a lot about turning the page to our defense and really tried to challenge our players, call our players up to be better,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “I used the statement ‘are we unwilling or are we unable’ and I don’t believe in my heart of hearts that we were unable, I just think we hadn’t put it all together.”

For a second consecutive game, five Mountaineers scored in double figures, with sophomore Emily Carver and freshman Alexis Black splitting the lead with 17 points apiece. Both shot perfectly from the free throw line. Redshirt senior Janay Sanders and junior Faith Alston recorded the second-most points on the evening, each netting 16, and graduate student Brooke Bigott netted 10. Carver, Alston, and Bigott each pulled down five rebounds, and Alston dished out a team-high six assists and five steals.

App State shot 88.2 percent from the charity stripe and scored 40 points in the paint, 22 from the bench, and 27 off turnovers.

“Today we played a tremendous defensive game. Coming into the game we’ve been giving up a lot of points, we’ve been specifically giving up a lot of points in the paint, and we really challenged them to hold a tough Old Dominion team to 55 points, so I’m just really proud of that,” said Elderkin.

App State held ODU to 55 points as well as 28 points in the paint. ODU only scored five points off the bench, and four off of fast breaks.

The Mountaineers came out with energy in the first quarter, after Alston put the Black and Gold on the board with a layup. By the end of the quarter, App State had a 17-14 edge over the Monarchs. The Black and Gold’s energy carried into the second, despite the Monarchs working to close the deficit, coming within one (25-24) halfway through the quarter. Despite a quartet of lead changes in the first half, App State extended its lead with a 6-0 run, capping the second quarter, 37-31.

A layup from Carver and pair of treys from Carver and Bigott lifted the Mountaineers to a 42-33 lead early in the third quarter. Black, Sanders, and Alston combined for 13 consecutive points, sinking five of five buckets and a pair of free throws to launch App State ahead, 61-40, at the end of the quarter.

Black, Carver, Bigott, and Sanders combined for 20 points in the fourth and final quarter. Bigott, Sanders, and Carver each sunk threes and Carver closed out the game with a pair of perfect free throws.

The Mountaineers are set to host another new Sun Belt member, Marshall, on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m, in the Holmes Convocation Center.