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Janay Sanders
Janay Sanders was one of two players to score 11 points for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Edged Out By Coastal Carolina

Redshirt senior Janay Sanders recorded her 1,000th collegiate point in App State’s game against Coastal Carolina on Saturday. The Mountaineers fell just short to the Chanticleers, 70-67, in Conway.

Sanders matched her single-game career high of 26 points, which she first recorded on Jan. 14 at Georgia Southern. The Charlotte, N.C., native shot 10-for-11 from the free-throw line, helping the Mountaineers to a perfect team free-throw percentage in the first half and 76.2% for the game as a whole. The game marked Sanders’ 10th as top scorer for the Mountaineers.

Sanders has scored 836 points in her three seasons as a Mountaineer to go with the 171 points she scored as a freshman at La Salle. She is averaging a career-best 13.8 points per game this season.

Junior Faith Alston and sophomore Zada Porter also scored in double figures, with Alston netting 11 points and Porter tallying 10. Redshirt junior A’Lea Gilbert pulled down a career and team-high 12 rebounds, marking her third consecutive game as the Black and Gold’s top rebounder. Sanders and Alston dished out two assists and nabbed three steals each.

App State (8-15, 4-8 SBC) scored 19 points off the bench and 32 points in the paint. The Mountaineers also scored seven points off fast breaks and nine off second chances.

The Mountaineers came out fast in the first quarter with an Alston steal and layup to open the game. App State and Coastal Carolina (11-12, 6-6 SBC) exchanged the lead four times within the quarter, refusing to let the other stray too far ahead. A trey from freshman Alexis Black gave the Mountaineers momentum, which was followed by a quartet of Sanders free throws and a Porter 3-point bucket, giving App State a 21-18 lead at the end of the quarter.

Sophomore Emily Carver opened the second quarter with a 3-point basket, and a pair of jumpers from Sanders and Alston extended App State’s lead to 28-20. Sanders landed another two free throws as well as a two layups, and sophomore Mariah Frazier got to the hoop for two to put App State up 36-27 against the Chants.

Gilbert, Alston, Sanders and Porter contributed 15 points to the Mountaineers’ score in the third quarter. Sanders came within one point of her 1,000th collegiate point with a layup and the free throw to follow to complete the three-point play, helping the Mountaineers hold to a 51-48 lead to close the third period.

The Chants pulled ahead in the fourth with a jumper and trey of their own. Sanders, sent to the charity stripe, drilled her 1,000th point to bring the Mountaineers within one of CCU’s 53-52 lead. Free throws from Black and a layup from Sanders tied things up at 56 all, and a layup from Black in the paint gave App State a 58-56 edge over the Chanticleers. CCU fought back, taking a 65-59 lead. Free throws and a layup from Carver cut the deficit to 67-63 and a pair of free throws from Sanders brought the Mountaineers within three of CCU’s 68-65 lead. Despite a late fastbreak layup from Alston, the Chanticleers defended their court, 70-67.

The Mountaineers return to Boone to host Georgia State and Georgia Southern on Feb. 9 and 11. Thursday’s game against Georgia State is set for a noon tipoff for Education Day. Saturday’s game is the Mountaineers’ Pink Game and is set for a 2 p.m. tipoff.