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Janay Sanders
Janay Sanders had 20 points to pace the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Edges Out Arkansas State

The App State women’s basketball team downed Arkansas State 59-58 on Saturday for its first road victory of the 2022-23 campaign. The Mountaineers (6-9) improved to 2-2 in Sun Belt play with their first win of the new year.

A dynamic fourth quarter saw sophomore Emily Carver drill three field goals over the course of the period, tying the score at 52-52 as well as landing the final shot of the game to bring the Mountaineers ahead by one. A strong defensive showing from the Mountaineers kept Arkansas State from rebounding after a missed 3-pointer from Lauryn Pendleton as App State kept possession as the clock ran out.

Redshirt senior Janay Sanders led the Mountaineers with 13 points. The Charlotte, N.C., native has led App State in seven of 15 games this season, with Saturday’s game her third consecutive as top scorer. She also recorded three rebounds and dished out a team-high three assists on the afternoon. Carver added nine points and led the team with six rebounds. The game marked Carver’s fourth consecutive as the team’s top rebounder.

In her first collegiate start, freshman Alexis Black put the Mountaineers on the board with an early layup. Junior Faith Alston tied things up at 9-9 with a jumper before a layup from Zada Porter and a pair of A’Lea Gilbert free throws extended the Mountaineers’ lead to 13-9 late in the quarter. Arkansas State edged ahead 14-13 after a trio of free throws.

Porter opened the second quarter with a layup to regain the lead, and a pair of layups from Gilbert and Black extended App State’s lead to 19-16. A pair of layups from Sanders and one from Porter extended the advantage to 25-20. App State led 32-27 at the end of the half with further contributions from sophomore Mariah Frazier, graduate student Brooke Bigott, and Carver.

Sanders made the first bucket of the second half, sinking a trey. As the Red Wolves regained the lead, the Mountaineers fought back, with back-to-back layups from Alston tying things up at 43-43 before Sanders gave App State a 45-43 edge with a layup of her own. After a back-and-fourth third period, the Black and Gold trailed by three, 48-45.

Carver, Bigott, Sanders, and Alston combined for 14 points in the fourth period en route to the road victory.

App State scored 40 points in the paint and 17 off the bench.

The Mountaineers’ road stretch continues as they head to Harrisonburg, Va., to take on James Madison for the first time in conference play on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The Black and Gold will then head to Statesboro, Ga. to clash with rival Georgia Southern on Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. Both games will be available to stream on ESPN+.