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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 Falls to Marshall

The App State women’s basketball team fell to Marshall 59-52 in the Mountaineers’ first Sun Belt Conference clash with the Thundering Herd. App State (5-8) will enter its four-game road stretch 1-1 in league play.

“I think the biggest thing that kind of jumps off the page is the game was played at a pace that really favored Marshall. I give them a lot of credit in terms of their defense, in terms of weathering the storm and really putting together a really nice second half,” said head coach Angel Elderkin.

“We gave up 39 second-half points, they shot 59 percent, so we didn’t have the defensive effort that we need. I just think it’s a learning experience in Sun Belt play. You’ve got to be able to put back-to-back games together, and you’ve got to be able to play different styles on different nights and come ready to play.”

Redshirt senior Janay Sanders was the Mountaineers’ top scorer with 16 points. She has been App State’s top scorer in five of 13 games this season. Leading the Mountaineers in rebounds and checking in with the team’s second-most points was sophomore Emily Carver, who earned a double-double for her efforts with 10 rebounds and 11 points. Carver also shot 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

App State scored 22 points in the paint, 17 points off turnovers and 13 points from the bench.

The Mountaineers held to a lead for most of the game, finding momentum early in the first half. Junior Faith Alston put the Mountaineers on the board, sinking a 3-point bucket within the first 25 seconds of play. Despite a low-scoring quarter, the Mountaineers went on a late 6-0 scoring run to take a 16-9 lead, including freshman Alexis Black making both of her attempts from behind the 3-point line. App State’s steady lead carried into the second quarter, when redshirt-junior A’Lea Gilbert, Carver and Sanders each dropped treys, helping the Black and Gold to a 29-20 lead at the half.

Sanders and Alston combined for 11 points in a low-scoring third quarter for the Mountaineers. Despite a scoring drought of their own and six turnovers, Marshall fought through to cut App State’s lead to 40-38. Finding momentum, Marshall took its first lead of the game, jumping ahead 44-40 to start the fourth and final quarter. Despite a steal and layup from Black and a 3-point bucket from sophomore Zada Porter, the Mountaineers came up short against the Thundering Herd, which scored 21 points compared to App State’s 12 in the final quarter.

Roshala Scott and Mahogany Matthews led the Thundering Herd with 18 and 14 points on the afternoon, respectively.

The Mountaineers will hit the road to take on Texas State on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET in San Marcos, Texas before clashing with Arkansas State on Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. ET in Jonesboro, Ark.