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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 Lose at James Madison

The App State women’s basketball team clashed with James Madison for the first time in Sun Belt Conference play on Thursday, falling to the Dukes, 73-64. Thursday’s matchup was the first time 1991 that the teams had met.

Sophomore Emily Carver dropped a career and team-high 22 points on the night, which included five 3-pointers. Carver also tallied two rebounds and two steals. Junior Faith Alston scored the second-most points for the Mountaineers, netting 15, and led the team in assists (4) and steals (3). Redshirt senior Janay Sanders drained 5-of-6 free throws, while redshirt junior A’Lea Gilbert led the team in rebounds, pulling down eight.

A pair of 3-point buckets from Alston and a jumper from Gilbert gave the Mountaineers an 8-4 edge early in the first quarter. Six lead changes between the Mountaineers and Dukes proved for a tight first period. App State met JMU at 17 with a 3-point bucket from graduate student Brooke Bigott, but the Dukes pulled away to end the quarter, 23-17.

The Mountaineers caught up with the Dukes in the second quarter with a 6-0 scoring run before both teams faced scoring droughts. A jumper from Faith Alston put App State within two (32-30), but JMU began to pull away once more, netting an additional seven points to close the half at 39-30.

Bigott opened the third quarter by sinking a 3-pointer, her third of the game. JMU went on a 17-2 run to create a 21-point deficit, but App State responded as Carver, sophomore Zada Porter, Sanders, and freshman Alexis Black combined for a 14-2 scoring run to cut the deficit to 56-47.

The Mountaineers continued to chip away at JMU’s lead in the fourth and final quarter as Sanders added two more free throws to her total. Buckets from Carver, Gilbert, and Alston brought App State within four, 59-55. Carver executed a three-point play, getting past the defense for a layup and draining the free throw that followed to bring App State within one (59-58). The Mountaineers kept pace with the Dukes as Alston nailed a jumper and Carver made a layup, but JMU began to pull away late in the final minute and a half of play, clinching the win, 73-64.

App State scored 18 points off turnovers and ten off second chances.

Three Dukes scored in double figures, led by Kiki Jefferson, who totaled 21 points on the night as well as nine rebounds, three steals, two assists, and one blocked shot.

The Mountaineers will close out their four-game road-stretch on Saturday, as they head to Statesboro, Ga. to clash with Georgia Southern. The game is set for a 2 p.m. tip and will be available to stream on ESPN+.