Girls Non-conference Alexander Central: 57 Newton-Conover: 33 East Burke: 62 St. Stephens: 53 Fred T.…
The App State women’s basketball team won a thrilling game in the Holmes Convocation Center after a huge fourth-quarter comeback to beat Ohio, 71-64, in its first MAC/SBC Challenge game of the season on Saturday.
“I have to give a ton of credit to both teams. I thought Ohio came in here and gave us a look that we haven’t seen with five guards, really making us have to rotate, and they shot the ball really well,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “You talk all the time about self-awareness. We went in at halftime and there was no blame, there was no complaining, it was like ‘we’re not us, what do we need to do.’ And at that point, as a coach, it wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about playing the brand of basketball that we want to play.
“The press wasn’t a part of the plan. We got down and we said ‘how about we try to speed them up?’ Our players bought into that. Mariah Frazier, I gave out a game ball. She won it in terms of her effort and relentless pursuit on defense. The team was so happy for MaKenzie Drout. As a freshman to have your number called in that moment and to answer it the way she did is just outstanding for us to have that depth in our bench when we need it,” Elderkin said.
App State forced Ohio to turn the ball over 33 times, 14 times in the first half and 19 times in the second half.
Four Mountaineers tallied double figures in two categories in Saturday’s game. Junior Emily Carver led the way as she dropped 17 points while senior Faith Alston added 15 points on the offensive side of the ball. Junior J’Mani Ingram posted 11 rebounds on the night as newcomer sophomore Rylan Moffitt collected 10 boards of her own.
In her debut for the Black and Gold, freshman MaKenzie Drout provided big minutes for App State late in the game as she knocked down three of her seven shots, including one from downtown, while shooting 3-of-4 from the foul line, providing the spark the Mountaineers needed.
The Mountaineers started off slow in the first quarter. Moffitt scored the first basket of the game, but Ohio went on two different scoring runs in the first quarter to gain a 16-point, 23-7 lead at the end of the quarter.
App State came out aggressive in the second quarter and junior Zada Porter converted a three-point-play to bring the Black and Gold within nine of the Bobcats’ lead (29-10). The Mountaineers kept hanging around as sophomore Alexis Black knocked down her only three of the game in the second. Moffitt and Carver both converted layups as they went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 39-23.
For the second game in a row, App State found their stride in the third quarter, cutting Ohio’s lead to nine thanks to a layup from Alston, Carver’s first three ball of the night, and another Ingram layup, bringing the score to 39-30. Ohio stayed ahead of App State’s relentless effort in the third as they went into the fourth quarter with a 57-40 lead.
The fourth quarter was all App State as the Black and Gold opened the fourth with a 7-0 run over 2:38 minutes. Drout sunk in a pair of free throws to bring App State within 10 with 6:56 left in the game. The Mountaineers then held Ohio to a 4:30 minute scoring drought as they went on 17-0 run. A foul shot from Frazier with 4:28 minutes left on the clock tied the game at 59 all, providing the momentum the Mountaineers needed to close out a hard-fought, 71-64, victory in an electric atmosphere in the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers head to Norfolk, Va. for an 11 a.m. clash against Norfolk State on Nov. 16. The game will be available to stream on HBCU+.