BOONE, N.C. – A second-half surge by Appalachian State women’s basketball led to a 77-68 win over Mercer on Friday evening in the Holmes Center
App State picks up its first win of the season to improve to 1-5, while Mercer drops to 1-6 on the season.
Four players scored in double figures with Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) pouring in an efficient 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe, also a personal high. The junior has scored at least 20 points in the last three games, averaging 22.3 points on 53.7 percent shooting.
The duo of Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) and Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) posted 14 points each, combining for 28. Gosnell and Lainey scored 22 of their points in the second half. The Apps outscored Mercer, 44-34, in the third and fourth quarters, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) rounded out the leading scorers with a season-high 10 points on top of a game-best 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
App State showcased a balanced offense, assisting on 13 of 25 field goals, including Polacek’s season-high five helpers. Nine of the 10 players who got in the game scored.
The damage on offense came from the charity stripe and inside the arc, as App converted a season-high 23 free throws while hitting 21 of its 40 shots inside the 3-point line (52.5 percent).
With the scored tied 46-46 late in the third quarter, App finished the final 3:52 of the period on a 10-4 run to take a 56-50 lead. Stanley’s 3-point play with 33 seconds left in the period pushed the lead to six going into the final frame.
Nora Galve (Catalonia, Spain) had a part in consecutive buckets to begin the fourth, giving App its largest lead at 10, 60-50. Galve found a cutting Gosnell for a layup followed by a nifty drive to the basket for the bucket.
Appalachian stayed in front of the visitors despite Mercer closing the gap to six, 70-64, with under a minute left. The next five points for the Black and Gold came from the free-throw line. Gosnell’s layup sealed the deal for a team that moved to 3-0 against Mercer.
The Mountaineers will look to keep the momentum going when it begins a string of seven straight games on Wednesday against Wofford at 7 p.m.