BOONE, N.C. – Behind Michaela Porter’s 14 points and a career high-tying 13 from Faith Alston, App State won its 2021-22 season opener 75-41 over Lees-McRae on Tuesday evening.
Head coach Angel Elderkin, in her eighth season at the helm of the Mountaineers, directed a spirited mixture of veterans and newcomers to a 44-22 halftime lead before cruising to the final tally.
Porter, a super-senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., added nine rebounds and a career-high six steals. She was second in the Sun Belt Conference in steals per game a season ago.
Alston made three of four 3-point attempts, pacing an App State squad that drained 10 3-pointers in the game.
Janay Sanders added nine points, as did newcomers Emily Carver and Breanna Locke. A freshman from Asheville, Carver went 3 of 7 from beyond the arc in her first collegiate game. Another freshman, Zada Porter, scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds.
The Mountaineers’ tenacious defense forced the Bobcats into 31 turnovers, off which App State scored 24 of its 75 total points. The Mountaineers held the advantage in fast-break points, 22-4, and bench scoring, 32-4.
A barrage of 3-pointers, including a perfect four straight to start the game, gave App State a 31-10 lead after the first quarter, and the team never looked back.
Michaela Porter’s fast-break layup with 7:06 left in the second quarter gave App State its biggest first-half lead at 35-10.
With 3:25 left in the fourth quarter, the second of two straight Carver 3-pointers resulted in the Mountaineers’ largest lead of the game at 73-36.
Ten different Mountaineers scored in the effort, while all 13 available players saw action.
MaKayla Smith led Lees-McRae with 16 points.
App State is back in action with its first road tilt of the new campaign, Thursday at Mercer in Macon, Ga. The next home game is Sunday against North Carolina Central.