BOONE, N.C. – For the third time in as many games, Appalachian State University women’s basketball (3-2) captured a tight victory. This time, it was a 65-62 triumph over Elon (1-3) on Tuesday evening at the Holmes Center.
With the win, it’s the first time App has won three consecutive non-conference games since the 2014-15 season. Appalachian already surpasses the number of non-conference victories from last season.
Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) had her best offensive performance of the season with a game and season-best 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The senior also pulled down five boards.
Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) put forth another solid effort off the bench with 11 points and six off the glass, while Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) notched a season-best 10 points on 50 percent shooting with eight rebounds. Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) didn’t shoot as she is capable of but posted a career and team-best 11 assists and just one turnover in 28 minutes. She added six points and five rebounds as well.
Trailing 62-57 with 5:07 left in the game, Appalachian scored the final eight points of the contest to capture its sixth straight win in the Holmes Center against Elon.
Appalachian had trailed by as much as 10, 53-43, with 2:12 left in the third stanza. The Apps finished the game on a 22-9 run over the last 12:12 minutes of the game for their third straight win by three points.
Tierra Wilson started the 8-0 surge with a jumper before Story hit a layup and Polacek converted on a bucket in transition. Pre Stanley (Rocklege, Fla./Rockledge) and Calder went 1-for-2 at the line to help App close out the game.
Impressively, the defense dug in and forced Elon to shoot one for its last 11, missing its final eight shot attempts of the contest. The Phoenix went just 3-of-20 in the final frame after shooting 50 percent after the first three quarters.
App outscored Elon 17-7 in the final quarter. The seven points by the Phoenix are the lowest of any quarter this season.
Elon jumped out to an early 18-11 lead after holding Appalachian to just 26.7 percent shooting from the field.
The Mountaineers hit six of their first nine shots in the second quarter to take a 29-22 lead after an 18-2 run over the first 5:03 of the contest. Calder scored eight of her 11 points in the frame to help the Black and Gold take a 35-32 lead into halftime.
A cold spell on offense in the third quarter helped Elon retake the lead by end of the third quarter. After a 12-2 that was stopped by a Nicola Mathews (Adelaide, Australia/College of Central Florida) 3-pointer, the Apps went into the final stanza trailing 55-48. App slowly took over during the frame, which later gave the Black and Gold their third win in six days.
Appalachian will look for a fourth consecutive win on Sunday against Marshall at 2 p.m.
“The way this team has fought over the past six days with three straight wins, it’s been great to watch. We couldn’t be more proud of how the team came back in the fourth quarter and made the plays they needed to.”
– The Apps are 25-11 all-time against Elon.
– Appalachian assisted on 16-of-24 (66.7 percent) of its field goals
– Polacek is the first player since Gary Raven in 2012-13 to dish out at least 10 assists, while the 11 assists are tied for the most since Sam Ramirez in 2010-11
– App State shot 45.8 percent from inside the arc
– Appalachian is 3-0 this season in games by three points or less. The Mountaineers were 3-3 last season
– Story led the team with a plus-12 in plus/minus