STATESBORO, Ga. – App State women’s basketball suffered a 78-70 loss to Georgia Southern in Hanner Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
The Apps fall to 9-17 and 6-9 in conference play, while GS improves to 9-17 and 6-9 in the Sun Belt.
After scoring only eight points on Thursday, Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) bounced back with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting with three trifectas and six free throws. The 23 points are the most in a road game this season for the junior.
Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) scored 13 points while Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) rounded out the leading scorers with 10 points and dished out four assists. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) led the team with nine rebounds on top of seven points.
A fourth quarter in which Georgia Southern scored 31 points (47 other three periods) proved to be the difference, shooting over 50 percent from the field with four 3-pointers and went 11-of-13 from the line (4-of-7 rest of the game).
After App State took a two-point lead into the fourth, the Eagles hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take a commanding lead early in the fourth. Trailing 57-51, a layup by Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) and back-to-back jumpers from Polacek and Stanley tied up the contest.
GS went up by five until Stanley canned a trey to bring the deficit to one possession, 62-60. However, GS hit five of its seven shot attempts over the final 4:44 of the game. The Apps missed six of 10, leading to the victory for the hosts.
Appalachian came out on an 8-2 run thanks to two treys by Bigott and Stanley in the first 2:03 of the game. The Eagles eventually tied up the game, 12-12, with both teams shooting over 50 percent by the first media timeout.
GS held an 18-14 lead going into the second quarter after its 6-2 spurt to end the frame. The Apps engineered an 8-0 when with the score in Georgia Southern’s favor to take a 24-21 advantage after a pair of Plummer free throws.
Neither team held a lead by more than three points over the last 6:21 of the first half. Helping the Black and Gold take a 35-33 lead at the half was a 10-of-10 showing from the free-throw line.
App State stayed in front of the Eagles for the majority of the low-scoring third period. Whenever it looked like the Apps were starting to take control, the Eagles responded by hitting a 3-pointer.
Field goals on consecutive possessions late in the quarter gave by Bigott and Plummer gave the Mountaineers a 47-44 lead. Following a Tatum Barber 3-pointer to tie up the game, Michaela Porter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) hit two free throws out of four attempts to give App the 49-47 lead going into the fourth.
Georgia Southern, who came into the game second in the conference in 3-pointers per game, shot 50 percent from beyond the arc going 9-of-18. The bench also scored 46 points with Barber scoring 18. Alexis Brown scored 16, giving the duo a combined 34 points shooting 10-of-18 from the floor and hitting seven treys.
App State will aim to bounce back when it hosts the Louisiana schools next week. The Apps will face Louisiana on Thursday at 6:30 p.m before hosting ULM on Saturday at 2 p.m.