ATLANTA – Appalachian State University women’s basketball (12-12, 6-7 SBC) hit a season-high 14 3-pointers and received a career-high 27 points from Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF), but it wasn’t enough in an 85-75 decision at Georgia State (14-10, 9-5) on Thursday evening in the GSU Sports Arena.
Polacek broke out of her shooting slump to tie a school record with seven trifectas, becoming the second player (Tierra Wilson; 1/6/18 at ULM) in as many seasons to hit the mark. The Canadian point guard also added six rebounds and four assists. Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./RJ Reynolds) came off the bench to score 14 points with five rebounds, while Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) and Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) rounded out the leading scorers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) led the team with 12 rebounds, giving the junior her 13th straight game with 10 or more boards. With the 14 boards, she becomes the sixth player in school history with at least 800 rebounds. She stands at 810 for her career going into Saturday.
App shot a solid a solid 48.2 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from beyond the arc. However, Georgia State posted a 57.6 percent shooting clip and eight 3-pointers of its own.
The Mountaineers held a lead in what was a back-and-forth affair in the first period. After going down, 13-12, a layup by Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) and five straight points by Polacek gave the Apps their largest lead of the game, 19-13. Four quick points by GSU cut the gap to just two, 19-17.
Appalachian would go down by three, 31-28, before two Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) free throws and a layup in transition by Stanley pushed the Apps to a 32-31 advantage with 4:59 left in the first half. Georgia State responded by hitting seven of its next nine shots to go into the break with a 45-38 edge.
In the third quarter, the Black and Gold clawed its way back to eventually tie up the game, 51-51, thanks to back-to-back trifectas from Polacek and Wilson. App tied up the game once later in the quarter, 56-56, but the Panthers ended the frame on a 12-2 run to take a 68-58 lead.
GSU pushed its lead to 17 early in the quarter. App State had one more run with a 7-0 burst behind a layup from Plummer, a trey from Polacek and a field goal from Stanley.
That was the closest the Mountaineers would get with GSU going back up by double digits to pull away.
Walnatia Wright (22 points) and Allison Johnson (20 points) led the way on offense for GSU.
App State will look to get back on track and snap its three-game skid on Saturday against archrival, Georgia Southern, at 2 p.m. in Statesboro.