LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – App State women’s basketball fell in a narrow 68-63 contest to Little Rock on Saturday afternoon in the Jack Stephens Center.
The Mountaineers fall to 4-14 (1-6 SBC) on the season, while Little Rock improves to 8-11 and 6-2 in league action.
Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) scored 18 of her team-high 21 points in the third and fourth quarters, shooting 6-of-8 from the field in the second half. It’s the fourth 20-point outing for the senior, with all of her highest scoring performances coming on the road. Polacek posted a team-high four assists.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) poured in a season-high 19 points on six field goals, three trifectas and four free throws. Gosnell added six rebounds and dished out three assists. The junior bounced back from a 1-of-9 start to shoot 5-for-11 the rest of the game. Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) rounded out the leaders with 10 points, while Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) posted eight points and grabbed nine off the glass.
The Apps had the defending Sun Belt Tournament champs on the ropes, taking a lead by as much as seven in the third quarter on two occasions.
App State hit three of its first four shots coming out of the break after Gosnell hit a layup, bringing the score to 35-28. However, LR answered when it held the Black and Gold scoreless for a span of 3:37 following a pair of Stanley free throws. The drought aided Little Rock’s 12-0 that gave the hosts a 44-37 advantage. Polacek buried a 3-pointer with under a minute left to slice the gap to 44-40.
Little Rock took a lead by as much as eight, 54-46, with 4:10 left in the game. App State didn’t go quietly, as it brought the gap to as low as three when Polacek canned a trey with four seconds left. It was too little, too late when the Trojans hit two at the line to seal the victory.
App State held an 11-2 edge in second-chance points (12-6 on the offensive glass), and a 10-2 advantage in bench points.
The Mountaineers held a 26-24 lead going after the first two quarters of play, containing the leading scorers of Kyra Collier and Teal Battle to just 14 points combined. Collier/Battle scored 28 in the second half on 9-of-15 shooting.
App State will return home on Thursday to face Georgia State at 6:30 p.m. before welcoming rival Georgia Southern on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the annual Pink Game.