McDonald

App State's Haile McDonald (44) works her way to the basket in a Jan. 11 home game versus Texas State.

BOONE — After trailing by as much as 16 in the first half, App State women's basketball completed the comeback with a 73-65 overtime victory against Texas State on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.

The victory for App State (4-11, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference) was the third straight versus Texas State (7-8, 0-4 Sun Belt Conference) and snapped a four-game skid. The comeback win was the largest in the six-year App State career of head coach Angel Elderkin.

Pre Stanley fired in a season and game-high 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting with six rebounds and tied a personal high with five steals. Having the best game of her career in a Black and Gold uniform was Haile McDonald. After tying her career mark with 12 points on Thursday, the sophomore broke out for a personal-best 17 points — 12 in the second half — and nine boards.

Ashley Polacek rounded the leading scorers with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Brooke Bigott led the way with six helpers on top of six points. Eight of the nine Mountaineers who played scored.

With the game tied 55-55, Stanley drove to the right elbow and hit a jumper with 26 seconds left in the game to put the Mountaineers up by two. Texas State's Taylor Kennedy hit two free throws at the line to force overtime, 57-57.

From that point on, it was all Mountaineers in the final five minutes of play, as they hit four of their five shots and went six of eight at the line. Lainey Gosnell started the surge with her only three pointer to break the tie, helping App hit its last four shot attempts. The defense forced Texas State into a 3:11 scoring drought in overtime.

The App State offense struggled in the first half, shooting under 30 percent in the first and second quarters. TXST's offense got off to a hot start with a nine-of-14 showing in the opening period.

After Texas State took a 34-18 advantage early in the third quarter for its largest lead of the game, App State went on a 14-2 run to slice the gap to four, 36-32. The combo of Stanley and McDonald scored the first 11 points of the run before Polacek hit a three pointer that narrowed the gap to four.

Texas State responded by going up by double digits once again, increasing its lead up to 45-32 after a 9-0 spurt. Bigott's three pointer shortened the lead to 45-35 going into the final period.

The Mountaineers held the Bobcats scoreless for 5:39 in the fourth quarter, aiding in a 15-0 burst that gave the hosts a 50-47 edge. A three pointer by Nicola Mathews followed by layups by Stanley and Gosnell helped App to pull to within one before consecutive layups from McDonald gave the Black and Gold the three-point lead.

The thrilling fourth-quarter finish came down to the wire after the Bobcats' Bailey Holle gave the visitors a 52-50 lead. McDonald stepped up once again at the line to tie up the game before Holley hit another three to give the Bobcats a 55-52 favor. Then, three straight free throws by Armani Hampton and Gosnell put the game at a 55-55 deadlock.

It was a tale of two halves, as Appalachian outscored Texas State 55-33 in the second half and overtime. The Apps put forth a 24-point turnaround from the Bobcats' largest advantage. Also, the Apps shot 55.8 percent from the field after the first half while holding Texas State to just 14 made field goals in the final 35 minutes of the game.

App State scored 19 points off of Texas State's 19 turnovers and scored a season-high 18 points in transition. The Mountaineers held a 17-8 edge in second-chance points and scored 32 points in the paint, the most since scoring 40 against Mercer.

The Mountaineers will look to build off the win on Thursday against Arkansas State at 8 p.m. in Jonesboro, Ark.

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