Women's basketball

BOONE — The App State women’s basketball team will head into the Sun Belt Tournament as the eighth seed, and will face fifth-seeded Little Rock at 4 p.m. on March 10.

The matchup against the defending Sun Belt champions will be played at Louisiana in Lafayette, La. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

The championship opens with first-round games on March 10, and quarterfinal games on March 11, hosted by the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on campus.

The two quarterfinal winners advance to New Orleans and the Smoothie King Center, home of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, for semifinals games on March 14, and the championship game on March 15.

The first round, quarterfinal and semifinal games are set for live coverage on ESPN+ with the championship game slated for live coverage on ESPN3. All tournament games are available through the ESPN App and is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices.

App State is fresh off its upset over Coastal Carolina earlier on March 7 in double-overtime, while Little Rock fell to South Alabama. The Mountaineers finished the regular season 11-18 and 8-10 in league action. After starting Sun Belt play 1-6, the Mountaineers won seven of their last 11 games.

Last season, the Mountaineers advanced to the semifinal round for their farthest run in the Sun Belt Tournament, falling to the eventual champions. App State has won at least one SBC Tournament game in the past three seasons.

Appalachian fell to Little Rock in a narrow 68-63 battle on the Trojans’ home floor earlier this season.

App State 83, Coastal Carolina 80 (2OTs)

CONWAY, S.C. — App State women’s basketball made it known it’s ready for a March Madness run, as the Mountaineers stunned Coastal Carolina in a thrilling 83-80 double-overtime win on March 7 at the HTC Center.

App State ends the regular season with an 11-18 mark and an 8-10 record in the league. The Mountaineers snap Coastal Carolina’s 10-game win streak and hand the Chanticleers just their second loss at home. CCU came in with a 25-3 mark, 15-2 league record, a No. 9 ranking in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 and received votes in the coaches poll.

Pre Stanley led four Mountaineers in double figures, tying a career-high with 28 points on 10-of-25 shooting from the floor. Lainey Gosnell scored in 21 points and grabbed seven boards. The junior hit five of her seven field goals from outside the arc.

Ashley Polacek scored 11 points and dished out five assists, while Michaela Porter scored 11 off the bench. Porter led the bench attack, as the Mountaineers outscored Coastal Carolina’s reserves, 16-6.

App State center Bayley Plummer grabbed a game-high 21 rebounds for her ninth-career outing with at least 20 off the glass.

With the scored tied 80-80, Maya Calder stepped up off the bench to grab her miss and put it back up for the layup to give the Mountaineers an 82-80 lead with 1:04 left in the game.

Appalachian forced two turnovers before Nicola Mathews went 1-of-2 at the line, which put pressure on Coastal to tie the game with a 3-pointer. Torrie Cash’s attempt at the buzzer was short, giving Appalachian its first win in Conway. App State held the hosts scoreless over the last 2:02 of the contest and forced three miscues.

In the first overtime, Stanley tied up the game with 23 seconds left just before Appalachian State stopped the Chanticleers on the other end to force an extra five minutes. Appalachian State scored six of the final nine points after Coastal took an early 73-70 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers took a 56-46 lead with 6:53 left in regulation after Gosnell scored five straight points. But, Coastal capped off a comeback when D.J. Williams converted a three-point play with 13 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Coastal Carolina never had a lead by more than five points, which came in the first quarter, 15-10. Back-to-back trifectas by Gosnell and a jumper from Stanley led an 8-2 charge to give the Mountaineers an 18-17 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Neither team led by more than four points in the second period, while Porter’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer pushed the Mountaineers to a 33-32 lead going into halftime.

The Chanticleers went on a 6-2 spurt to take a 42-38 lead midway through the third period. Appalachian responded with a 10-2 run of its own started thanks to a 4-for-6 stretch to give App State a 48-44 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Williams scored 38 points with 12 boards to lead Coastal Carolina. The senior shot 13-for-31 from the field, but the rest of the team scored 42 and shot only 14-of-52.

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