BOONE — The Appalachian State women’s basketball team opened the season with four home dates in five games.
Appalachian State slid to 0-5 after falling 67-61 to visiting East Tennessee State in front of 253 Holmes Center fans on Nov. 25. Appalachian State has a final chance to win on its homestand when Mercer plays at the Holmes Center Nov. 29.
After that game, the Mountaineers play their next seven games, which includes five games in December, before returning home to face Texas-Arlington on Jan. 9.
Appalachian State provided good enough production to beat East Tennessee State. The Mountaineers outrebounded ETSU 39-31, had fewer turnovers 13-10, had one more assist and held East Tennessee State to just 42.9 shooting from the field.
App State’s bench also outscored ETSU’s 18-4.
But App State struggled with its shooting by making just 32.9 shots from the field and just 29.4 percent from the field after the third quarter. By then the Mountaineers trailed 56-40.
Appalachian State started a comeback in the fourth quarter by opening the final 10 minutes with an 11-2 run The Mountaineers eventually pulled to 61-57 on two Pre Stanley foul shots, but a 3-point basket from ETSU’s Shynia Jackson put the final flame out on App State’s rally.
“I was proud of our effort and the way we responded in the fourth quarter, but you can’t continue to dig a hole and expect to get back into the game,” App State coach Angel Elderkin said. “Last game, I was really disappointed in our bench in the way they were performing. I was tough on them and it was a moment they probably could have said ‘Wow, do I really want to do this or not.?’ But Nicola (Hampton), (Armani) Hampton and Brooke (Bigott) gave us solid minutes off the bench.”
Stanley finished with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Ashley Polacek scored 10 points and Armani Hampton scored eight before falling to the floor with 7.1 seconds left in the game. She walked back to the bench and walked off the court, but her status was unknown after the game.
App State saw the return of center Baylee Plummer after missing the Mountaineers’ loss to Gardner-Webb on Nov. 22 because of a concussion. Plummer struggled in her return by missing all four of her shots and settling for one point.
Plummer, forward Lainey Gosnell and point guard Ashley Polacek finished a combined 4-of-30 from the field with 14 points. Polacek had 10 points and four assists.
East Tennessee State got double-figures scoring from four players. Micha Scheetz finished with 20 points, while Jackson scored 19. E’Lease Stafford scored 14 points and Kaia Upton added 10 points.