Women's basketball

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — App State women’s basketball fell in a narrow 68-63 contest to Little Rock on Jan. 25 in the Jack Stephens Center.

Appalachian State’s Ashley Polacek 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 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 rounded out the leaders with 10 points, while Bayley Plummer posted eight points and grabbed nine rebounds.

The Mountaineers (4-14, 1-6 Sun Belt) 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, Little Rock (8-11, 6-2) answered when it held the Mountaineers scoreless for a span of 3:37 following a pair of Stanley free throws. The drought aided Little Rock’s 12-0 run 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 at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 to face Georgia State before welcoming rival Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1 for the annual Pink Game.

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