Plummer goes up for a shot

Appalachian State’s Bayley Plummer (42) goes up for a shot while being defended by South Alabama’s Jala Buster (middle), Damaya Telemaque (12) and App State’s Lainey Gosnell (left).

BOONE — Once the Appalachian State women’s basketball team took an early lead on visiting South Alabama, the Mountaineers were in no mood to let the Jaguars take it away.

Appalachian State got off to a fast start and never looked back in its 71-59 Sun Belt Conference victory over South Alabama in front of 1,224 fans on Education Day at the Holmes Center on Feb. 13. The Mountaineers (8-15, 5-7 Sun Belt), who have won four of their last five games, jumped out to a 14-6 lead midway through the first quarter, 18-8 going into the second quarter and led 33-27 by halftime.

“We shared the ball better than I’ve seen us share it,” coach Angel Elderkin said. “We had 18 assists on 26 field goals. It’s just overall a great team win.”

Appalachian State guard Pre Stanley was a big reason why. She finished with 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, nine of them in the first quarter, and made two of her 3-point baskets in the first half.

Stanley also finished with five rebounds and four assists. Lainey Gosnell added 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Gosnell also made 3-of-8 3-point shots, and center Bayley Plummer scored 10 points and grabbed 15 of App State’s 45 rebounds.

“I feel that we are a good match-up with them,” Gosnell said. “Just coming out there with confidence, we’re playing our best basketball now, so it’s a good time to peak.”

Elderkin said the Mountaineers’ goal was to hold the Jaguars (12-12, 7-5), who averaged 69.2 points per game, to less than 60 points. Two Jaguars, guard Shaforia Kines and Savannah Jones, both scored 19 points each, but South Alabama had to settle for shooting 38.2 percent from the field, including 21.4 percent in the first quarter.

That included keeping Antoinette Lewis in check. Lewis pulled down 10 rebounds, but finished with just four points. Kennedi Centers scored eight points, but no other Jaguar scored more than four.

“Looking at that today I knew it was going to be a tough task,” Elderkin said. “They’ve only been held under 60 one time in league play and three times this season. This was going to be won on the defensive side and we were locked in defensively.”

Appalachian State pulled away from the Jaguars at the start of the third quarter with a 10-4 run capped by two foul shots from Armani Hampton, which gave the Mountaineers a 43-31 lead. Plummer scored the final two App State baskets of the third quarter, which left the Mountaineers with a 52-39 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Appalachian State 71, South Alabama 59

South Alabama 58 (12-12, 7-5)

Centers 3-7 1-2 8,, Lewis 2-6 0-0 4, Kines 6-13 3-6 19, Telemaque 2-6 0-3 4, Jones 6-13 2-2 19, Buster 0-1 1-2 1, Mallard 0-2 0-0 0, Lowe 1-3 0-0 2, Vaught 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 21-55 7-15 59.

Appalachian State 71 (8-15, 5-7)

Gosnell 5-12 2-2 15, Plummer 5-9 0-0 10, Stanley 7-12 2-2 19, Bigott 3-8 0-0 8, Polacek 3-11 5-6 11, McDonald 0-0 0-0 0, Porter 0-1 0-0 0, Hampton 3-4 2-4 0, Matthews 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 8-17 11-14 71.

South Alabama 8 19 12 20 — 59

Appalachian State 18 15 19 19 — 71

3-point goals—South Alabama 10-25 (Jones 5-9, Kines 4-10, Centers 1-4, Telemaque 0-1, Lowe 0-1), App State 3-17 (Stanley 3-3, Gosnell 3-8, Bigott 2-3, Polacek 0-1, Matthews 0-2). Assists—South Alabama 9 (Kines 3), App State 18 (Polacek 7). Turnovers—South Alabama 13, App State 15. Total fouls—South Alabama 13, App State 15. Fouled out—Stanley. Technical fouls—None. Att.—1,224.

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