BOONE — Four starters scored in double-figures, but it wasn’t enough as Appalachian State University women’s basketball (7-8, 2-2 SBC) fell to Little Rock (10-6, 4-0 SBC) on Saturday in the Holmes Center.
Q. Murray scored a team-high 16 points while hitting all three of the Apps’ 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Madi Story and Bria Carter both scored 15 points while Joi Jones chipped in with 11 points.Four student-athletes snagged five rebounds and Jones led the team with five assists. Carter and Story both recorded three steals for the day, which led to 11 swipes for Appalachian.
Appalachian shot well from the free throw line going 12-for-14 for a season-high 85.7 percent mark.
Despite the setback, Appalachian’s 69 points ties a season-high given up by LR, and is 14.5 points higher than what it was allowing coming into the contest (54.5). App State would get into the lane on many occasions during the game for easy opportunities, but shots weren’t falling for the Black and Gold.
Appalachian forced 19 turnovers while committing just 13 miscues, held a 38-28 advantage in points in the paint and a 15-13 edge in points off turnovers.
However, LR shot 52.8 percent from the floor to App State’s 41.5 percent shooting clip and hit six 3-pointers to Appalachian’s three treys. The first and third frames proved to be the difference, as App was outscored by 18 points. Appalachian outscored the visitors, 45-35, in the second and fourth quarters.
LR stymied the Apps’ offense holding the Black and Gold to 3-for-13 shooting from the field, which led to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. Appalachian would slice the gap to seven, 22-15, after scoring five of the first seven points in the second quarter. Carter had scored on consecutive layups before Story hit the back end of a pair at the line. Little Rock responded by going on a 6-2 spurt to go out in front, 28-17.
When it looked like the Mountaineers were about to start a run, LR would answer with a field goal. The Trojans kept the lead for the rest of the half and went ahead, 41-31.
The Trojans came out of the break putting together a 12-2 run to take a 53-33 lead. LR stayed on top of Appalachian, limiting the hosts to just 5-for-18 shooting while posting a 61.5 percent clip from the floor.
Appalachian saved its best quarter for last, outscoring LR, 24-14. Appalachian trimmed the deficit to as low as the final margin of victory for Little Rock. The Mountaineers shot 66.7 percent in the final quarter and held LR to 45.5 percent shooting, the lowest of any quarter. Murray scored 12 of her 16 points in the frame. Appalachian forced seven LR turnovers into nine points.
App State will have next Thursday off before traveling to Conway, S.C. to start a string of three-straight road conference games, beginning with Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m.