Appalachian State University women’s basketball (20-14) withstood a late Marshall rally to pull away for an 83-71 win over Marshall (17-15) on Monday evening inside the Holmes Center.
App State advances to the WBI Final Four and will face Campbell on Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the Holmes Center. The Mountaineers reach 20 wins for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.
All five starters scored in double figures for the first time this season with Pre Stanley pouring in 21 of her career-high 28 points in the second half, shooting 8-of-10 from the field during the third and fourth quarters. The Rockledge, Fla., native gave the Marshall defense problems all evening, getting into the lane at will. Lainey Gosnell scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and grabbed eight off the glass. Madi Story scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a team-high three assists for an all-around performance. Ashley Polacek, who started the game 1-of-12, hit all three of her shot attempts in the final quarter and both of her trifectas to score 11 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter.
No stranger to success against the Thundering Herd, Bayley Plummer once again dominated the paint with 11 points and tied a career-high with 21 rebounds against the hosts. In three career games against Marshall, Plummer is averaging 13 points and 20 rebounds. She set her career earlier this season against Marshall as well with 21 rebounds. In addition, Plummer is now fourth all-time in school history with 948 rebounds, moving past Shannon Thomas (1998-92).
After the Mountaineers took a 15-point lead late in the second half, Marshall climbed to within one, 55-54, with 8:32 left in the game. Stanley scored all seven points during a 7-2 surge over the next 1:28 to give App a 62-56 lead. It was Polacek’s turn as her trifecta on the next possession extended the lead to nine, 65-56. Marshall wouldn’t go away, as it cut the lead back down to three, 69-66 before Stanley once again kept the Thundering Herd from getting over the hump with back-to-back buckets to give the Mountaineers a 73-66 advantage. The next six points were scored by Polacek that stretched the lead to 10, 79-69, with under a minute left. Appalachian sealed the victory to stay undefeated in the WBI and move to 12-3 at home this season. Stanley and Polacek took on the scoring load in the final period with 24 of the 30 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.
App State was in control for the majority of the game, holding a lead for 34:39 despite the run that Marshall went on. The defense locked in on Marshall in the first half, as it held the visitors to 29.4 percent from the floor and just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc. Appalachian held Marshall to just six points in the second quarter, which aided in the Apps’ 13-point lead at halftime.
The Mountaineers struggled from the field for the first three quarters shooting only 34 percent from the field. Appalachian exploded for 30 points on a 10-for-14 performance on offense. The 30 points in the final period are the most the Black and Gold has scored in a quarter this season. Led by Stanley’s 7-of-8 outing from the free throw line, the Mountaineers shot 88.2 percent from the charity stripe for its second-highest shooting clip of the season.
App State’s six turnovers were also a season low, and despite Marshall turning the ball over just eight times, the Apps scored 17 points off the miscues.
– After scoring 15 second-chance points off 15 offensive rebounds, the Mountaineers are 8-1 when they score at least 15 second chance points.
– App State is 9-1 when Story tallies at least 10 points and five rebounds.
– The Mountaineers are now 12-3 at home this season.
– Stanley has scored at least 15 points in five straight games.
– Plummer has four career games with at least 20 rebounds.
– App State is 6-0 in the WBI.