App State Men’s Basketball Wins First Sun Belt Game, Women’s Win Sun Belt Home Opener; See Schedules

Published Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm
Ashley Bassett-Smith recorded seven points, four rebounds and four blocks in the win over UL Lafayette on Monday. Courtesy: Dave Mayo / App State Sports

Ashley Bassett-Smith recorded seven points, four rebounds and four blocks in the win over UL Lafayette on Monday. Courtesy: Dave Mayo / App State Sports

Editor’s Note: The men’s Appalachian State University basketball teams won its inaugural Sun Belt Conference game, and the women’s basketball team won its inaugural Sun Belt Conference home opener. The men’s Mountaineers defeated Arkansas State 74-73 on Saturday. While the women lost its inaugural Sun Belt clash, it did defeat University of Louisiana-Lafayette 63-51 in its Sun Belt at home.

See recap of both teams most recent games below and the remaining schedule. 

Jan. 6, 2014. Appalachian State University women’s basketball defeated UL Lafayette on Monday night, 63-51, in their Sun Belt home opener at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (6-5, 1-1 Sun Belt) were able to hold off the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4, 0-3), maintaining a lead for most of the game.

Appalachian struck first with a three-pointer from Maryah Sydnor, helping the Mountaineers take a quick 7-4 lead with 16:35 to play in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns responded by scoring the next four points and taking the lead.

With the Apps trailing 9-10, Ashley Bassett-Smith would hit a layup, sparking a 14-3 run for the Mountaineers as they took a 23-13 lead at the 8:02 minute mark. From there the Ragin’ Cajuns would hit two-straight three-pointers, going on a 14-4 run and tying the game, 27-27 at halftime.

App State was led by Sydnor’s nine points and six rebounds in the first half as the Mountaineers shot 35.5 percent from the floor.

The Ragin’ Cajuns were led by Keke Veal and Robbie Brown’s six points each. The team recorded a 40.0 percent field goal percentage in the first half.

The Mountaineers came out on fire in second half, immediately going on a 9-2 run to lead 36-29 with 16:31 to play. UL Lafayette would strike back with two points, but Appalachian maintained a solid lead, going up 40-33 with a jumper from Bria Huffman at the 14:09 minute mark.

With 8:15 to play, Bassett-Smith would score two points to give the Apps a ten-point lead, but the Ragin’ Cajuns responded with six-straight points, putting them right back into the game.

The Mountaineers were able to pull it out, finishing out the game with a15-2 run to get the win, 63-51.

Sydnor and Katie Mallow led the Apps in their first Sun Belt win, scoring 14 points each. Sydnor tallied a game-high 13 rebounds, while Huffman dished out four assists and Bassett-Smith recorded four blocks.

The Mountaineers recorded a 44.9 field goal percentage in the game, grabbing 41 rebounds and turning the ball over 21 times.

UL Lafayette was led by Keke Veal’s 17 points while the team shot just 32.4 percent from the floor. The Ragin’ Cajuns recorded 36 rebounds and 17 turnovers in the game.

App State will return to action when they travel to Mobile, Ala. to take on South Alabama on Jan. 8.

Remaining Women’s Basketball Schedule

Jan. 8 @ South Alabama

Jan. 10 @ University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Jan. 15 Arkansas State

Jan. 17 Georgia State

Jan. 19 @ Troy

Jan. 24 South Alabama

Jan. 29 @ Texas State

Feb. 5 @ University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Feb. 7 Troy

Feb. 12 University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Feb. 13 @ University of Louisiana-Monroe

Feb. 19 @ University of Texas-Arlington

Feb. 21 @ Georgia State

Feb. 26 Georgia Southern

Feb. 28 University of Louisiana-Monroe

March 5 Texas State

March 7 University of Texas-Arlington

Men’s Basketball Falls to Ragin’ Cajuns

Jan. 6, 2014. UL Lafayette shot 51.7 percent from the field and scored 48 points in the paint to power past Appalachian State University men’s basketball, 80-64, in the Mountaineers’ first-ever Sun Belt Conference home game on Monday night at the Holmes Center.

Brian Williams led five Ragin’ Cajuns in double-figures with a game-high 15 points and propelled UL Lafayette (9-5, 3-0 Sun Belt) to its sixth win in its last seven games.

Appalachian State (4-7, 1-1 Sun Belt) trailed by just two points midway through the first half but saw the deficit balloon to 17 after a 5:02 stretch without a field goal late in the opening period. Milos Kostic ended the drought with a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer but the Mountaineers went into the locker room down 38-24.

After neither team found the bottom of the net in the first two-plus minutes, Chris Burgess finally put the first points on the board with a jumper at the 17:44 mark to give the Mountaineers their only lead of the game.

The Cajuns tied it on Kasey Shepherd’s layup on the ensuing possession, then took the lead on a Devonta Walker jumper 30 seconds later and never trailed again.

Appalachian remained within striking distance until the final 10 minutes of the opening half, when UL Lafayette reeled off a 10-2 run to stretch its lead to 23-13 with 7:10 to go.

After Frank Eaves cut the deficit to six points (23-17) with 6:38 remaining, App State went cold and hit just 2-of-8 from the floor to close out the period.

App State cut the deficit to 12 early in the second half but never pulled closer the rest of the way. The Ragin’ Cajuns grabbed their first 20-popint lead (56-35) on Shawn Long’s dunk with 14:27 left in the ballgame and never led by less than 14 the rest of the way.

Michael Obacha led Appalachian with a season-high 12 points. Tommy Spagnolo added 11 points and freshmanLandon Goesling chipped in with a career-high 10 to round out three Mountaineers in double-figures. Obacha and Spagnolo also grabbed a team-best seven rebounds each.

Obacha, Spagnolo and Goesling combined to make 13-of-25 field-goal attempts (.520) but the rest of the squad shoot just 12-of-39 (.308) from the field.

UL Lafayette saw five players score in double figures. Brian Williams poured in a game-high 15 while Bryce Washington added 14 off the bench and ripped down eight boards.

Shepherd finished with 15 while Long and Walker each added 10. Long fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds.

On the night, the Ragin’ Cajuns shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60) while limiting Appalachian to just 39.1 percent (25-of-64) from the floor. UL Lafayette hauled in 38 rebounds to App State’s 36 and dished out 18 assists.

The Mountaineers must rebound quickly as they hit the road again for Sun Belt contests at South Alabama and UALR on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Tipoff for Thursday’s contest at South Alabama is slated for 8:05 p.m. (ET).

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 0-3 all-time against UL Lafayette … the Ragin’ Cajuns 80 points were the second-most by an Appalachian opponent this season (84 – at Furman, Nov. 19) … for the second-straight game, the Mountaineers shot under 60.0 percent from the charity stripe (58.8 percent) … freshman forward Griffin Kinney did not play as he returned home on Sunday to attend his grandmother’s funeral … Monday’s game was Appalachian’s first home game in 29 days … it was the longest since the Mountaineers went 32 days without a home contest from Nov. 16-Dec. 18, 2010.

Remaining Men’s Basketball Schedule

Jan. 8 @ South Alabama

Jan. 10 @ University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Jan. 15 Arkansas State

Jan. 17 Georgia State

Jan. 19 @ Troy

Jan. 22 South Alabama

Jan. 24 @ Texas State

Jan. 29 Georgia Southern

Feb. 5 @ University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Feb. 7 Troy

Feb. 12 University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Feb. 14 @ University of Louisiana-Monroe

Feb. 19 @ University of Texas-Arlington

Feb. 21 @ Georgia State

Feb. 26 University of Louisiana-Monroe

March 5 Texas State

March 7 University of Texas-Arlington

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