March 11, 2013. ASHEVILLE — Raven Gary scored a career-high 19 points, but Appalachian State University women’s basketball was unable to outlast Chattanooga in a 72-67 loss in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Tournament on Sunday at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The Mountaineers (20-10) trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, but were able to take a 62-61 lead with just over three minutes left before the Lady Mocs (28-3) sealed the victory with clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch.
In a back-and-forth game that saw 16 tie scores and 12 lead changes, Chattanooga would strike first when Ashlen Dewart scored on a layup less than a minute into the ballgame.
UTC would lead by as many as four points (12-8) in the early stages of the contest before Appalachian battled back to take its first lead of the game at 18-16 with just over eight minutes to go in the first half.
The Lady Mocs would mount a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to jump out to their largest lead of the day at 26-18, but App State closed the first half on a 12-4 run to cut the deficit to just two points (30-28) at the break.
An intense second-half battle would follow as neither team was really able to gain the upper hand until Appalachian pulled out in front by five points (60-55) with 5:31 left to play.
Chattanooga responded with a quick 6-0 run to jump back in front by one (61-60), but the Mountaineers regained the lead on Kelsey Sharkey’s layup just moments later.
It would be the last time Appalachian would lead, however, as the Lady Mocs were able to hold serve despite a Maryah Sydnor three-pointer that made it 68-67 with just 21 seconds left.
After hitting a pair of free throws, Chattanooga was able to get in the face of Sydnor, who missed high off the backboard on a potential game-tying three with four seconds to go.
Gary led all players in scoring while dishing out four assists, and Courtney Freeman added 12 points and grabbed 10 boards on the day to round out her senior campaign with three double-doubles. Sydnor finished with 10 points and Katie Mallow added 10 off the bench.
Taylor Hall paced Chattanooga with 17 points and was 11-of-11 from the charity stripe while Dewart scored 16 and pulled down eight rebounds. Alex Black added 11 points for the Lady Mocs, who shot 22-of-27 from the free-throw line in the contest.
GAME NOTES: For a second time in the 2013 SoCon Tournament, Appalachian finished with four players in double figures, including Gary (19), C. Freeman (12), Sydnor (10), and Mallow (10). Courtney Freeman led Appalachian’s rebounding efforts with 10 boards on the day, and her third double-double of the season. Gary led the Mountaineers with four assists. The Mountaineers recorded 14 points off the bench, while the Lady Mocs capitalized on 13 second chance points. Statistically, the Apps outplayed the Lady Mocs. Appalachian shot 43.3 percent (26-for-60) on the day to Chattanooga’s 42.6 percent (23-for-54). The Mountaineers connected on 5-for-13 (38.5 percent) in three-point land, while UTC shot 4-for-17 (23.5 percent), and the Apps were an impressive 90.9 percent (10-for-11) from the line, while Chattanooga completed 22-for-27 (81.5 percent).