By Luke Weir. November 10, 2017. BOONE, NC — It was an inauspicious season opener for women’s basketball at the Holmes Convocation Center. The Yellow Jackets (1-0) were “hands-on” in their 75-41 blowout win over host Appalachian State.
COVER IMAGE: Physical play underneath was a “highlight” of this game. All photos by Bill Barbour for Blowing Rock News
A crowd of 750 gathered to watch ACC power Georgia Tech take on the Mountaineers. There was little in the way of excitement for the App State faithful. Of Appalachian State’s 17 first-half points, 9 of them came from the free throw line. A total of 43 personal fouls were assessed in a game that was played at little more than a crawl.
The Mountaineers shot an abysmal 11-46 from the field for 24 percent accuracy, compared to the Yellow Jackets’ 25-of-56 field goals made, or 45 percent. Of Appalachian’s 11 made shots, only four were assisted.
Neither team handled the ball very carefully, with Appalachian turning the ball over 26 times in all—17 of which occurred in the first half. Georgia Tech finished the game with 17 total turnovers.
The only Mountaineer player with more than one made FG was freshman T. Wilson, who shot 4-9 from behind the three point line. The Yellow Jackets’ 75 points were lead by Italian Sophomore Francesca Pan’s 16 points off 4-of-9 shooting, all of her field goal “makes” coming from beyond the three-point arc.
On a positive note, the Appalachian defense did hold Georgia Tech to only 5 points in the second quarter. Offensively, the Mountaineers did play a tenacious inside game, forcing the Jackets to commit 24 personal fouls.
In assessing the season opener against a strong program, Georgia Tech, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, it is worth noting the relative youth comprising the Appalachian women’s roster, which features only two juniors and two seniors. The other nine players are freshmen, redshirt freshmen, sophomores and redshirt sophomores. For five App freshmen, Friday’s home opener was their first experience on the collegiate hardwood, and against an ACC opponent that lost the WNIT championship in three overtimes last season.
Georgia Tech’s home opener is Sunday against South Carolina State, while Appalachian travels to Virginia for a game against the Highlanders of Radford University Sunday, 5:00 pm.