By David Rogers. January 24, 2019. BOONE, NC — Heading into Thursday night’s women’s basket ball game against Appalachian State at the Holmes Center, Arkansas State’s leading scorer, forward Peyton Martin, was the Red Wolves’ leading scorer and rebounder. Thanks to a stifling team defensive effort by the Mountaineers, Martin fell short in both categories as App State marched to convincing, 75-67 win.
COVER IMAGE: Redshirt senior Madi Story found the net over, around and through the Red Wolves for a game-high 25 points, 11 in the third quarter. Photographic image by Bill Barbour for Blowing Rock News.
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Mountaineer senior guard Madi Story burned the nets for 11 points in just the third quarter, sparking the team on a 15-4 run that gained separation that would never be seriously threatened by game’s end. Story finished with a game-high 25 points on almost 65% shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from behind the 3-point arc. The redshirt senior from Maiden, NC also collected 10 rebounds, allowing her to become the game’s only player with a double-double.
The Red Wolves’ Martin averaged 15 points and 6.6 rebounds coming into the matchup with the Mountaineers, but finished with less than half that many points (6) and marginally below her rebounding average, also with 6. App State has now held the leading scorer from each of the team’s last three opponents to 11-of-39 shooting from the field (28.2%), for just 32 points combined.
Much of Appalachian’s damage was done inside, in spite of the presence of 6-3 Trinitee Jackson, 6-4 Madison Heckert, the 6-2 Lycia Peevy, and the 5-11 Martin. Taking care of business in the paint for the Mountaineers was 6-4 junior center Bayley Plummer with 15 rebounds, seven of them on the offensive end. Plummer leads the Sun Belt Conference in rebounding, individually, as does the team. Plummer added eight points, two steals, two assists and four blocked shots to complete her scoring line.
Also in double figures for the Mountaineers was sophomore forward Lainey Gosnell, with 12 points.
If there is a true sparkplug to this App State team it is Ottawa, Canada native Ashley Polacek. The junior point guard scored 8 points, but did most of her damage as a playmaker in recording 8 assists. Notably, she was 1-of-2 from behind the 3-point arc and 3-of-4 from the foul line.
Arkansas State’s Akasha Westbrook, a redshirt senior, posted a team high 20 points, as well as a team-high 8 rebounds.
With the win, App State improves to 10-7 on the season over all, 4-2 in Sun Belt Conference play.
“Obviously, we’re excited to have another win under our belt…,” observed Mountaineer head coach Angel Elderkin afterward. “…I thought once again our defense (took) their best player out, Peyton Martin. We held her to six points and six rebounds, and that’s quite frankly how we’ve been winning games. Our team buys into our defensive game plan. We challenge our team to get 25 deflections and (tonight) they got 27 deflections. We challenge our team to continue to be relentless on the boards, and we won the rebounding battle, 45-32. Another big key is that I thought our bench was ready. I thought when the game started, we got into foul trouble and we weathered the storm. I did address the fact that if we wanted to continue to win games, we can’t start games missing layups and can’t shoot 40 percent from the free throw line. Those will be our areas of focus when we get back together tomorrow.”
Next up for the Mountaineers is Arkansas-Little Rock which, junior center Bayley Plummer admitted to reporters later, “…has had our number.” She smiled wryly in suggesting that she and her teammates are looking to reverse that trend.
Tipoff for Saturday’s game against Little Rock at the Holmes Center is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
LEADING INDIVIDUAL STAT LINES
- Madi Story, APP — 25 points, 10 rebounds,
- Bayley Plummer, APP — 15 rebounds, 8 points, 4 blocks, 2 steals
- Lainey Gosnell, APP — 12 points
- Ashley Polacek, APP — 8 assists, 8 points, 3 rebounds
- Maya Caldeer, APP — 9 points, 3 rebounds in 13 minutes
- Tierra Wilson, APP – 6 points in 9 minutes
- Pre Stanley, APP – 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
- Akasha Westbrook, Ark State – 20 points, 8 rebounds, 6-of-6 from foul line
- Payton Tennison, Ark State – 7 points, 3 assists, 1 steal
- Trinitee Jackson, Ark State – 7 points
- Peyton Martin, Ark State – 6 points, 6 rebounds
SLIDESHOW By Bill Barbour for Blowing Rock News
SLIDESHOW By David Rogers for Blowing Rock News