Monday's High Country Sports Update.... (2016-11-21 13:00:51)

App State Wrestling Finishes Fourth in Keystone Classic....PHILADELPHIA — Appalachian State University wrestling competed in its second tournament of the season on Sunday at the Keystone Classic. The Mountaineers placed two wrestlers in the top two of their weight classes and eight in the top six..


Appalachian finished fourth as a team with 95.5 overall points behind only Penn State, Pittsburgh and Eastern Michigan in the tournament of 12.

The Mountaineers were led by senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) and sophomore 149-pounder Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional), who took second place in each of their respective weight classes. 

Freshman Colby Smith (Wentzville, Mo./Holt), junior Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) and sophomore Cary Miller(Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) each placed fifth, while senior Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers), sophomore Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) and sophomore Randall Diabe (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) took sixth place in their respective divisions.

No. 18 Zovistoski used three-straight victories that included a decision, major decision and a pin to reach the first place bout against the No. 1 149-pounder in the country Zain Retherford of Penn State. Zovistoski defeated Gino Fluri of Rider in a 10-4 decision before getting a 10-4 major decision over Stevan Smith of VMI. He then pinned Gary Dinmore of Penn State in a time of 8:30 to advance. Zovistoski then fell in the first place bout against Retherford by pin (2:46).

No. 8 Dejournette started off the day by downing Corey Kerkesner of Franklin & Marshall in a 19-8 major decision. He then got the 8-1 decision over Gage Hutchison of Eastern Michigan before getting the 6-0 decision over Nickolas Gajdzik of Harvard to advance to the first place matchup against No. 13 Nick Nevills of Penn State. There, the heavyweights battled, but Dejournette would fall 8-3 to finish second overall.

Smith finished 3-2 on the day to place fifth in the 133-pound division, featuring a 17-4 major decision over Jeffrey Ott of Harvard. No. 17 Przybysz went 3-2 on the day to finish fifth in the 165, featuring a 9-1 major decision over F&M’s Rob King and a 8-6 decision over Penn State’s Caleb Livingston. Miller ended 4-2 to finish fifth in the heavyweight, getting key wins over Gage Hutchison of Eastern Michigan and Dan Hayden of Sacred Heart.

Pasone got a key 14-6 major decision victory over Dalton Henderson of VMI to finish sixth in the 125-pound division, while Enriquez used a decisive pin (1:21) over No. 11 James Gulibon of Penn State to finish sixth at 141.  Diabe went 3-3 on the day, placed sixth in the 197 division, getting a key 12-3 major decision over Logan Kirby of Harvard. 

The Mountaineers return home for their third duals match of the season when they host ACC foe North Carolina on Sunday, Nov. 27. Action begins at 3 p.m.


App State Falls to Richmond on the Road

BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State University women’s basketball (2-2) suffered a 55-46 decision to Richmond (1-3) on Sunday evening at the Robins Center.

The Mountaineers and Spiders both struggled from the floor shooting 35.2 percent, but the home team held a 14-6 advantage from the free throw line and corralled 42 boards to App State’s 32, including a 14-8 edge on the offensive glass. 

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a team-high 16 points on eight shots. After starting 2-of-10 from the floor, Jones shot 6-for-9 from the field.  Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) was one point shy of her career high with 14 points on four buckets and a perfect 6-of-6 performance from the line. The senior forward added to her stat line with four boards and a block. Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) led the team with a season-high seven boards and scored six points. 

While trailing by 10, 48-38, with four minutes left in the game, Jones went on a personal 6-0 spurt in 54 seconds to cut the Apps’ deficit to four, 48-44. Jones went on to score 10 of her 16 points and 10 of the Apps’ 14 points overall in the fourth period. After forcing a Richmond turnover, Elizabeth Norregaard’s (Vedbaek, Denmark/Wisconsin) 3-point attempt to cut the lead to one went in-and-out.  From that point on, the Spiders scored seven of the next nine points to clinch their first win of the season.

Appalachian got off to another slow start with Richmond starting the game on an 8-2 run over the first 5:06 of the contest. Over the final 4:54,  Jones sparked a 7-1 run that tied the game going into the second quarter, 9-9. Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) hit a trifecta to cut the deficit before Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) tied the game with a nifty reverse layup. 

The game kept close throughout the rest of the first half where a total of seven ties and two lead changes took place. In the second quarter, the Apps tied the game on several different occasions but could never get over the hump. After Jones hit her second shot of the half to tie the game at 19-all, Richmond forced a turnover before scoring with three seconds left in the half to take a slight 21-19 edge into the break.

The Spiders took control of the game in the third quarter outscoring the Black and Gold, 14-4, over a 6:40 span to extend the lead to 12, 35-23. App State closed the game as Bassett-Smith scored six of the team’s final nine points and Amber Driver (Houston, Texas/Tyler JC) hit a big 3-pointer that cut the lead to just seven off one of one of Mikaya Wilson’s (Raleigh, N.C./Knightdale) four assists. 

A free throw from Lauren Tolson pushed the score back up to eight, 40-32, going into the final period. App State committed nine of its 18 turnovers in the third quarter, leading to nine points off the miscues for the Spiders and eight points in the paint.

Jones began the quarter with a field goal, but App State couldn’t get stops on the other end thanks to the duo Janelle Hubbard and Micaela Parson who combined for 40 of the team’s points and 13 of Richmond’s 19 field goals. Richmond stretched the lead to 10, 48-38, before Appalachian’s valiant effort to get back into the game in the final minutes.

Appalachian will look to get back on track with a 7 p.m. contest against ETSU on Wednesday in Johnson City, Tenn.


- Bassett-Smith now has 95 career blocks and is five away from being one of seven Mountaineers with 100 blocks in their career.

- Wilson’s team-high four assists is a career-best for the freshman.

- App State shot a season-low eight free throws after averaging 34.3 free throw attempts coming into the game. 



Southern Conference Earns Four Bids

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Four Southern Conference football teams earned bids to the 2016 NCAA FCS Playoffs it was announced Sunday morning (Nov. 20).  The Citadel, Samford, Chattanooga and Wofford all earned berths in the 24-team field which was announced by the FCS selection committee Sunday morning.

Chattanooga (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) will host Weber State (7-4, 6-2 Big Sky) Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  The Mocs are making their third straight appearance in the playoffs.  The winner of the UTC-Weber State game will advance to face Sam Houston State on December 3.

Samford (7-4, 5-3 SoCon) is making its return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.  The Bulldogs visit Youngstown State (8-3, 6-2 Missouri Valley).  That game will kick off at 5:00 p.m. The winner of that contest will visit Jacksonville State on December 3.

Wofford (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) earned the league’s fourth bid.  The Terriers closed the season with four straight wins and will play host to Charleston Southern (7-3, 4-1 Big South) Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  The winner between the Terriers and Bucs will visit The Citadel on December 3.

The Citadel (10-1, 8-0 SoCon ) earned the No. 6 overall seed in the 24-team field after winning the league championship outright.  The Citadel is making its second straight appearance in the playoffs after earning an at-large selection last fall. 

The Southern Conference joined the Big Sky, Missouri Valley and Colonial Athletic Association as the four conferences that each earned four bids.  It was the first time the SoCon garnered four bids.

The league’s three opening round games (Nov. 26) will all be available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

North Dakota State earned the No. 1 overall seed, while Eastern Washington was seeded second.  Jacksonville State from the OVC earned the No. 3 seed in the playoffs while James Madison was seeded fourth.  Sam Houston State was slotted fifth.  North Dakota earned the No. 7 national seed and South Dakota State was seeded eighth.  All eight national seeds earned a bye to the round of 16.

Southern Conference teams are 103-66 (.609) in the NCAA playoffs, the best mark among FCS Conferences.

The FCS National Championship game will be held January 7, 2017 in Frisco, Texas.


Hume's Golden Goal Lifts Carolina Past FGCU

CHAPEL HILL --- Tucker Hume's driving header in the 105th minute of play lifted ninth-seeded North Carolina past FGCU, 3-2, Sunday night at Fetzer Field. Hume's goal, his second of the game, sent the Tar Heels into the final 16 of the NCAA Championship for the 16th time in program history. Nils Bruening's short-range finish in the 86th minute forced overtime for UNC, which will face ACC rival Syracuse for a spot in the national quarterfinals next Sunday at 2 p.m.

FGCU (14-4-3), the nation's highest-scoring team entering Sunday, wasted no time in taking a 1-0 advantage. Robert Ferrer took a feed from Arion Sobers-Assue and poked a low finish past James Pyle to give the visitors a stunning lead just 11 minutes into the game.

The goal seemed to invigorate the Tar Heels, however, as they enjoyed a majority of the possession for the rest of the opening 45 minutes. That possession paid off in the 30th minute, as Hume scored at the doorstep, tapping past FGCU keeper Jared Brown. Nico Melo played a lofted ball into the box, which Zach Wright nodded straight to Hume for the goal.

Hume had the ball in the net for a second time just after halftime, but the senior striker was flagged for offside. Then came a flashpoint, as Hume was dragged down from behind by Kamar Marriott in the 53rd minute. Marriott was ruled to have denied a clear scoring opportunity and was issued a straight red card, reducing the Eagles to 10 men.

Playing shorthanded, FGCU incredibly found itself in front again in the 72nd minute. Albert Ruiz, the nation's leading scorer, was fouled in the box and converted from the spot for his NCAA-best 22nd goal of the season.

From there the Tar Heels (12-3-3) pressed for an equalizer, with Wright's sizzling near-post strike well saved by Brown in the 83rd minute. Alan Winn then fired just wide after the resulting corner kick.

Carolina finally broke through less than three minutes later thanks to Bruening's eighth goal of the year. Winn and Melo combined for a slick give-and-go on the left side of the field, and Winn beat his man to the end line before feeding Bruening at close range.

Cam Lindley almost won it in regulation with a thumping strike off the crossbar in the 88th minute, but UNC would head to overtime for the second time in the last three postseasons.

Neither team threatened in the first 10-minute period of overtime, but the Tar Heels were able to avoid a penalty shootout thanks to a moment of magic from Melo. The senior collected a loose ball off of a corner and beat his man at the top of the box before serving Hume for the game-winning goal. It was his third assist of the night and Hume's seventh goal of the year, and it set off a wild celebration in front of the Fetzer Field crowd.

Carolina now heads to Syracuse next Sunday at 2 p.m. to face the eighth-seeded Orange. The two teams played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer there on Sept. 30. Full details will be available later this week on