Sunday's Sports Report.... (2016-11-13 14:08:36)

App State Men’s Hoops Tripped Up in Season Opener, 86-74....DAVIDSON, N.C. –– With the game knotted up at 66-66 with 7:53 to play in the game, Appalachian State University men’s basketball could not overcome a Davidson 20-8 run to end the game in what served as the 2016-17 regular season opener for both programs.


Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) led the Mountaineers (0-1) with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Three other Mountaineers finished in double-figures with Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) and Jake Babic (Ontario, Canada/The Kiski School) netted a team-high 11 points and Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) finished with 10.

In their first action as Mountaineers, Kelvin Robinson (Little Rock, Ark./Episcopal), Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn./David Crockett), Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) and Jake Wilson (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook/Lenoir-Rhyne) did not disappoint. 

Robinson finished with nine points, while Good finished with seven and Wilson recorded six points and four rebounds. Johnson battled on the glass and came down with three rebounds.

Appalachian provided lots of energy from the opening tip and forced the Wildcats (1-0) back on their heels for much of the first half. The Black and Gold raced out to a 10-4 lead with five points from Shabazz.

The Wildcats would close to just two points, but Appalachian pushed its lead back up to seven with a 5-0 run that included a Babic jumper and free throws from Good and Kinney.

The Apps were able to fend off the Wildcats until the 4:13 mark of the first half when a layup from Nathan Ekwu tied the game at 30-30. With one more tied score in the half, the Mountaineers ended the opening period on a 5-1 run to lead 37-33 at halftime. 

The Wildcats’ Peyton Aldridge was held to 13 points in the first half, but would break out for 18 in a strong second half showing. Aldridge would finished with a game-high 31 points and haul in seven rebounds.

The second half was more of a heavyweight title fight between the former Southern Conference rivals with 15 lead changes after just one in the first.

With both teams trading blows and seemingly having an answer for each possession, the Mountaineers trailed the Wildcats 66-63 after Rusy Reigel poured in three of his 13 points.

The very next possession, Robinson, a true freshman, hit a cold-blooded answer from the left wing to knot the score at 66-66 with 7:53 to go.

Both teams would trade leads two more times before Davidson finally took the lead for good on a three-pointer from Jon Ax. Gudmundsson to put the Wildcats ahead 70-68.

Down the stretch, the Mountaineers would manage just 2-for-6 from the charity stripe down by four points.

Overall, the Mountaineers led in second-chance points 16-8 and points off the bench 26-21. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Wildcats 39-38 with a slim advantage on the offensive glass 13-12.

Appalachian State will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and will square off with Tennessee in Knoxville at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Notes: After finishing 3-for-14 last season from three, Tyrell Johnson knocked down his first triple of the night and finished 1-for-2 … Griffin Kinney just missed tying his career-high in rebounds (10), finishing with eight … Craig Hinton, Jake Wilson, Patrick Good and Kelvin Robinson all scored their first career points for the Black and Gold … Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll) finished with eight points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.


WBB: App State 72, Gardner-Webb 67

CHICAGO -  Appalachian State University women’s basketball bounced back from a Friday loss to finish third in the Maggie Dixon Classic grinding out a 72-67 victory over Gardner-Webb on Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a team-high 15 points (11 in the second half) on five shots and five free throws and a team-best three assists while Q. Murray(Baltimore, Md./ George Mason) dropped a career-high 14 points and an impressive five steals. Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) scored a season-high 13 points and five boards on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

It wasn’t just that trio that stepped up, as six other student-athletes would score for the Mountaineers. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) added nine points off the bench with six rebounds. Plummer, Jones, and Bassett-Smith combined to go 15-of-18 from the free throw line (rest of the team: 7-of-14).

Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandy) didn’t score like she’s capable of but did a little bit of everything in other areas with six points, seven boards, and two steals.

Numbers across the board were similar with GWU shooting a slightly better percentage (37.0-36.4) and a tight edge in rebounds, 43-42. But the Apps won the turnover battle forcing GWU into 28 miscues and converting those mistakes into 27 points. Appalachian protected the ball with 18 turnovers, a vast improvement from Fridayevening (32 turnovers).

The first quarter was neck-and-neck where both teams exchanged six ties and four lead changes. Appalachian scored 10 of its 14 points off GWU mistakes and came away with four steals. Bassett-Smith provided the scoring with eight points, including the final six with App State trailing, 10-8, to push App State to a 14-12 advantage. 

In the second frame,  App State and the Runnin’ Bulldogs were tied on three different occasions, but GWU couldn’t take the lead. With the scored tied 24-all, the Apps scored four six of the next seven points to take a 30-25 lead into the break. Bassett-Smith once again led the spurt with a pair of free throws followed by a layup from Jones and Elizabeth Norregaard (Vedbaek, Denmark/Middleton) draining a deep 3-pointer before the buzzer went off. 

Appalachian looked to gain some separation from GWU in the opening of the third quarter when Murray and Story spearheaded a 6-2 spurt that pushed the Apps’ lead to nine, 36-27. Appalachian increase the lead to as much as 10 (45-35) thanks to a Jones layup. GWU responded with five quick points before the end of the third period. Huntsman hit a running trey at half court before the sound of the horn. 

App State stayed on top of Gardner-Webb throughout the start of the fourth quarter, when it looked like the Apps were about to break the game wide open. Murray scored six points in the first 2:58 of the fourth frame to give Appalachian a nine-point lead, 53-44. App State kept the lead but survived a GWU in the final minutes. 

With the Apps leading 63-54 late in the fourth quarter, the Runnin’ Bulldogs sliced the lead to one possession, 63-61, with a 7-0 run following a Tierra Huntsman 3-pointer. Appalachian responded with a 5-1 spurt to push the lead to six, 68-62, with 41 seconds left. 

The Runnin’ Bulldogs shortened the lead to one possession with six seconds left, but Jones came through once again to with a pair of free throws to clinch the Apps’ first win of the season.

App State will head on the road to Lynchburg, Va. for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, Nov. 17 against Liberty. 

“I loved the way we bounced back from last night and pulled out a victory, “ said head coach Angel Elderkin. “In some way, whether it was Ashley (Bassett-Smith) giving us offense in the first quarter, or Elizabeth (Norregaard) hitting a 3-pointer at the end of the first half to put us up by five, everyone contributed tonight.  They made it a tight game there at the end, but we made the plays down the stretch on both ends to pull it out."

Maggie Dixon Classic

- Murray led the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) while shooting a team-high 43.5 percent from the field and picking up five steals.
- Plummer and Story both led the team averaging 6.5 rebounds per game.
- The Mountaineers were aggressive getting to the free throw line with 66 attempts.
- App State forced an average of 24 turnovers per game, including 28 against GWU.

App State scored on 55.4 percent of its possessions.
- Bassett-Smith (15), Plummer (14) and Jones (11) led the team in Player Efficiency Rating.
- Jones finished with a team-best plus-9 in the plus/minus category.
- App State averaged 85.5 possessions over the weekend. 


Catawba Escapes 16-14 Over Lenoir-Rhyne In Season Finale

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (3-8, 3-4) suffered a heartbreaking loss to Catawba (5-6, 5-2), 16-14, in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at Moretz Stadium.

The Indians' Brennan Lambert (China Grove, N.C.) kicked a 30-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the game to spoil the Bears' Senior Day. The field goal capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive that began on Catawba's 12-yard line with 1:45 left in the contest.

Catawba's backup quarterback, Joseph Dress (Moncks Corner, S.C.), engineered the drive by completing four passes for 75 yards. Dress added a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter as the Indians rallied from a 14-3 deficit to take the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne built the lead thanks to a 26-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrod Kellar (Shinnston, W.Va.) to senior wide receiver Patrick Rendleman (Lincolnton, N.C.) in the first quarter and a one-yard touchdown run from redshirt freshman running back Nelson Brown (Salisbury, N.C.) early in the second quarter.

Catawba's defense was the story, limiting the Bears to just 132 yards while registering four sacks. The Indians' D.J. Jackson (Powder Springs, Ga.) sealed the game with an interception with two seconds left. Michael Peppers (Clemson, S.C.) finished with 11 tackles to lead Catawba.

Reid Carlton (Lecanto, Fla.) passed for 166 yards and David Burgess (Morganton, N.C.) added 80 yards on the ground for Catawba, who finished tied for second place in the South Atlantic Conference standings.

Lenoir-Rhyne's defense was also solid, finishing with three sacks, while senior linebacker Tanner Robinson (Melbourne, Fla.) and freshman linebacker Clayton Horn (Mount Pleasant, N.C.) both finished with 12 tackles in the loss.


Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Captures First Victory

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (1-1) captured its first win of the 2016-17 campaign with a 75-52 triumph over Francis Marion (0-2) Saturdayevening in the final game of the SAC/Peach Belt Conference Challenge at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Five players scored in double figures for the Bears, who picked up their first win under new mentor Everick Sullivan.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior forward JacQues Chambers (Maysville, N.C.) led the way with a double-double - 12 points and 10 rebounds - while the Bears' defense limited the Patriots to just 29 percent shooting (17-of-59) for the contest.

Four players scored 10 points - junior guards Jarvis Calhoun (Birmingham, Ala.) and Branford Rogers (Alexandria, Va.), freshman guard Alex Kelly (Hickory, N.C.) and freshman forward Ben Zemonek (Raleigh, N.C.) - for Lenoir-Rhyne as well.

Judah Alexander (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) was the lone player to score in double figures for the Patriots, totaling 14 points while Francis Marion was also hurt by 20 turnovers.

Lenoir-Rhyne jumped out to a 22-8 advantage and never looked back. The Bears also hit 10 treys while limiting the Patriots to just two three-pointers in 23 attempts on the night.

Lenoir-Rhyne opens South Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday on the road against Catawba at 7:00 p.m., in Salisbury, N.C. Francis Marion plays at Claflin on Tuesdayat 7:30 p.m.


Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Soccer Ends Season With 6-1 Loss

Misenheimer, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Soccer Team (12-5-3) saw its season come to a close with a 6-1 loss to Pfeiffer (19-2) in the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs Saturday evening at N.E. Lekfo Field.

The Falcons, ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division II and the second seed in the Southeast Regional Tournament, broke a 1-1 tie with five goals in the second half and increased their winning streak to 13 matches.

Pfeiffer will face the winner of Limestone and top-ranked Wingate in the regional finals. Those two schools play tomorrow in Wingate, N.C.

Jaime Siaj (Madrid, SPAIN) scored two goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Falcons. Siaj found the back of the net just 1:58 into the match.

Pfeiffer's Juan Sanchez (Madrid, SPAIN) broke the one-all tie with a goal at the 48:03 mark of the second half which proved to be the match-winner. Nathan Regis (Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) added a goal and two assists for the Falcons, who held a 24-5 advantage in the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore forward Marc Fernandez (Barcelona, SPAIN) scored the lone goal of the match for the Bears in the 17th minute, his fourth of the season. Pfeiffer's Tomas Correa (Lisbon, PORTUGAL) earned the win in goal after making a pair of saves while junior Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) suffered the loss in goal.

Lenoir-Rhyne was making its first playoff appearance in 10 years.



GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – No. 2 Lincoln Memorial handed the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team its second straight loss to begin the 2016-17 season Saturday afternoon in Greeneville, Tenn., 94-66. The Bobcats were led by Lepreece Lynch and Jordan Turnerwho both had 14 points. The 14 points by Turner marked a new career-high.

Lees-McRae started fast against the second-ranked Railsplitters getting out to a 7-0 lead. LMU, however, came back to take the lead with just over 12 minutes to go in the half, 16-15. Lincoln Memorial closed out the opening half on a 9-3 run to go into locker room with a 40-30 lead.

After halftime, Lincoln Memorial found another gear and scored 54 points and shot 65.5 percent from the floor on its way to a 94-66 victory over the Bobcats. Lynch and Turner did most of their damage offensively in the second half. Lynch scored 12 of his 14 in the second, while Turner scored 10 of his afternoon's total in the frame.

The Bobcats will return to action Tuesday evening when they take on Winston-Salem State on the road. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Tusculum 85, LMC 81

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Tusculum College used a late rally to knock off the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team Friday evening to open the 2016-17 season, 85-81.

Lees-McRae used an efficient offense (47.2 field goal percentage) to take a 43-32 lead into halftime. In addition to the Bobcats' work offensively, they were also very opportunistic turning 13 turnovers by Tusculum into 15 points on the other end of the floor.

The Bobcats also received stellar production from their bench in the opening half with 22 points. Rishad Felton led these efforts with five points. Overall, Cedriontis Wilsonpaced LMC with eight points in the first.

After managing 32 points in the opening half, Tusculum found another gear in the second, scoring 53 points to rally past the Bobcats and pick up the win, 85-81. The Pioneers did the majority of their work late in the contest as LMC lead by eight points (80-72) with 2:19 remaining. Cory Fagan knocked down a pair of three-pointers and Tusculum went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line to complete the comeback.

Junior Lepreece Lynch paced LMC in several categories Friday leading the way in points (13), assists (6) and tied for the team-lead in steals (3) and rebounds (6). In addition to Lynch, Cedriontis Wilson and Donte Fallsreached double figures in scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.