Saturday's High Country Sports Roundup.... (2016-11-12 14:54:57)

App State Volleyball Falls in 12th Five-Set Loss of Season....BOONE, N.C. –– Appalachian State University volleyball stumbled to its 12th five-set loss of the season in a 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 18-25, 25-22, 11-15) defeat to South Alabama on Friday night.


The Mountaineers (4-24, 2-13 Sun Belt) were led by senior middle blocker Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) who finished with a team-high 12 kills.Jenna Talbert (Orange City, Fla./University) also collected double-digit kills and tallied 10. 

Ashlyn Brown (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/New Mexico State) ran the Mountaineer offense again and finished with 44 assists. Kati Stammen (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) led the defense with 21 digs. Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) and Brown finished with 16 and 12 digs, respectively.

The double-double for Brown was her eighth of the season.

Appalachian trailed by three late in the opening set 18-15 and used a 3-0 run to knot the score a 18-18. Down 19-18, a 6-0 run keyed by a Melissa McMath (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) and capped by a Jaguar error seemingly put the Mountaineers over the top in the first and they finished off USA 25-20.

In the second set, the Black and Gold fell behind early and trailed by as many as six at 18-12. App State would battle back to within one at 20-19, but a 5-0 Jaguar run ended the set and South Alabama tied the match 1-1.

Much like the second set, the Mountaineers fell behind by six midway through and the Jaguar lead ballooned to eight and South Alabama didn’t look back - winning the set 25-18.

Needing a fourth set win to force the decisive fifth set, Appalachian took off. Up 9-7, a kill from Longley catapulted a run by the Mountaineers that put App State up 17-10. The Jaguars would storm back and tie the set at 20-20. 

A 5-2 run by the Mountaineers, highlighted by a kill from Cassidy Stephenson (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) clinched the set 25-22.

A set the Mountaineers have struggled with all season long was the achilles heal yet again. App State fell behind early 10-4 and despite scoring points, could not overcome and fell 15-11.

The Mountaineers will close the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 13 against Troy at 12:30 p.m.


UNC Pembroke Bests Lenoir-Rhyne Men, 81-76

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (0-1) fell in the 2016-17 season opener to UNC Pembroke (1-0), 81-76, Friday evening on day one of the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Braves were led by Brandon Watts (Wesley Chapel, N.C.) with a game-high 18 points and James Murray-Boyles (Columbia, S.C.) added 15 points off the bench as UNC Pembroke used a 12-0 run late in the contest to seal the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) led the way with 18 points and was one of four players to score in double figures for the Bears despite the loss.

Murray-Boyles hit a lay-up with 4:49 left for a 69-68 advantage and the Braves never trailed again. The Braves held a 40-33 edge in rebounding and limited the Bears to just 34 percent shooting (12-of-35) in the second half in the victory.

Senior forward JacQues Chambers (Maysville, N.C.) and junior guard Jarvis Calhoun (Birmingham, Ala.) added 12 points each for the Bears, who saw the Braves hit 22-of-28 free throw attempts on the night. Lenoir-Rhyne also finished with 14 three-pointers on the evening despite the loss.

In the first game of the day, Catawba (1-0) defeated Francis Marion (0-1) by a 75-62 score behind Jameel Taylor's (Anderson, S.C.) 23 points and seven rebounds.

On the second and final day of the SAC/Peach Belt Conference Challenge on Saturday, UNC Pembroke takes on Catawba at 6:00 p.m., while Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Francis Marion at 8:00 p.m.


Cobras Win Second Straight....

The Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute men's basketball team defeated Louisburg College 79-74 on Friday. Louisburg came into Friday's match up ranked No.10 in the nation in the  NJCAA Divison II Poll.

The win moves Caldwell to 3-1 on the season. The Cobras were led by Shawn Robinson and Jahi Hughes who had 19 and 18 points respectively. Dominic Gilmore & Jahmeel Watts led the Cobras in rebounding with 10 a piece. Caldwell will play Vance-Granville today at 4 p.m.


No. 1 Duke Opens Season with 94-49 Win Over Marist


DURHAM, N.C. – No. 1 Duke didn't have three of its top freshmen -- and still had more than enough to rout Marist.

Grayson Allen scored 16 points and Duke opened its season by routing the Red Foxes 94-49 on Friday night.

"We're a little bit undermanned now, and nobody feels sorry for us because they think we have an excessive number of men," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "But we just have to keep getting better."

Freshman Frank Jackson had 18 points in his debut with the Blue Devils while Luke Kennard added 16.

Duke shot 44 percent and had an easy time against the Red Foxes despite playing without three big men from a freshman class widely considered the nation's best.

Chase Jeter finished with 11 points in his first career start and Matt Jones also had 11 for Duke, which pushed its lead into double figures for good before Marist managed its first defensive stop.

Khallid Hart had 13 points to lead Marist, which was just 3 of 25 from 3-point range.

Injuries in the preseason have left the Blue Devils short in the paint: Forward Jayson Tatum missed both exhibition games after spraining his foot during a practice last month, center Marques Bolden earlier this week was declared out of both games this weekend with a leg injury, and forward Harry Giles is recovering after having his left knee scoped in October to clean up some loose bodies and scar tissue.

They didn't need them.

Duke held a 56-33 rebounding edge against an outmanned Marist team that didn't have anyone taller than 6-foot-9 on the roster.

"It speaks for the talent that we have and the confidence that we do have in the guys on the bench," Allen said. "Whoever we put out there can be a good group."

Duke: Jeter looked significantly more confident during his first start than he did at virtually any point during an uneven freshman season. With so many big men out, any production they can get from Jeter is a significant plus.

Marist: The Red Foxes met a similar fate as the previous 125 nonconference teams to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium. No shame in losing like this to Duke because the nation's No. 1 team is hardly a fair measuring stick for a young team that went 7-23 last season.

"I didn't think we played at our best," Marist coach Mike Maker said, "but Duke had a lot to do with that."

Krzyzewski says there's no time frame for the injured players' return, adding that "we're just going to shut those guys down for a while" instead of rushing them back and risking re-injury.

"I'm going to be really adamant about taking a longer time than a shorter time, no matter what," he added. Krzyzewski says Tatum may have returned to practice too soon "and that hurt him."

The Blue Devils can't climb any higher than No. 1, and at no point during this rout did they look like they deserve a lower ranking.