The Appalachian State women’s basketball team played over its head Monday evening in nearly upsetting the Southern Conference-leading University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women.
Alex Black and the Mocs made sure that wasn’t good enough.
It took an extra overtime period, but UTC was finally able to pull away from the Lady Mountaineers for a 73-68 win in Boone, N.C.
Black had 17 points, with some timely baskets, while Taylor Hall led UTC (14-3, 6-0) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Ashlen Dewart scored 12 points in her second time playing as a Moc in the arena where she started her college career.
Black played 41 minutes – second only to Hall’s 44.
“Coach [Jim Foster] has been telling me and the other guards to be patient. He wants us to be slower but play quick at the same time, and I think we did a better job tonight,” Black said. “We feel good about getting this win. Coach said in the locker room that they played their best on their home court, and that we didn’t play very well but still pulled out the win.
“It’s encouraging to go home and have three straight home games.”
The Lady Mountaineers (5-10, 2-3) shot 67 percent from the floor in the first half, yet the Mocs were able to salvage a 26-all tie despite shooting 9-for-26 from the field, helped by 11 ASU turnovers. A pair of Black 3-pointers gave UTC its largest lead of the game — 50-43 with 9:59 remaining — but the hosts made a 12-4 run, briefly taking a one-point lead on a layup by Keke Cooper with 5:01 left.
UTC scored five consecutive points and led 61-58, but Bria Huffman scored on a layup with 1:13 left and Cooper hit one of two free throws with 57 seconds remaining in forcing the overtime period.
Hall and Faith Dupree were huge in overtime. Hall gave the Mocs the lead for good on a layup with 2:46 remaining. She had eight of her points in the extra frame, shrugging off a 4-for-12 shooting performance. Dupree scored the team’s other four OT points.
“We started to do a better job on the boards towards the end of regulation,” Foster said after his 797th college win. “Appalachian State was shooting a good, high percentage, but they were also getting second opportunities. Once we stopped that and started making the first shot difficult, we were good.
“You have to stay focused within the framework of the game and do the little things that are important in a timeout, or when you’re instructing the team. We made a lot of young mistakes, which can be frustrating, but App State did a good job of taking Taylor out of the game — they are a good, athletic team that has played a good schedule and plays a little more defensively than most.”
Maryah Sydnor, the conference’s leading scorer, led the Mountaineers with 20 points — right on her average. She added 14 rebounds. Cooper and Huffman added 17 points apiece.
The Mocs start a three-game home stand Saturday when they host Wofford.
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