WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Appalachian State used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to regain the lead and held off a late UNCW spurt to record a 54-47 victory in collegiate women's basketball action on Tuesday at Trask Coliseum.
The Mountaineers improved to 3-8 on the season while the Seahawks moved to 1-12 overall as they suffered their ninth straight setback.
Sophomore Keke Cooper tallied 14 points and junior Katie Mallow added 13 to power an Appalachian State attack that shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) for the contest. Junior Maryah Sydnor, who came into the contest averaging a team-high 21.1 points per contest, joined the duo in double figures as she was limited to a season-low 10 points. Cooper pulled down a team-high eight rebounds while Sydnor and freshman Mia Marshall added seven each as the Mountaineers enjoyed a 43-26 margin on the glass.
Junior Kelva Atkins tallied 18 points to pace UNCW, who shot 35.7 percent (20-of-56) for the contest, highlighted by a 46.4 percent (13-of-28) effort in the second half. Atkins was the only player to reach double figures as freshman Naqaiyyah Teague and Brie Mobley tallied eight points each.
Moments after a layup by freshman D'Asia Cain at the 8:31 mark gave UNCW a 38-36 advantage, a pair of 3-pointers from Mallow sandwiched around a layup by Cooper sent ASU on a 14-2 run that gave the Mountaineers a 50-40 lead with 5:12 remaining.
The Seahawks attempted one last push, using a 3-pointer from Atkins and back-to-back layups from Mobley and freshman Ryan Flowers to pull within three, 50-47, with just over two minutes remaining, but a layup by Cooper and a pair of free throws from sophomore Farrah Wood in the final 10 seconds gave the Mountaineers the seven-point victory.
In the first half, Appalachian State went inside early as it opened the contest on a 13-4 run, knocking down five of its six field goal attempts from inside the paint to build a quick nine-point advantage.
A trio of layups by Atkins brought the Mountaineers' opening run to a close and ignited an 11-0 spurt that lasted 5:19 and gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game, 15-13. The Seahawks turned up defensive pressure during the spurt, forcing Appalachian State into 11 turnovers and eight missed field goals in that span.
Appalachian State answered the Seahawks' spurt, scoring the final 11 points of the frame to take a 24-15 lead into intermission.
ASU would expand its lead to as many as 12 early in the second half before a layup by Atkins at the 12:16 mark started a 16-2 stretch that gave the Seahawks a 38-36 edge and set up the Mountaineers late-game spurt.
UNCW returns to action Friday as it closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a Noon contest at Charlotte. ASU is back on the floor Jan. 4 with a 1 p.m. contest at Furman.