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Originally published: 2013-01-03 18:29:48
Last modified: 2013-01-03 18:29:48

ASU women set for key showdown

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Appalachian State's women's basketball team is almost a mirror image of Davidson.

The teams tied for the Southern Conference regular season championship last season. Davidson got the No. 1 seed because of tiebreakers, but neither team went to the NCAA Tournament since Samford beat ASU in the SoCon Tournament finals.

Both teams went to the Women's NIT. Appalachian State reached the third round before losing to Virginia. Victories over UNC-Wilmington and N.C. State got the Mountaineers to the third round.

Davidson was picked to finish first in the SoCon this season by the league's coaches. Appalachian State was picked to win the conference title by the media.

Round one of their two-game series this season is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Davidson's Belk Arena.

Appalachian State brings a 7-2 overall record, 1-0 in the SoCon. The Mountaineers are coming off a 72-67 loss to Big 12 program West Virginia.

Appalachian State had a chance to win the game, but could not convert late possessions into points. The Mountaineers rallied from a 13-point deficit to pull into a 65-65 tie on a Kelsey Sharkey basket with 2:37 left in the game, but West Virginia outscored ASU 7-2 the rest of the game.

The Mountaineers' losses have been to West Virginia and Virginia Tech (71-68) of the ACC.

Anna Freeman leads the Southern Conference, and is 17th in the nation, in scoring with 20.6 points per game. The Mountaineers also lead the conference in scoring with 76.4 points per game, and are beating teams by an average of 17.3 points per game.

Fellow senior Courtney Freeman is second in the conference in scoring with 16.7 points per game. Maryah Sydnor, a sophomore, is 11th with 12.9 points per game.

Davidson (4-7, 1-0 SoCon) has lost three of its last four games. Tennessee throttled Davidson 75-40 on Dec. 28, one week after Charlotte beat the Wildcats 69-54.

Davidson is playing its first home game since a 59-42 win over High Point on Dec. 5. Since then, the Wildcats lost at Miami (Fla.), beat Gardner-Webb before losing at Charlotte and at Tennessee.

Sophia Aleksandravicius, a senior, is ninth in the conference, and first on the Davidson roster, in scoring with 14.3 points per game. Aleksandravicius, the reigning SoCon Player of the Year, is also second in the SoCon in rebounding with 9.9 per game, and leads the conference in blocked shots with 3.09 per outing.