App State women's hoops team beats Furman
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Even when Appalachian State's Maryah Sydnor is having an off night with her shot, she can still lead the Mountaineers' women's basketball team to a victory.
Sydnor made 8-of-12 free throws, including 6-of-8 down the stretch of the Mountaineers' 75-70 win over Furman at the Holmes Center Monday. Sydnor went into the game shooting 87 percent from the foul line and averaging 20.9 points per game.
Sydnor scored all of her 14 points in the second half against Furman. She missed all eight of her first-half shots from the field in the first half and did not attempt a foul shot in 15 minutes of playing time.
She ended up making just 3-of-17 from the field, but also pulled down 10 rebounds to give her a double-double.
"Your 20-point scorer goes 3-for-17 and you win the game against the No. 3 team in the conference right now," Mountaineers coach Darcie Vincent said. "That's even more amazing with the resiliency of this team."
Vincent also credited Sydnor for picking up other parts of her game, especially on defense. She had two steals and dished out three assists.
"When she's struggling at that magnitude like that, it shows the maturity of the player of somebody who really wants to win," Vincent said. "Literally yesterday, defending these threes and defending how Furman plays, Mo was exceptional at it. She was just committed to it and realizing that on one end of the court, I'm not playing, so how many deflections and steals can I get and battle for 10 boards."
Appalachian State (9-12, 6-5 SoCon) had plenty of other players pick up any scoring slack left by Sydnor. KeKe Cooper made 7-of-9 shots from the field and scored a team-high 16 points, while Bria Huffman added 15 points after making all five of her foul shots.
Vincent said Huffman played with some anger Monday night. If Huffman can keep that anger without it boiling over, Vincent thinks the junior forward can be a force in the league.
"I was more confident that Bria was going to make her free throws tonight because they made her mad," Vincent said. "She gets a little swag to her. There are just certain players get pushed to that level, they play better and Bria is definitely one of them."
Katie Mallow scored 14 points coming off the bench.
Appalachian State's final shooting percentage was 42.9 percent. Take away Sydnor's shooting numbers and that number goes up to 48 percent.
Furman got 20 points from Brittany Hodges and 17 points from Holli Wilkins. The Paladins made just 1-of-15 from 3-point range and shot 38.2 percent from the field.
App State led the entire second half, except for one tie, but never led by more than seven points. The Mountaineers led 67-66 when Huffman made two key plays, starting by making two foul shots to put App State in front 69-66.
Huffman then took a charge from Furman's Whitney Bunn on the other end of the court.
"That was after our stare down, so I knew she was going to come out kind of angry," Huffman said. "Knowing the player she is, I knew she was going to attack me, so I got in front of her and fell and they called it."
The Mountaineers did not score on their ensuing possession, but they got another stop on the defensive end of the Court, and Sydnor made two free throws to give the Mountaineers a 71-66 lead.
Furman got to within three points on three different occasions, but no closer.
Appalachian State travels west to play at Chattanooga on Saturday and at Samford on Monday. The Mountaineers return home to face UNCG on Feb. 15.
Appalachian State women 75, Furman 70
Furman 70 (12-10, 6-5 SoCon)
Hodges 6-12 8-12 20, Beasley 1-4 0-0 2, Durdaller 3-12 4-4 10, Wilkins 8-18 0-0 17, Morrissey 2-8 2-4 6, Roberts 1-1 2-3 4, Ellis 0-1 0-0 0, Bunn 5-12 1-1 11, Goodwin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-68 17-24 70.
Appalachian State 75 (9-12, 6-5)
Cooper 7-9 2-3 16, Sydnor 3-17 8-12 14, Marshall 1-4 2-2 4, Jones 1-5 0-0 2, Huffman 5-11 5-5 15, Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor 2-4 0-0 4, Mallow 5-8 3-4 14, Doniere 27-63 20-26 75.
Halftime score--App State 34, Furman 31. 3-point goals--Furman 1-15 (Wilkins 1-2, Bunn 0-4, Beasley 0-3, Durdaller 0-2, Ellis 0-1), App State 1-7 (Mallow 1-2, Sydnor 0-3, Wood 0-1, Doniere 0-1). Rebounds--Furman 44 (Hodges 14), App State 42 (Sydnnor 10). Assists--Furman 14 (Morrissey 8), App State 13 (Sydnor, Mallow 3). Steals--Furman 7 (Morrissey 4), App State 9 (Sydnor 2). Turnovers--Furman 15, App State 14. Total fouls--Furman 19, App State 21. Fouled out--App State, Cooper. Technical fouls--None. Att.--303.