Nov. 26, 2013
BOONE, N.C. -Western Carolina women's basketball (3-3, 1-0 SoCon) opened Southern Conference play in dramatic fashion shocking Appalachian State (1-4, 0-1 SoCon) 71-63 Tuesday in the Holmes Center, giving the Catamounts the early lead in the SoCon race.
Four players scored in double figures led by junior guard Makensey Campbell who had 18 points in the contest, just two points off tying her career-high of 20. Justin Taylor added 15 points while Lindsay Simpson and Rena Wakamaeach had 14.
The victory snaps a Western Carolina nine-game losing streak to Appalachian State dating back to Feb. 7, 2009 when the Catamounts defeated the Mountaineers 75-50 in Cullowhee. The win also extends Western Carolina's winning streak to three, this season, and puts the team at .500.
Though Appalachian State would enjoy a couple of mini runs to make the game interesting, the Catamount victory really was never in doubt as the intensity shone on each of the players. Western Carolina had an answer for all of the Mountaineer's runs, and by the end of the second half, put the game in overdrive to secure the win.
Western Carolina built a 10-point, 41-31 lead, with 2:15 left in the first half. Appalachian State scored six unanswered points to only trail by four, 41-37, at the half.
The Mountaineers continued their momentum swing to open the second half. Just two minutes into the final 20 minutes of the contest, Appalachian State scored two quick buckets to tie the game at 41. That put the ASU scoring advantage to 10 straight points dating back to the first half.
Campbell put Western Carolina back on top draining one of her four three pointers to give WCU a 44-41 lead. Appalachian State came back again with six unanswered points to take a 47-44 advantage. The Mountaineer lead didn't faze the Catamounts as the team kept plugging away and cut the ASU lead to one off a pair of Wakama free throws.
A three-pointer by Taylor, with 14:23 remaining, returned the lead to Western Carolina, 48-47, and the Catamounts never trailed in the game again. Western Carolina built a seven point lead three times in the second half, with the last time 65-58 with 3:27 remaining.
Appalachian State attempted one last comeback in the final three minutes cutting Western Carolina's lead to two after Michelle Taylor hit one of two free throws to make the score 65-63 with 2:01 remaining.
Junior guard Ali Lanepushed the Catamount lead back to four, 67-63, when she answered with a lay-up. After a missed field goal by the Mountaineers, WCU came back down the court and Lane hit 1-of-2 free throws, after being fouled, to push the score to 68-63.
Western Carolina was 3-of-4 from the free throw line, including 2-of-2 from Taylor, in the final 16 seconds to ice the game.
The Catamounts connected on a season-high 11 three-pointers, which was a difference maker in the game. Appalachian State had just two treys in the game.
Western Carolina returns home Sunday to host future Southern Conference opponent East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Tip time is set for 5 p.m.