App State caps turnaround season with WBI Championship

Courtesy of Rusty Jones
Courtesy of Rusty Jones
With a 76-59 victory over North Texas Wednesday night, the Appalachian State Mountaineers (22-14) capped their season in championship fashion, winning the 2019 Women’s Basketball Invitational. With four players in double figures, the Mountaineers launched a second half offensive assault that helped them to close out the game and win the title.
 
At the outset, North Texas (18-16) seemed to have the momentum to take the game in hostile territory as App State had a record crowd at hand in the Holmes Center. The Mean Green earned a 22-15 lead in the first quarter. The Mountaineers fought back, outscoring their opponent 17-10 in the second quarter to tie the game up, 32 all, heading into the second half.
 
The game took a different turn after the break with App State setting the tone to earn a double-fight lead after a layup from Bayley Plummer at 2:11 in the third period. Heading into the last quarter, the Mountaineers had a 14-point advantage, 58-44.
 
Ashley Polacek led App State with a game-high 21 points plus four rebounds and four assists. The tournament’s MVP, Pre Stanley put up 19 points. During the tournament run, she averaged 19.3 points per game and shot a hot 51.9 percent from the field.
 
Madi Story added 17 points and five rebounds for the Mountaineers. Lainey Gosnell was also in double figures with 10 points.
 
Terriell Bradley was the only Mean Green player in double figures. She finished the night with 22 points and six rebounds. Her play earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team.
 
App State’s 22-14 season gave the team a 14-win improvement over last season. 
 
"As a coach, you hear people tell you all the time that player-led teams can go a lot farther than coach-led teams," App State head coach Angel Elderkin said. "All the reading and studying that I've done, this team was a player-led team when it came to March, and they took us on just an unbelievable ride."
 
2019 WBI MVP
 
Pre Stanley, App State
 
2019 WBI All-Tournament Team
 
Hayley Barber, Campbell
Emma Wallen, North Alabama
Terriell Bradley, North Texas
Bayley Plummer, App State
Madi Story, App State