MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will face Appalachian State in its final non-conference matchup on Friday at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
It will be a battle of the Mountaineers as WVU is 7-3 overall this season and Appalachian State is 7-1 overall and riding a six-game win streak. Appalachian State currently has three players averaging scoring figures in double digits with the team’s lone loss coming at the hands of Virginia Tech, 71-68, on Nov. 14.
Appalachian State is 2-1 on the road, with wins over Xavier, in overtime, and at East Tennessee State in its last outing on Dec. 18. The Mountaineers return four starters from last year’s squad that went 27-7 and made it to the WNIT Third Round.
Appalachian State ranks 19th in the nation for its scoring offense (76.6 ppg), 15th for its field goal percentage (.458) and No. 1 for its free-throw percentage (83.2).
Senior forward Anna Freeman leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 20.0 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game. Freeman’s scoring average ranks as the 14th highest in the nation. Freeman has collected 13 3-pointers this season, the most of any player on the Mountaineers’ roster, and is the leading free-throw shooter as she has converted 33-of-35 attempts for a .943 free-throw percentage, the fourth-highest in the nation.
Fellow senior Courtney Freeman adds 18.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game as a guard/forward. C. Freeman is accurate from the field as she shoots 51.5 percent (53-103). Sophomore Maryah Sydnor rounds out the top three scorers as she averages 12.1 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game.
In the Mountaineers’ last game against East Tennessee State, Sydnor led all players with 23 points, followed by a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds by C. Freeman and A. Freeman chipped in another 13 points. Sophomore Katie Mallow chipped in 16 points off the bench for the Mountaineers.
Appalachian State has out-rebounded opponents by 5.8 boards per game this season, along with averaging 12.8 steals per game and 17.9 assists per game.
WVU is coming off a 62-54 loss to Duquesne in its last outing on Dec. 20 at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers have three players leading the team in scoring with Ayana Dunning
recording 11.1 points per game, Christal Caldwell
having 10.6 points per game and Taylor Palmer
with 10.2 points per game. Dunning also remains the school’s leading rebounder with 7.5 boards per game.
Receiving votes in both major polls, WVU leads the Big 12 Conference in holding opponents to only 22.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers’ defense is sixth in the league as it has held opponents to 56.0 points per game and only 35.6 percent shooting from the field this season.
Friday’s game is the first meeting between the teams in the history of the program. Fans unable to attend, can listen to the game live on WAJR. Live stats and a recap of the game can be found at WVUsports.com.
Following Friday’s game, the Mountaineers will open conference play with their first Big 12 game of the season at Oklahoma on Jan. 2.