Blount scores 30 in Coastal’s 72-58 loss to App State

Blount scores 30 in Coastal’s 72-58 loss to App State
CCU forward Aja Blount (Source: Gabe McDonald)

CONWAY, S.C. – Junior forward Aja Blount scored a season-high 30 points for Coastal Carolina, but her standout effort wasn’t enough as Appalachian State pulled away in the second half for a 72-58 win in a Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball game Wednesday night at the HTC Center. Appalachian State was led by junior guard Brooke Bigott, who had a career-high 23 points, including five three-pointers in the third quarter alone as the Mountaineers took control.

Blount, who also had 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, was supported by sophomore guard Deaja Richardson, who had 11 points, all in the second half. The Chanticleers are now 0-9 in Sun Belt Conference play and 3-10 overall. Appalachian State, which snapped a four-game losing streak, improved to 6-7 in league play and 9-10 overall.

Bigott, who tied a school record with seven three-pointers (7-for-11), took control of the game after Richardson and senior guard Kaylin West scored back-to-back baskets to pull Coastal to within three points at 34-31 to start the third quarter. From there, Bigott hit for 15 points, all from behind the three-point arc, in a Mountaineers’ 19-2 run that helped the visitors pull away in the win. Her last three-pointer in the run gave Appalachian State its biggest lead of 20 points at 53-33 midway through the third quarter.

The Chants regrouped to pull within nine points, at 53-44, early in the fourth quarter, but guard Pre Stanley put a stop to any comeback attempt with eight points in another scoring spree by the Mountaineers. Stanley closed with 17 points and guard Janey Sanders added 11 points.

The game started in Coastal’s favor as Blount worked the inside to score 12 of her team’s first 14 points as Coastal took a 14-8 lead. But after that, Appalachian State scored 24 of the game’s next 28 points and took a 30-18 lead midway through the second quarter. But Blount was not done. She added six more points in an 8-0 run for the Chants as they pulled to within 34-26 at halftime. Blount had 20 of those 26 points and was almost unstoppable. She was 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line, with her miss ending a string of 19 consecutive made charity tosses.

Blount finished 12-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the foul line. As a team, Coastal shot 42 percent from the field (22-of-53) but made just three shots from beyond the arc. Conversely, Appalachian State shot 43 percent from the field (23-of-53) but had 10 of its buckets from three-point range. The Mountaineers also held the rebounding advantage, 40-25.

Coastal now will travel to Boone, N.C., for a rematch against Appalachian State at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 13.

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