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Appalachian State rallies in second half to defeat Tusculum in exhibition

Appalachian State rallies in second half to defeat Tusculum in exhibition

BOONE, N.C. --- Appalachian State broke a tie with less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter and went on to earn a 78-58 win over Tusculum in a women's basketball exhibition game on Tuesday afternoon at the Holmes Center.

Tierra Wilson scored a game-high 21 points on 6-for-7 shooting from three-point range and LaPresha Stanley added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Mountaineers, who closed the game on a 17-0 run and outscored the Pioneers 40-17 in the second half after Tusculum led by three points at halftime and for most of the first three quarters.

Sydney Wilson hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points to lead the Pioneers, while Lovely Locklear added 12 points for Tusculum, which shot 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) from the field in the second half and 32.8 percent (20-for-61) for the game. The Pioneers were outrebounded 54-40 by the Mountaineers and shot 11-for-27 from the foul line on the afternoon.

Tusculum jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead after three minutes on two baskets by Mia Long and three points from Locklear. Back-to-back three-pointers from Sydney Wilson gave the Pioneers their largest lead of the game at 20-9 with 1:52 left in the first quarter, and Tusculum held a 22-12 lead at the end of the opening period thanks in part to 11 points off Appalachian State turnovers.

The Mountaineers opened the second quarter with back-to-back three-pointers from Stanley and Tierra Wilson to cut the deficit to four, and a layup from Madi Story tied the game at 29-29 with 4:44 remaining in the first half. Tusculum regained a five-point lead at 36-31 on a three-pointer and a layup from Sydney Wilson, but saw App State take its first lead since 3-1 on a layup by Stanley with 1:12 remaining in the half.

However, Sydney Wilson drained her fourth three-pointer of the half to push the Pioneers back ahead 39-38, and Locklear converted a layup off a steal in the closing seconds to send Tusculum to the lead with a 41-38 advantage.

Sydney Wilson had 16 points on 4-for-7 from three-point range for the Pioneers, while Locklear added seven points and Callie Patterson six for Tusculum, which shot 15-for-34 (44.1 percent) from the field and 5-for-12 from three-point range. Tierra Wilson paced the Mountaineers with 11 points in the opening half, but Appalachian State shot 41.2 percent (14-for-34) in the half.

A three-pointer from Patterson opened the scoring in the second half, and Tusculum held the lead until Tierra Wilson sank a three-pointer with 3:57 to go in the third quarter to give Appalachian State a 47-46 lead.

A Locklear three-pointer tied the game at 51-51 with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter, and Maddie Sutton canned a foul shot with 29 seconds left in the period as Tusculum went back ahead 52-51. However, Tierra Wilson responded with yet another three-pointer in the closing seconds as the Mountaineers went to the fourth quarter with a 54-52 lead.

Long converted a layup to open the fourth quarter to tie the game at 54-54, and Tusculum trailed just 61-58 following a pair of layups from Yolizma Cupidan, the latter with 6:44 left. However, the Pioneers would miss their final 11 field-goal attempts and four foul shots.

Long finished with eight points and three rebounds for the Pioneers, while Cupidan had six points, four assists and three steals. Kasey Johnson added four points, six rebounds and four assists for the Pioneers, who turned the ball over 20 times but forced the Mountaineers into 20 turnovers of their own.

Maya Calder had a double-double for the Mountaineers with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, while Bayley Plummer had seven points, a game-high 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.

Tusculum will continue its exhibition schedule on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern on the road against Tennessee Tech. The Pioneers open their regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. against Converse at Pioneer Arena as part of the South Atlantic Conference/Conference Carolinas Challenge.

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