BOONE — Led by a career-high 25 points from Janay Sanders, App State clinched a third-place Sun Belt matchup on Saturday, Feb. 19 with a 73-55 win over Texas State.
The Mountaineers (13-10, 7-3 SBC) improved on their best start to the league since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, and they did so against a powerful opponent from Texas State.
The Bobcats (13-12, 8-5 SBC) had won five straight going into the weekend, but App State’s defense held them to 39% shooting (22 of 57), and the Mountaineers won the rebound battle 43-31.
The win also marked head coach Angel Elderkin’s 105th place finish at App State, which puts him in sole possession of second place among the program’s all-time head coaches. Linda Robinson is the program’s winningest head coach with a 236-136 record from 1984 to 1997.
Sanders, a Charlotte junior, scored 14 points in the first half and added nine more in the second to surpass her previous career high of 22 points at Mercer in November. She made 9 of 13 field goals and 7 of 11 free throws on a day when the Bobcat defense couldn’t slow her consistent drive down the lane.
Alexia Allesch and Michaela Porter added 13 points each. Porter also knocked down 11 boards to score his third consecutive double-double.
App State led 27-26 with 1:53 left in the second quarter before a Sanders layup and a straight 3-pointer from Dane Bertolina and Emily Carver pushed the Mountaineers lead to nine at halftime.
Texas State couldn’t reduce the lead to less than six points for the remainder of the run. App State reached its biggest lead of 22 at 64-42 with 6:20 left in the game.
It was App State’s fifth straight win over Texas State since the 2018-19 season.
Elderkin’s team has two more games — both at home — to close out the regular season before the Sun Belt Tournament March 2-7 in Pensacola, Fla. League-leading Troy will visit Boone on Thursday, Feb. 24, followed by a visit to South Alabama next Saturday.