Appalachian State may have a pretty good FCS football team. But their women's basketball team was no match for the first iteration of Joanne Boyle's Virginia Cavaliers, who took down the Mountaineers 80-48 in front of a crowd of over 3000.
After the 2010-2011 season, Hall of Fame coach Debbie Ryan stepped down, ending a very storied career. Last night, new head coach Joanne Boyle began her stint stalking the court as the leader of the program. The Cavaliers did their part as Boyle improved to 10-0 in season-opening games as a head coach.
Senior Chelsea Shine led all scorers with 15 points. Three other Cavaliers joined her with double figures: Sophomore Jazmin Pitts (13), Sophomore Ataira Franklin (11) and Junior Lexie Gerson (10). The scoring was pretty balanced even beyond that, however, as Senior Ariana Moorer had 9 points and Junior China Crosby had 8.
It was an odd sight to see someone other than Debbie on the sidelines. But the play of the Cavaliers did a lot to soften the change. While it is clear that the 2011-2012 iteration of the program is still a work in progress, there were a lot of encouraging signs. Some solid passing, some good back door courts, great play under the basket. It wasn't consistent, but it was there. And that's something that I haven't been able to say when watching the team the last couple years.
The Cavaliers travel to Providence on Monday for a 7pm game before returning home for games on Wednesday and Sunday against High Point and Tennessee respectively.