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Eagles win a thriller in Boone

BOONE, N.C. – Tookie Brown scored a game-high 21 points, including the last four of the contest for the Eagles, and Georgia Southern overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to top Appalachian State, 60-59, in Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon in the Holmes Center.

After Brown’s floater in the lane put the Eagles up by three, Isaac Johnson scored on a runner for the Mountaineers with 38.6 seconds to go. The Eagles’ Mike Hughes drove to the basket, but had his runner roll off the rim with eight seconds left, and the Mountaineers flew down the floor and fed Ronshad Shabazz for an open 3-pointer from the wing. The shot came off of the rim to the right, and Justin Forrest picked up the bouncing rebound and rushed off a shot that was too long as the buzzer sounded.

Brown added three rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Eagles (14-5, 5-1), and Hughes finished with 12 points and three boards. Montae Glenn collected eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Shabazz finished with 17 points and five rebounds to lead Appalachian State (8-11, 3-3), and Johnson had nine points and 11 rebounds. James Forrest chipped in 10 points and four rebounds.

"We had to fight for this one," GS coach Mark Byington said. "App is a long team that can rebound very well, and a lot of guys had to give some good minutes. It just came down to the end, and we really wanted it."

The Eagles trailed by 12 points with 12:15 to play, but went on an 18-5 run over a span of seven minutes and took a 52-51 lead, their first of the game, on a steal and a run-out dunk by Quan Jackson.

The lead changed the next six times down the floor as the teams traded buckets until Brown hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to give the Eagles a 58-57 cushion. Shabazz missed a 3-pointer at the other end, and Brown drove into the lane and hit the runner from the right side for a 60-57 advantage with 56 seconds left.

Johnson scored a layup for the Mountaineers, trimming the margin to one point to set up the final frantic seconds. The Eagles held the Apps to 3 for 15 from the floor in the last 12 minutes of the game and forced four turnovers.

Georgia Southern will have a full week off before traveling to Atlanta for a game at Georgia State next weekend.