BOONE, N.C. — An early scoring burst allowed Appalachian State University to take a large first-half lead against Georgia Southern and a solid defensive stand in the second half carried the Mountaineers to a 79-51 win Saturday.
Omar Carter had the hot hand early with 15 first-half points to help the Mountaineers to an early 28-14 advantage. Carted added 10 more after the intermission to lead all scorers with 25 on the afternoon. The junior guard was 8-of-15 on the day with five three-pointers to accompany five rebounds and three steals.
Georgia Southern (4-13, 0-4 SoCon) cut its 14-point deficit to as close as five points before the break, before the Apps stopped the rally to hold a 40-31 lead after 20 minutes of play.
ASU’s shooting touch cooled over halftime as the Mountaineers converted just one of their first eight shots to open the second half. GSU took advantage and climbed back within four points at 42-38.
Cameron Baskerville converted a layup to cut ASU’s lead to 56-49 with eight minutes to play.
With the game in the balance, Appalachian then took off on a 20-0 run spanning the next five and a half minutes to lock down the victory. GSU scored just two points in the final eight minutes.
Appalachian (7-7, 3-1) shot 46.9 percent from the field in the game and locked down to keep the Eagles to 7-of-27 shooting in the second half.
Donald Sims was 7-of-15 from the field for 19 points in addition to five rebounds and a team-high five assists. Sims was one of five players with at least five rebounds for the Black and Gold as the team held a 43-29 advantage on the glass.
Georgia Southern was led by 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting by Ben Drayton. The guard added four assists and four of the squad’s nine steals.