BOONE, N.C. — The Appalachian State men’s basketball team hit 13 3-pointers and pulled away late from Georgia Southern to win 88-81
Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers win their sixth straight overall to move to 11-6 and 6-2 in the Southern Conference. The Eagles fall to 12-6 and 5-3.
“I thought we battled pretty hard,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “We’ve got to handle our slow starts. It’s been a pattern for us — we spotted App State probably nine points at the start of each half. We’ve got to come out and start games better. We did a nice job in the first half of battling back and somewhat in the second half.”
GSU fell behind 10-0 to start and did not score until the 16:02 mark, but managed to come back and eventually take the lead. The Eagles trailed by one at the half after senior Matthew Fields (Jacksonville, Fla.) tipped in an inbounds pass with 0.3 seconds left at the buzzer.
The teams were relatively even in the first three minutes of the second half but a 10-0 ASU run that started with 16:35 to go pushed the advantage to 12, 56-44. A 13-3 rally by Georgia Southern cut the margin to two once again, but GSU would get no closer.
“We had several opportunities where we had a chance to cut it to two or three at the free throw line and we missed two free throws. Those don’t just kill your momentum when you’re on the road but it doesn’t allow us to get in to our set defense, our press or change things or do whatever we want and when we miss the second end of that free throw you can’t do that. I thought our starts of each half and free throws really cost us.”
Georgia Southern went 12-for-19 (63.2%) at the line.
Eight of App State’s 14 field goals in the first half came from behind the arc. For the game they shot 13-for-25 from long-range against the best 3-point defense in the league.
“We played a team that’s just shooting the ball incredibly from the 3-point line. It’s easier said than done — your goal is to go into the game and not let them hit any 3’s. It sounds a lot easier than it is to
do and they have a pretty good inside attack and they’re able to score down there as well.”
For Georgia Southern, senior Louis Graham (West Palm Beach, Fla.) notched his fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) had 16 points, senior Dwayne Foreman (Apopka, Fla.) had 15 and Fields had 11.
Appalachian State’s Kellen Brand totaled a team-high 20 points and Donald Sims added 19, shooting 5-for-7 from 3-point territory. Donte Minter tallied a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards.
The Eagles return home Thursday to host Wofford at 7:30 p.m.