The Appalachian State University men's basketball team has hit a snag.
The Mountaineers, going through their toughest stretch on the schedule, dropped a 73-64 decision at College of Charleston Saturday afternoon in a Southern Conference game at the Carolina First Arena. The Cougars (14-6 overall; 7-1 SoCon South Division) led from wire-to-wire as they maintained their grip on first place. ASU (8-11; 4-5 in the Socon North Division) dropped its second game in a row, and lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Cougars, who led 42-31 at halftime, extended their lead to a game-best 15 points with 17:45 to play in the game. The Mountaineers, who shot only 39% from the floor, never got any closer than nine points.
Donald Sims turned in another solid performance in the losing cause with 21 points and four assists. Omar Carter, who went scoreless on Thursday at The Citadel, finished with ten points,eight rebounds and two assists. But he didn't score his first field goal until 12:48 remained in the second half.
"(ASU) Coach (Jason Capel) just told me to attack the basket," Carter said. "But we missed too many layups and missed at least seven free throws to win this game. We made a run at them, and we were in contention, but we just couldn't put a strong run together because of all those missed shots. And you can't do that against a team this good."
But Carter and the Mountaineers did a great job frustrating one of the best players in the country in Andrew Goudelock, who had been averaging 26 points-a-game and shot 45% from the three-point line in this last three outings. Goudelock, who is fourth in the nation in scoring, finished with 15 points on 7-21 shooting, and he was 1-7 on three-point attempts.
"Omar and the rest of the guys that guarded him tonight did a good job," Capel said. "(Goudelock) is a great player and one of the top players in the country, and we kept him in check. But we failed to take advantage of that because we gave up too much inside. Our post defense really struggled. It looked like Jeremy Simmons scored every time he got the ball."
Simmons led the Cougars with 18 points on 6-8 shooting and nine rebounds. Antwaine Wiggins chipped in with 14 points and seven boards; Donavon Monroe finished with ten.
Anthony Breeze, making his first start of the season, tossed in a career-high 10 points in the first half before sustaining a head injury. He also had a pair of rebounds in just 15 minutes of work. Breeze collided with Goudelock late in the first half, left the floor under his own power and never returned. Andre Williamson had ten rebounds, and Petey Hausley had seven points and a rebound before he fouled out with 2:45 left.
But the news wasn't all bad as Chattanooga lost again. Furman blasted the Mocs 85-59. The loss leaves ASU only three games behind UTC for that No.1 seed in the North Division, and just one game behind Western Carolina for second place.
"We can take a lot of positives from this game," Capel said. "But what our guys have to realize is that every game is the biggest game of the year. If we come out and play with the same intensity with did today, some of our games against some of the teams we've played turn out different. We have to be consistent and compete with energy.
"We just have to keep working, stay positive and things will eventually come our way."
The Mountaineers return home to play Wofford College Thursday night. Our coverage begins at 6:15 pm on AM 1450, WATA Radio.
1 2 T
ASU 31 33 - 64
COC 42 31 - 73
ASU: CARTER 10 (8 REBOUNDS, 2 ASSISTS), BREEZE 10, HAUSLEY 7, SIMS 21 (4 ASSISTS), WOODS 3, BOOTH 9, WILLIAMSON 4 (10 REBOUNDS). FG: 22-56, 3FG: 3-9, FT: 17-24. REBOUNDS: 35, TURNOVERS: 8.
COC: SIMMONS 18 (9 REBOUNDS), WIGGINS 14 (7 REBOUNDS), HALL 7, MONROE 10, GOUDELOCK 15, LAWRENCE 6, WIEDEMAN 3. FG: 26-58, 3FG: 6-23, FT: 15-21. REBOUNDS: 37, TURNOVERS: 7.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 73, ASU 64
WOFFORD 81, SAMFORD 49
FURMAN 85, CHATTANOOGA 59
ELON 84, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 62
THE CITADEL 68, WESTERN CAROLINA 46
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:
CHATTANOOGA 7-2; 11-10
WESTERN CAROLINA 4-4; 8-12
APPALACHIAN STATE 4-5; 8-11
ELON 4-5; 10-10
UNC-GREENSBORO 3-5; 3-15
SAMFORD 2-6; 10-10
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 7-1; 14-6
WOFFORD COLLEGE 7-1; 10-9
FURMAN 6-2; 14-5
THE CITADEL 4-5; 8-13
DAVIDSON 2-6; 8-11
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 0-8; 4-17