Appalachian State University men's basketball dropped a hard-fought contest to Virginia Tech by an 87-76 final on Friday at Cassell Coliseum. The Mountaineers (1-4) battled back from an early deficit to tie the
game early in the second half, but the Hokies (5-0) hit clutch free throws down the stretch and pulled away to keep their perfect record intact. After grabbing an early 9-4 lead just four minutes into the contest, the Apps would battle the Hokies back-and-forth before Virginia Tech snagged an eight-point lead (34-26) with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Appalachian would claw its way back to tie the contest at 34-34 with just over three minutes remaining in the half before falling behind by five (41-36) in the closing seconds. Jay Canty, who finished with a team-high 21 points, would nail a layup in the closing seconds to make it 41-38 at the half.
The Hokies opened the second half on a 7-2 run to build a 50-43 lead, but Canty would score five of Appalachian's next seven points before a layup from Michael Obacha tied things at 50-50 with 14:57 left in the contest.
Despite drawing even with Virginia Tech and swinging momentum back in its favor, App State was unable to overcome the clutch free-throw shooting of the Hokies, who made 21-of-26 second-half free throws, as Virginia Tech built a double digit lead in the late stages of the second half.
Marshall Wood would give VaTech its first double-digit lead (71-60) with 6:56 left to play and the Mountaineers would never really threaten again as the Hokies led by as many as 15 points (87-72) before the Apps scored the final two buckets of the game.
Canty, who was 8-of-16 from the floor, also finished with seven rebounds while Jamaal Trice scored 19 points and dished out two assists while playing all 40 minutes. Tab Hamilton added 15 points and Nathan Healy poured in 11 and ripped down seven boards.
The Hokies were paced offensively by Erick Green, who scored a game-high 27 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line. Jarell Eddie added 23 points for Virginia Tech while C.J. Barksdale finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Wood scored 13 off the bench and ripped down eight boards.
The Mountaineers shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) in the game but connected on just 12-of-21 free throws (57.1 percent) and committed 19 turnovers. Virginia Tech shot 50.0 percent (26-of-52) from the floor and was 30-of-39 from the charity stripe.
Appalachian State finished with 35 rebounds to Virginia Tech's 27 and grabbed 12 offensive boards on the day.
Appalachian State returns home to face Duquesne at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Holmes Center before beginning a season-high four-game road trip.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 1-7 all-time against Virginia Tech... the Mountaineers have lost six-straight non-conference road games... Canty scored 20 or more points for the third time in five games... the Mountaineers have given up 80 points in four-straight games for the first time since 1996... the Apps were outscored 22-10 on the fast break, but held a 32-30 edge in points in the paint.
VIRGINIA TECH 87, ASU 76
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State 38 38 - 76
Virginia Tech 41 46 - 87
ASU: OBACHA 5, HEALY 11 (7 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 15, TRICE 19, CANTY 21 (7 REBOUNDS), BASKINS 5 (6 REBOUNDS). 35 REBOUNDS, 6 ASSISTS, 19 TURNOVERS.
VT: RAINES 3, EDDIE 23, BARKSDALE 10 (7 REBOUNDS), BROWN 9 (6 ASSISTS), GREEN 27 (4 ASSISTS), VAN ZEGEREN 2, WOOD 13 (8 REBOUNDS). 27 REBOUNDS, 16 ASSISTS, 13 TURNOVERS.
ASU - TRICE 3, CANTY 2, HEALY 2, HAMILTON.
VT - EDDIE 4, WOOD.
Photo Courtesy: Jamaal Trice, ASU Athletics