Nathan Healy led five scorers in double-figures and Appalachian State University men's basketball continued its strong play over the last month with an 80-70 victory over visiting Elon on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center. With its fifth
victory in the last six games, Appalachian State (6-8, 2-1 SoCon) surged past Elon (8-7, 1-2 SoCon) into second place in the Southern Conference North Division standings.
Appalachian never led and trailed by as many as 12 points on three different occasions in the first half but used a 15-3 run over the final 4:57 of the opening period to send the teams into the locker room knotted at 34-34.
Healy keyed the run with a layup to pull the Mountaineers within 10 points (31-21) with just over four minutes to play as the Apps scored eight in a row to cut the deficit to just three points (31-28) on a fast break dunk by Mike Neal with 1:41 to play in the half.
The Phoenix was able to put a stop to the run when Jack Isenbarger connected from deep to make it 34-28, but back-to-back threes from Chris Burgess and Healy to end the half made it 34-34 at the break.
Neither team led by more than three points over the first eight minutes of the second half but keyed by three-pointers from Tevin Baskin, Neal and Healy, the Mountaineers took a 57-51 advantage with 8:17 to go and led the rest of the way. Elon closed within two points with 5:26 remaining but Appalachian made 7-of-9 free throws and outscored the Phoenix 17-9 down the stretch to claim the double-digit triumph.
Healy led the Mountaineers with 22 points and ripped down eight boards while Baskin recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Neal finished with 17 points and was a perfect 3-of-3 from long range while Jay Canty (12) and Tab Hamilton (10) also scored in double figures.
Elon was led by Ryley Beaumont's game-high 26 points and Lucas Troutman poured in 14 for the Phoenix, but the Mountaineers limited Isenbarger to just nine points, including a 1-for-7 mark from beyond the arc.
On the night, App State shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) and nailed half of their three-point attempts (10-of-20) while grabbing 32 rebounds. Elon shot 50.0 percent (28-of-56) but was just 4-of-20 from deep and grabbed 33 rebounds.
The Mountaineers return to action on Monday night when they play host to UNCG at 7 p.m. inside the Holmes Center.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State improved to 52-42 all-time against Elon... the Mountaineers have won six-straight home games against the Phoenix... Saturday's game marked the first time that five Mountaineers scored in double digits since a 93-81 win over College of Charleston in the first round of last year's SoCon Tournament... the Apps forced Elon into 15 turnovers, which they converted into 20 points... Appalachian's four-game winning streak is its best since the 2010-11 squad won three-straight to close the regular season and grabbed a win in the conference tournament.
ASU 80, ELON 70
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
ELON 34 36 - 70
Appalachian State 34 46 - 80
ELON: BEAUMONT 26 (9 REBOUNDS), TROUTMAN 14, HAMILTON 8 (4 ASSISTS), ISENBARGER 9, KOCH 9, BLAKE 2, WINTERS 2. FG: 28-56, 3FG: 4-20, FT: 10-16. 33 REBOUNDS, 12 ASSISTS, 15 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: BEAUMONT 2, ISENBARGER, KOCH.
ASU: HEALY 22 (8 REBOUNDS), CANTY 12, HAMILTON 10, NEAL 17, BASKIN 16 (10 REBOUNDS), BURGESS 3 (4 ASSISTS). FG: 27-55, 3FG: 10-20, FT: 16-23. 32 REBOUNDS, 14 ASSISTS, 13 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: HEALY 3, NEAL 3, HAMILTON 2, BASKIN, BURGESS.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Neal, ASU Athletics