The Appalachian State men's basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak at Samford on Saturday in Birmingham, AL.
The Mountaineers (3-3 overall; 1-1 Southern Conference North Divsion) led by Jeremy Booth, who poured in a career-high 22 points, defeated Samford 78-69. Booth was joined by Donald Sims with 28 points and Andre Williamson 16 points in double figures.
"This is a big win for us," said ASU coach Jason Capel. "I was not very happy with our effort at Chattanooga (Thursday) night. Tonight, we came out focused and full of energy."
Booth, who scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half, was 11-24 from the floor and 4-10 at the three-point line.
"We need a third scorer," Capel said. "Donald will score his points, and Omar (Carter) has been pretty solid for us, but he struggled today (only three points). But Jeremy really came through. He was over due. He has the ability to make shots, and he was really on his game today. We needed it, and this win was a huge for us."
Booth bettered his effort of 21 points against Georgia Southern last season. The Apps also out-rebounded Samford 30-26. Sims had seven boards, and Williamson had eight.
"We wanted to speed the game up tonight," Capel said. "I wanted energy and aggressive hands on the floor. Our goal was to rush their Princeton offense. Samford is a very intelligent team, but I felt if we sped things up, we would disrupt their comfort zone."
The Bulldogs (5-4; 1-1) made 18 turnovers.The teams battled through three ties and eight lead changes. But the Mountaineers, who blew a nine-point lead in the first half, finally pulled away with a 45-point explosion in the second half.
Sims scored 14 of Appalachian's first 21 points in the game. ASU, which shot 52% in the first half, shot 51% for the game. ASU was also 7-19 from three-point range. The Mountaineers were also 19-22 from the foul line. Jeffrey Merritt led the Terriers with 20 points.
"It was nice to break our losing streak," Booth said. "We didn't play very well against Chattanooga. We just came out flat in that game. That shouldn't happen. We've got to be ready to play all the time.
"But we mixed things up a bit tonight. They're not real big, so we attacked them inside. We were more focused on defense."
The Mountaineers will take some time off for final exams,and then it's off to Washington DC next Sunday to play nationally-ranked Georgetown.
"I look at that game as a great challenge for our team," Capel said. "Georgetown is big and they're very athletic. And, believe it or not, they run the Princeton offense as well. But I have a lot of confidence in this team. When they're focused, and their energy level is high, I feel we can play with anyone in the country."
Our coverage between ASU and Georgetown begins at 11:15 am next Sunday on AM 1450, WATA.
1 2 T
ASU 33 45 - 78
SAMFORD 32 37 - 69
ASU: CARTER 3, WILLIAMSON 16 (8 REBOUNDS), SIMS 28 (7 REBOUNDS), BOOTH 22, WOODS 2 (6 ASSISTS), HEALY 4, WRIGHT 2. FG - 26-51, 3FG - 7-19, FT - 19-22. 30 REBOUNDS, 15 TURNOVERS.
SAMFORD: DAVIS 8, WINDLER 5, MERRITT 20, BEDWELL 4, WOOTEN 7, PETERSON 6, JOHNSON 6, FRIDAY 3, COOK 5, KING 5. FG - 27-56, 3FG - 9-26, FT: 6-9. 26 REBOUNDS, 18 TURNOVERS.