Miami (Fla.) used a 12-1 run near the end of the first half to break open a close game and went on to down Appalachian State University men’s basketball, 84-54, on Friday evening at the
Appalachian (5-7) closed out the lion’s share of its non-conference schedule with its fifth loss in six games and fell to 1-6 away from home this season.
Cold shooting was the primary culprit in Friday’s loss. ASU, which came into the game shooting 43.8 percent for the season and made 52 percent of its shots in last Thursday’s 77-74 home win over Campbell, was just 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the field on Friday, including an ice-cold 29 percent (9-of-31) in the first half.
Conversely, Miami (8-4) made 54.9 percent of its shots (28-of-51), including a blistering 60.9 percent (14-of-23) in the second half. The U also knocked down 7-of-16 three-pointers (43.8 percent), including 6-of-12 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Mountaineers opened strong, leading for much of the first eight minutes of the game and trailing just 19-16 with less than eight minutes to go before halftime. However, Miami scored 20 of the final 28 points of the opening period, including a back-breaking 12-1 run in the waning minutes of the half that gave Appalachian a 39-24 deficit going into the locker room.
ASU cut the deficit to 14 three minutes into the second half but the Hurricanes went on a 35-15 run over the next 15 minutes to stretch their lead to as large as 34 points.
Perhaps the lone bright spot for the Apps was the play of Andre Williamson (Dayton, Ohio/Prince George). The junior forward was the only Mountaineer in double-figures with a season-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. He also led ASU with seven rebounds and made what might have been the play of the season to date with a thunderous dunk following an authoritative drive down the lane early in the second half.
Freshman point guard Mike Neal (Greensboro, N.C./Oak Ridge) nearly doubled a career-high with seven assists to lead an unselfish all-around effort that saw Appalachian dish out assists on 15 of its 20 field goals.
Durand Scott led five Hurricanes in double-figures with 17 points.
ASU, which brings a 1-1 Southern Conference record into 2012, returns to conference action on Jan. 5 at Samford. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET in Birmingham, Ala.
NOTES: Junior guard Rodney Milum did not travel with the Mountaineers to Miami as he attended to family matters ... among the large contingent of Mountaineer fans in attendance were ASU football starting quarterback Jamal Jackson and Appalachian baseball second baseman and Miami native Hector Crespo ... former Mountaineer running back Travaris Cadet, also a Miami native, stopped by to wish the team well upon its arrival in South Florida on Thursday night.
MIAMI 84, ASU 54
1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State.........24 30 - 54
Miami........................39 45 - 84
ASU: CARTER 4, WILLIAMSON 19 (7 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 8, NEAL 7 (7 ASSISTS), VILARINO 2, HEALY 2, TRICE 6, WOODS 6. FG: 20-57, 3FG: 6-22, FT: 8-16. 30 REBOUNDS, 15 TOURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
MIAMI: KADJI 3, JOHNSON 11 (8 REBOUNDS), LAKIN 8, SCOTT 17 (4 ASSISTS), McKINNEY-JONES 11, JONES 11 (8 REBOUNDS), BROWN 15, SWOOPE 2, ADAMS 3. FG: 28-51, 3FG: 7-16, FT: 21-27. 34 REBOUNDS, 9 TURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Andre Williamson, ASU Athletics