Appalachian State University men’s basketball regained its shooting touch but was unable to overcome first-place Elon’s solid rebounding advantage and a 17-8 turnover margin in an 82-59 loss on Monday night at Alumni Gym. The loss snapped a string of seven-straight victories
over the Phoenix and marked a split in the regular-season series with the division rival.
Led by Nathan Healy’s (New Bern, N.C./Blair Academy) 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, the Mountaineers (9-14, 5-8 SoCon) bounced back from a rough first half (10-28 FG) to shoot 66.7 percent after the break to finish the night at 49 percent from the field. ASU did not crack the 40-percent mark in either of its last two games, but solid offensive performances off the bench buoyed the mark, which included 6-of-12 three-point attempts.
Cold shooting to open the game put the Apps in an 11-0 hole to start before a flurry of three-pointers pulled the Mountaineers back within six points at 18-12 midway through the period. However, Elon (13-10, 8-4) sank 6-of-10 treys of its own in the opening frame to pull out to a 39-23 halftime lead.
From there, the Phoenix kept the momentum on its side by scoring the first seven points in the second half to increase the advantage to more than 20 points and cruised behind solid shooting of its own to earn the double-digit win. Elon shot 45.2 percent in the game and 8-of-20 from downtown.
Sebastian Koch led his squad with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting and four three-pointers. Three other Elon players reached double figures on the night, including Drew Spradlin’s 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Jack Isenbarger dished out seven of the Phoenix’s 21 assists on the night to accompany 11 points.
In his first action in nearly a month, senior Petey Hausley (Marion, N.C./Iowa Western CC) came out firing for eight points in six second-half minutes. The forward was 3-for-3 from the field and sank both free throw attempts to accompany one rebound, a block and a steal. Sophomore Mitch Woods (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) connected on 3-of-6 attempts for a career-best eight points as well. He added an assist and a steal in 19 minutes.
Despite its 38-28 advantage on the glass, no Elon player hauled in more than five rebounds in the contest. ASU’s Isaac Butts (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College Prep) grabbed 10 boards to pace the Apps. The center added four points on 2-of-2 shooting. Andre Williamson (Dayton, Ohio/Prince George) was also active on the boards with four rebounds to accompany four points, a block and a steal.
Appalachian was limited to just three offensive rebounds for six points, compared to 18 points off of 13 offensive boards for Elon. ASU held a 27-13 advantage in bench points and scored 32 points in the paint. The Mountaineers close the two-game road swing at Furman on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Timmons Arena.
NOTES: Elon snapped a seven-game winless streak against the Mountaineers, dating back to 2007-08 ... Healy led ASU in scoring for a third-straight game ... Butts’ 10 rebounds marked the big man’s highest total since he hauled in 13 against Milligan on Nov. 26.
ELON 82, ASU 59
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
APPALACHAIN STATE.. 23 36 59
ELON............... 39 43 82
ASU: HEALY 14, TRICE 4, WILLIAMSON 4, HAMILTON 5, NEAL 5, VILARINO 4, CARTER 3 (4 ASSISTS), BUTTS 4 (10 REBOUNDS), WOODS 8, HAUSLEY 8. FG: 24-49, 3FG: 6-12, FT: 5-11. 28 REBOUNDS, 17 TURNOVERS, 9 ASSISTS.
ELON: BEAUMONT 10 (5 REBOUNDS), TROUTMAN 9 (5 REBOUNDS), SPRADLIN 18, ISENBARGER 11, KOCH 21, BONNEY 2, MOODY 4, WINTERS 2, ERVIN 5. FG: 28-62, 3FG: 8-20, FT: 18-23. 38 REBOUNDS, 8 TURNOVERS, 21 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Nathan Healy, ASU Athletics