Appalachian State University men’s basketball shaved a 15-point deficit down to just one in the second half but could not get over the hump in a 66-64 loss to Wofford on Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center. The Apps made a strong charge to come away with a win as they pulled within
three points on an Omar Carter (Charlotte, N.C./Charleston Southern) jumper at the one-minute mark and then cut the deficit to 65-64 on an Andre Williamson (Dayton, Ohio/Prince George) layup 45 seconds later.
Appalachian fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and grabbed the rebound after Wofford’s (16-11, 9-6 SoCon) Lee Skinner sank 1-of-2 shots to give the visitors a two-point cushion. On its final possession, Mike Neal (Greensboro, N.C./Oak Ridge Military) pushed the ball up the court for a layup to tie, but his shot was blocked out of bounds with four ticks remaining. Carter took ASU’s final attempt to tie the game, but the balled rimmed out and the rebound was tipped toward mid-court as the clock expired.
Coming out of halftime, the visitors used an 8-1 run out of the to pad its 27-25 lead to 36-26 and then pushed the advantage to as many as 15 points with 14 minutes to play. From there, ASU took back the momentum with a furious rally over the next nine minutes to bring the margin to just 59-58. Seven different players scored during the run, which was punctuated by a Tab Hamilton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Fishburne Military Academy) four-point play with 4:48 on the clock and set up the tight finish.
Neal led the Mountaineers (9-15, 6-9 SoCon) in scoring for a second-straight game with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 6-of-12 free throws. The freshman added three of ASU’s nine assists in addition to a rebound and a block.
Hamilton joined Neal in double figures with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting. The guard grabbed four rebounds and swiped a season-high four steals in 33 minutes on the court. Williamson notched 10 points of his own to accompany six rebounds, two blocks and an assist.
Nathan Healy (New Bern, N.C./Blair Academy) added eight points, two rebounds, two steals a block and an assist in 27 minutes, while converting three of his five field-goal attempts. Coming off the bench, Petey Hausley (Marion, N.C./Iowa Western CC) added five points and a pair of rebounds while Mitch Woods (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) chipped in six points on 2-of-3 shooting.
Appalachian shot 40 percent on the day (20-50) and converted 4-of-13 three-point attempts. The Terriers knocked down 45.5 percent of their attempts from the floor and 7-of-16 from downtown.
Brad Loesing led WC with 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting with five assists and a pair of treys. Karl Cochran added eight points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists while Drew Crowell flirted with a double-double at 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Apps finished the game with a 16-12 advantage in bench points and converted 14 Terrier turnovers into 16 points, including four on fast breaks.
ASU matched its season low in turnovers with just six on the day, but was outrebounded by 14 boards, 39-25. The Mountaineers grabbed just four offensive boards on 30 missed field goals and did not convert any second-chance points for the first time all season.
Appalachian’s three-game home stand continues on Wednesday as Chattanooga travels to the Holmes Center for a 7 p.m. contest.
WOFFORD 66, ASU 64
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Wofford College......... 27 39 66
Appalachian State... 25 39 64
WOFFORD: SMITH 7 (8 REBOUNDS), CROWELL 10 (9 REBOUNDS), COCHRAN 8 (6 REBOUNDS), GILTNER 13, LOESING 16, BYRD 1, SKINNER 11. FG: 25-55, 3FG: 7-16, FT: 9-17. 39 REBOUNDS, 14 TURNOVERS, 18 ASSISTS.
ASU: HEALY 8, WILLIAMSON 10 (6 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 11 (3 ASSISTS), VILARINO 4, NEAL 15, TRICE 1, CARTER 2, BUTTS 2, WOODS 6, HAUSLEY 5. FG: 20-50, 3FG: 4-13, FT: 20-29. 25 REBOUNDS, 6 TURNOVERS, 9 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Andre Williamson, ASU Athletics