Appalachian State University men’s basketball overcame a pesky Wofford squad as it picked up its first Southern Conference victory of the season in a tight 50-
49 battle on Tuesday at Benjamin Johnson Arena. The Mountaineers (5-8, 1-1 SoCon) picked up their third-straight victory overall as the Terriers (6-9, 0-2) dropped their third-straight game and remain winless in conference play. After Nathan Healy opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Wofford responded with a quick layup to draw within one, but Appalachian was able to maintain its lead in the early going before the Terriers jumped in front by one (10-9) with 13:10 to play in the first half.
App State responded by scoring the next four points to take a 13-10 lead on a pair of free throws from Chris Burgess and a layup from Jay Canty, but a 6-0 Wofford run put the Mountaineers behind by three (16-13) with 10:56 left on the clock.
The Terriers would maintain the lead for the next five minutes before Healy again put the Apps in front by one (23-22) with 5:39 remaining as the Mountaineers were able to take a 26-25 lead into the locker room.
Appalachian’s momentum would carry over into the second half as Healy once again connected from long range to open the scoring and put the Mountaineers up by four (29-25). The bucket would spark a 10-2 run to open the half as App State pushed its lead to nine points (36-27) with 17:15 left to play.
Wofford would regain the momentum with an 8-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to just one point (36-35) before a layup from Mike Neal put and end to a nearly three-minute scoring drought and put the Apps back up by three with 13:45 on the clock.
The Terriers would not back down as they reeled off a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 47-40 lead with 8:29 left to play. Back-to-back buckets from Tevin Baskin and Tab Hamilton would pull the Mountaineers back within three points (47-44) with 7:15 to go.
After Wofford nailed a long two-pointer moments later, Appalachian would respond when Neal corralled an offensive rebound for a putback to make it a one-point Terrier lead (49-48) with just over four minutes left.
Another layup from Baskin gave Appalachian a 50-49 lead with 2:32 left to play before Canty swatted away a shot by Spencer Collins seconds later to keep the Mountaineers in front. With just four seconds remaining in the contest, Baskin made the biggest play of the game as he came away with a block on Justin Gordon’s layup and Appalachian ran out the clock for the win.
Baskin and Healy led the Mountaineers in scoring with 10 points each while Canty and Neal each tallied eight. Canty led all players with nine rebounds and also notched three steals.
Wofford was paced by a game-high 13 points from Collins while Lee Skinner finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Appalachian shot just 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the floor while the Terriers shot just 36.2 percent (17-of-47). The Terriers outrebounded the Mountaineers 36-32 but committed 14 turnovers to Appalachian’s nine.
The Mountaineers return to action when they play host to Elon at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday before taking on UNCG at 7 p.m. on Monday.
GAME NOTES: The Mountaineers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Terriers and improved to 23-15 all-time against Wofford... Appalachian’s three-game winning streak is its longest since the 2010-11 squad closed out the regular season with four-straight wins... the Mountaineers outscored the Terriers 24-22 on the paint, 14-10 off turnovers and 12-7 on second-chance buckets.
ASU 50, WOFFORD 49
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State 26 24 - 50
Wofford College 25 24 - 49
ASU: OBACHA 5, HEALY 10 (5 REBOUNDS, 3 ASSISTS), HAMILTON 7, NEAL 8 (3 ASSISTS), CANTY 8 (9 REBOUNDS), BASKIN 10, BURGESS 2. FG: 20-57, 3FG: 3-18, FT: 7-9. 32 REBOUNDS, 8 ASSISTS, 9 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: HEALY 2, HAMILTON.
WOFFORD: SKINNER 10 (8 REBOUNDS), COCHRAN 9, FAITHFUL 2 (4 ASSISTS), COLLINS 13, BYRD 6, wAGENER 3, GORDON 4, NEUMANN 2. FG: 17-47, 3FG: 3-10, FT: 12-15. 36 REBOUNDS, 9 ASSISTS, 14 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: COCHRAN, COLLINS, BYRD.
Photo Courtesy: Tevin Baskin, ASU Athletics