A long second-half scoring drought and a high-powered College of Charleston offense was too much to overcome as Appalachian State University men’s
basketball dropped a 72-59 Southern Conference road contest on Wednesday at TD Arena.
The Mountaineers (8-12, 4-5) went over six minutes without a point midway through the second half and gave the Cougars (15-7, 7-3) a window of opportunity to extend their slim lead to double digits for their third-straight victory.
In a tightly contested first half in which neither team could find an edge early, the teams traded jabs as neither held more than a four point lead until a layup from Michael Obacha and a three-point play by Chris Burgess gave the Apps a 25-17 lead with 6:42 remaining in the half.
CofC would come back to take a two-point lead (29-27) with just under two minutes to play in the half, but a jumper from Jay Canty gave the Mountaineers a 35-33 lead heading into the locker room.
Nathan Healy got Appalachian off on the right foot in the second half with a layup on the team’s first possession to give the Mountaineers a four-point lead (37-33).
The Cougars would respond by reeling off an 11-3 run to take a 44-40 lead and would never trail again as it clamped down defensively. Appalachian scored on a free throw with 10:15 left to play and would not score again until Tevin Baskin nailed a jumper with 4:04 remaining.
During the scoring drought, CofC was able to extend its lead to as many as 17 points (65-48) and was never really threatened again by the Mountaineers, who were never able to cut the deficit to less than 10 points over the final four minutes.
Baskin led the Apps with 16 points while Canty added 11. Obacha added eight points and grabbed eight rebounds while Healy ripped down a game-high nine boards and Mike Neal (Greensboro, N.C./Oak Ridge Military) dished out six assists.
Andrew Lawrence paced the Cougars with 16 points while Anthony Thomas added 14 and pulled down seven rebounds. Anthony Stitt poured in 10 points with six assists and Trent Wiedeman added 10 off the bench.
Appalachian shot 37.5 percent (24-of-64) on the night while College of Charleston shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) including 17-of-25 at the free throw line. The Cougars pulled down 39 rebounds and dished out 16 assists while the Mountaineers grabbed 37 boards and notched nine assists.
The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday when they play host to arch rival Western Carolina at 4:30 p.m. as part of a men’s/women’s basketball doubleheader.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State dropped to 18-12 all-time against the Cougars including a 3-8 mark when playing in Charleston... the Mountaineers have lost four-straight contests at TD Arena... the Apps fell to 6-3 when leading at the half this season and 29-11 when leading at the half over the past three seasons... College of Charleston scored 38 points in the paint to Appalachian’s 34... the Mountaineer bench scored 25 points while the Cougar bench finished with 15.
COFC 72, ASU 59
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State 35 24 - 59
Coll. of Charleston 33 39 - 72
ASU: OBACHA 8 (8 REBOUNDS), HEALY 5 (9 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 9, NEAL 1 (6 ASSISTS), CANTY 11, BASKIN 16, BURGESS 3, TRICE 6. FG: 24-64, 3FG: 4-17, FT: 7-10. 37 REBOUNDS, 9 ASSISTS, 9 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: HEALY, BASKIN, TRICE.
COFC: BARU 9, THOMAS 14 (7 REBOUNDS), HALL 8, LAWRENCE 16, STITT 10 (7 REBOUNDS), N. JOHNSON 2, T. JOHNSON 3, WIEDEMAN 10. FG: 25-55, 3FG: 5-19, FT: 17-25. 39 REBOUNDS, 16 ASSISTS, 8 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: Tevin Baskin, ASU Athletics