Appalachian State men's basketball defeated Furman, 72-66 at the Holmes Center on Monday as four Mountaineers tallied 14 points on the night.
The Mountaineers (11-13, 7-6 SoCon) kept themselves in the hunt for the Southern Conference North Division crown with the victory over the Paladins (6-17, 3-9).
App State came out strong against the Paladins as it earned the lead early in the half, going up as many as 18 with 4:13 left on a Nathan Healy jumper.
The Mountaineers took a 34-28 lead into the locker room, as Mike Neal added nine points and Michael Obacha had eight, going two-for-two from the charity stripe in the first half.
Furman would start a comeback in the second half, but was unable to overcome the early deficit and never led for the entire contest.
The Paladins came within three two times late in the second, but Appalachian answered at every turn, sending Furman to its fourth-straight defeat.
The Black and Gold converted four-straight free throws to take a six-point lead (70-64) with just 16 seconds to go.
Furman's Kendrec Ferrara drove to the net to bring the Paladins within four but it would not be enough as they were forced to foul Neal, who would make both his shots from the free throw line allowing App State to take the 72-66 victory.
Obacha, Healy, Jay Canty and Neal all ended the night with 14 points, while Tab Hamilton and Tevin Baskin each added five points. Healy pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked two shots, recording his sixth double-double of the season.
The Paladins were paced by a game-high 20 points from Stephen Croone, who finished 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. Larry Wideman added 11 while Ferrara and Bobby Austin each had 10.
Appalachian shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the floor on the night and converted 19-of-25 free throws while the Paladins finished at 43.1 percent (22-of-51). The Mountaineers ended the night with a 35-31 edge on the boards and dished out 10 assists to Furman's nine.
Appalachian State will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 14 when it travels to Elon. The game is slated to start at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State improved to 38-44 all-time against Furman... the Mountaineers moved to 20-15 when facing the Paladins at home and picked up their second-straight home victory against Furman... App State extended its winning streak over the Paladins to three games dating back to last season... Obacha connected on all six of his free-throw attempts after entering the night shooting just 40.9 percent from the charity stripe this season... Monday's win marked the 12th time this season that the Apps have had four double-digit scorers.
ASU 72, FURMAN 66
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Furman 28 38 - 66
Appalachian State 34 38 - 72
FURMAN: FERRARA 10 (8 REBOUNDS), COLIN REDDICK 7, CHARLES REDDICK 4, CROONE 20, WIDEMAN 11, IRWIN 4, AUSTIN 10. FG: 22-51, 3FG: 6-15, FT: 16-23. 31 REBOUNDS, 9 ASSISTS, 12 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: WIDEMAN 3, AUSTIN 2, FERRARA.
ASU: OBACHA 14, HEALY 14 (12 REBOUNDS), CANTY 14, HAMILTON 5, NEAL 14 (6 ASSISTS), BASKIN 5, BURGESS 2, TRICE 4. FG: 24-51, 3FG: 5-11, FT: 19-25. 35 REBOUNDS, 10 ASSISTS, 12 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: NEAL 3, BASKIN, HAMILTON.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Neal, ASU Athletics