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Apps Drop Heartbreaker at NC Central PDF Print
Written by Ryan Bower   
Friday, 22 November 2013 23:44

Frank Eaves nailed a three-pointer with one minute left to send the game to overtime, but Appalachian State University men’s basketball was unable to overcome a high-flying North Carolina Central squad in a 76-70 loss on Friday night at McDougald-McLendon Gym.

Despite seeing their double-digit halftime lead erased late in the second half, the Eagles (4-1) were able to come away with their fourth-straight win of the season in their first-ever matchup against the Mountaineers (1-4).

Appalachian found itself in an early double-digit hole as NC Central grabbed a 10-point lead (12-2) less than five minutes into the ballgame and held Appalachian without a field goal until the 13:13 mark en route to their fourth-straight victory.

After Mike Nealcut the deficit to 5-2 on a pair of free throws at the 17:53 mark, the Eagles would hold Appalachian scoreless until Tevin Baskin's layup nearly five minutes later.

Appalachian entered the half facing a 14-point deficit (32-18), but was able to cut the deficit to just six points (39-33) thanks to a 9-0 run four minutes into the second half.

Baskin got things started with back-to-back layups before Chris Burgess hit a layup and nailed the ensuring free throw. Tommy Spagnolo would cap off the run with a layup of his own with 13:41 left to play.

After being held scoreless for just over three minutes, the Eagles would regain momentum thanks to several key defensive stops and pushed the lead back to double digits (45-35) with just over 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

Appalachian continued to fight over the final 10 minutes as Burgess brought the Mountaineers within three points (48-45) after connecting from beyond the arc with 8:51 on the clock and it was game on from there as the squads treated fans to a thrilling finish.

The Apps gained their first lead of the contest (55-54) when Burgess connected from long range with just under six minutes to play and led by two points (58-56) when Tab Hamiltonnailed a jumper with 4:08 on the clock.

The Eagles responded with back-to-back buckets to grab a 60-58 lead with 2:09 remaining and led by one (61-50) with 1:13 to go, but Eaves put the Mountaineers on top with a three-pointer with just one minute remaining.

Despite missing two buckets in the waning seconds, NC Central knotted the score at 63-63 when Jeremy Ingram drove through the lane and hit a layup with 10 seconds to play before Burgess missed a long three-point attempt at the buzzer as the game headed to overtime.

In overtime, the Eagles led by as many as four points (69-65) with 3:09 to play before a free throw from Michael Obachaand layup form Hamilton cut the deficit to one (69-68). Hamilton was fouled on the layup and missed the free throw, but the ball bounced off an NC Central player and the Apps retained possession with 1:20 to play.

Eaves, who was fouled on his jumper in the ensuing possession, made both shots from the charity stripe to give the Mountaineers a 70-69 edge with just over a minute to play. Ingram would convert a pair of free throws on the other end to put the Eagles back up by one (71-70) and a turnover on Appalachian’s next possession gave NCCU the ball with 49 seconds remaining.

Reggie Groves would drill a three-pointer and Ingram would knock down a pair of free throws to finally put the dagger in the Mountaineers and lead the Eagles to their fourth-straight win.

Baskin led the Mountaineers with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Burgess poured in 16, Eaves scored 14 and Hamilton finished with 10. Ingram led all players with 36 points while Alfonzo Houston tallied  16 for the Eagles.

Appalachian shot 37.1 percent (23-of-62) from the floor while NCCU made 43.6 percent (24-of-55) of its shots. The Apps had a 40-39 edge in rebounds and forced 14 Eagle turnovers.

Appalachian returns to action on Friday, Nov. 29 when it travels to Georgia for a 5 p.m. contest. The Mountaineers begin December with home games against North Greenville (Dec. 4) and Charlotte (Dec. 8).

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 4-4 all-time against current members of the MEAC and 0-1 against North Carolina Central... the Apps missed their first even field-goal attempts, five of which came from beyond the arc... Appalachian’s 18 first-half points were its fewest since scoring 17 in a 67-47 loss to East Carolina in Nov. 22, 2011... the Mountaineers’ first-half shooting percentage of 20.0 percent (5-of-25) was their lowest since connecting on just 13.3 percent (4-of-30) in a 69-37 loss at Virginia Tech on Dec. 18, 2006... Appalachian finished the Global Sports Shootout with an 0-4 record... of the other four schools competing in the event, Cincinnati went 4-0, NC Central finished 3-1, NC State was 2-2 and Campbell finished 1-3... Baskin’s 11 rebounds were a new career high.


N.C. CENTRAL 76, ASU 70 (OT)


SCORE BY PERIODS      1      2     1OT     TOTAL

APPALACHIAN STATE    18     45      7   -   70
N.C. CENTRAL         32     31     13   -   76


ASU:
BASKIN 23 (11 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 10, BURGESS 16, SPAGNOLO 2, NEAL 2, OBACHA 1, EAVES 14, TONEY 2. FG: 23-62, 3FG: 5-22, FT: 19-30. 40 REBOUNDS, 5 ASSISTS, 12 TURNOVERS.


NCCU: COPELAND 8, JAWARA 5 (8 REBOUNDS), INGRAM 36 (6 REBOUNDS), CHAPMAN 12 ASSISTS, HOUSTON 16, PARKS 6, GROVES 5. FG: 24-55, 3FG: 5-19, FT: 23-31. 39 REBOUNDS, 17 ASSISTS, 14 TURNOVERS.


Photo Courtesy: Tevin Baskin, ASU Athletics

  
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