UNCG opened the second half with a 13-6 run to erase Appalachian State University men's basketball's halftime edge and hand the Mountaineers a 66-60 loss on Thursday evening at the Holmes Center.
Despite making just 30 percent of its field-goal attempts in the first half, Appalachian State (4-11, 0-2 SoCon) shot 57.1 percent from three-point range, 88.9 percent from the free-throw line and forced 11 turnovers in the opening period to take a 30-29 halftime lead. The Mountaineers went on to shoot 39.3 percent from the field in the second half but made just 10 percent of their three-pointers and 58.3 percent of their free throws after the break en route to the defeat.
In a highly-competitive game, the Spartans (9-9, 1-1) grabbed a 18-9 and led by eight points (27-19) with 5:41 on the clock, but Appalachian finished the half on an 11-2 run and headed into the locker room with a 30-29 lead after Tevin Baskin nailed a three pointer with nine seconds left.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as UNCG grabbed the lead for good (34-32) on Drew Parker's three pointer with 17:04 remaining in the game.
The Mountaineers were able to slice the lead to one point (42-41) with 12:18 left to play and trailed by just three points (50-47) with a little over seven minutes to go.
It would be all the closer the Apps would come the rest of the way as the Spartans eventually went up by 11 points (61-50) with 1:28 left and nailed key free throws down the stretch to seal the deal.
Jay Canty scored a game-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added six rebounds, three steals and two assists to pace Appalachian State. Baskin and Tab Hamilton chipped in with 13 points apiece.
Nicholas Paulos and Tevon Saddler led UNCG with 13 points each while Kyle Cain tallied a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Appalachian shot 34.5 percent (20-of-58) on the night while the Spartans connected at a clip of 46.9 percent (23-of-49). UNCG outrebounded the Mountaineers 41-34 but committed 21 turnovers to Appalachian's 14.
The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday when they travel to Davidson for a 7 p.m. contest at Belk Arena.
NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 22-19 all-time against the Spartans... UNCG snapped a two-game losing streak at the Holmes Center... Appalachian was outscored 32-22 in the paint but held a 20-11 edge in points off turnovers... Canty scored in double figures for the third-straight game since his return on Jan. 2... as of the end of the game, $475 had been raised to assist the Michael Obacha Shoe Drive with the shipment of shoes to Nigeria... for more information on the shoe drive, click HERE.
UNCG 66, ASU 60
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
UNC-GREENSBORO 29 37 - 66
APPALACHIAN STATE 30 30 - 60
UNCG: LOCKE 7, CAIN 12 (14 REBOUNDS), SADDLER 13 (6 REBOUNDS), PARKER 4, PAULOS 13, BALDWIN 2, POTTS 7, WHITE 8 (8 REBOUNDS). FG: 23-49, 3FG: 4-12, FT: 16-25. 41 REBOUNDS, 10 ASSISTS, 21 TURNOVERS.
ASU: BASKIN 13 (6 REBOUNDS), CANTY 15 (6 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 13 (6 REBOUNDS), BURGESS 7, SPAGNOLO 6, NEAL 6. FG: 20-58, 3FG: 5-17, FT: 15-21. 34 REBOUNDS, 8 ASSISTS, 14 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: Jay Canty, ASU Athletics