An early second-half surge was all that Davidson needed as it downed Appalachian State University mens basketball by a 78-66 final in Southern Conference action on Saturday at Belk Arena.
After Tevin Baskin but the Mountaineers (4-12, 0-3 SoCon) up by one point (36-35) on the opening possession of the second half, the Wildcats (7-10, 3-0) used an 11-0 run to regain the lead and never trailed again en-route to its 19th-straight win over a league opponent.
The run, which started with a layup from Chris Czerapowicz at the 18:28 mark, was capped off by a three-pointer from Tyler Kalinoski two minutes later and the Wildcats grabbed a 46-36 lead before the Apps could respond.
After four quick points by App State cut the deficit to just six (46-40), Davidson scored eight of the next 10 points thanks to a pair of three pointers to make it 54-42 with 14:06 to play and the Mountaineers were never able to recover.
Though Appalachian was able to slice the lead six points later in the half, it was never able to get any closer and the Wildcats took control over the final eight minutes of play, stretching a 60-52 lead with 8:08 on the clock to a 71-59 advantage at the final media timeout (3:48).
In the first half, the Mountaineers hung tough, leading by as many as 10 points (21-11) as they connected on their first five shots and kept the Wildcats at bay until the closing seconds of the opening period when Kalinoski hit a layup to send Davidson to the locker room with a 35-34 halftime lead.
Despite the one-point halftime deficit, Appalachian was unable to stick with the Wildcats, who connected on 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the floor in the second half and suffered its fifth-straight loss to Davidson.
Jay Canty led all players with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting and fell just shy of a double-double with eight rebounds. Frank Eaves and Tab Hamilton each scored 11 points while Baskin added 10. Michael Obacha pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
Davidson was led by DeMon Brooks, who scored 19 points and ripped down six rebounds on 7-of-8 from the floor. Kalinoski scored 16 points and Czerapowicz had 15.
Appalachian shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51) on the night while the Wildcats connected on 57.1 percent (28-of-49) including a 6-of-11 mark from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers pulled down 31 rebounds to Davidsons 27 but committed 15 turnovers and dished out just six assists.
Appalachian State returns to action when it plays host to Chattanooga at 7 p.m. on Thursday before facing Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Holmes Center.
NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 32-42 all-time against Davidson... the Mountaineers also dropped to 14-21 when facing the Wildcats on the road... Obacha notched his seventh double-digit rebound of the season... Davidson picked up its 19th-straight win against a SoCon opponent (regular-season and tournament)... Saturdays contest marked the final meeting for the squads as Southern Conference members... Appalachian State will join the Sun Belt Conference next season while Davidson is headed to the Atlantic 10.
DAVIDSON 78, ASU 66
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
APPALACHIAN STATE 34 32 - 66
DAVIDSON COLLEGE 35 43 - 78
ASU: BASKIN 10, OBACHA 2 (10 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 11, BURGESS 2, CANTY 23 (8 REBOUNDS), SPAGNOLO 4, EAVES 11, NEAL 3. FG: 23-51, 3FG: 3-13, FT: 17-23. 31 REBOUNDS, 6 ASSISTS, 15 TURNOVERS.
DAVIDSON: BROOKS 19 (6 REBOUNDS), SULLIVAN 3, KALINOSKY 16 (4 ASSISTS), DRONEY 9 (7 ASSISTS), CZERAPOWICZ 15, BARHAM 7, GIBBS 6, BELFORD 3. FG:l 28-49, 3FG: 6-11, FT: 16-29. 27 REBOUNDS, 15 ASSISTS, 9 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: Jay Canty, ASU Athletics