|ASU falls in OT|
|Written by Mike Kelly|
|Friday, 20 November 2009 18:20|
The Appalachian State men's basketball team made a gallant comeback only to fall short in overtime against Arkansas Friday night in Fayetteville.
The Mountaineers (2-2) grabbed an early 4-0 lead, but it quickly evaporated as Arkansas (2-1) put together a 19-0 run and eventually led by as many as 20 points in the first half.
"I don't know what happened, but we came here to win this game," said senior Ryann Abraham, who sparked Appalachian's second-half comeback with a strong defensive effort on the perimeter. "They just caught fire and pulled away from us. But we kept fighting and got ourselves back in the game."
Trailing 38-23 to start the second half, the Mountaineers proceeded to chip away and got within three with 1:53 to go in regulation time. The Mountaineers eventually tied it on a three-pointer by Josh Hunter with 5.6 seconds left. Rodney Clark of the Razorbacks, who was averaging 33-points-a-game, missed a three at the horn forcing overtime, tied at 68.
"I simply blew the play," said Hunter, who finished with his first double-double of the year with 11 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of work. "I was suppose to set a screen for Donald (Sims), but I didn't get there. Fortunately, he found me."
But despite those heroics by Hunter, the Apps ran out of gas in the extra session. Arkansas put together a 7-0 run to start the overtime period. Clark highlighted the run with five points, including a three. The Razorbacks, who outscored ASU 13-4 in the overtime period, built a seven-point lead and coasted home.
"We just weren't properly focused in overtime," Hunter said. "They were the Univesity of Arkansas, one of the better teams in the Southeastern Conference, and we let it get away. We should have won this game. Don't blame the coaches. It was our fault."
Donald Sims led ASU with 17 points; Kellen Brand finished with 13.
"It's still a loss, but I'm proud of our players the way they fought back." said coach Buzz Peterson. "It shows them that no matter what happens, you're never out of a game. Just keep playing hard and don't watch the scoreboard."
Brand also turned in a solid effort on Clark in the second half, holding him to two shots.
"Kellen did a heck of a job on the best shooter in the country." Peterson said. "As a matter of fact, we did a great job defensively to get back in the game. But we didn't start attacking them until the second half.
"They don't have a bench, and they gave us some easy looks early. But we didn't finish. We missed four easy layups in the first half, that could have made a difference in this game. But you learn from games like this."
ASU outrebounded Arkansas, 39-38. And the Apps only made 13 turnovers. ASU will close out the road trip Monday night against Louisville. Our coverage comes your way at 6:15 pm on WATA 1450 AM.
NOTES: The news wasn't so good for the ASU women. They lost to Charlotte in their home opener 74-57 Friday night at the Holmes Center. Sam Ramirez and Canesha Edwards led ASU (1-1) with 12 points each; Anna Freeman had nine boards. The women travel to Gardner Webb Tuesday night.
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