Appalachian State (6-15, 2-6 SoCon) made 53.1 percent of its shots (26-of-49), including 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-of-21) but couldn't overcome an even better shooting effort by Elon (12-11, 5-3 SoCon), which made 55.8 percent of its field-goal attempts (29-of-52) and sank 11-of-25 three-pointers (44 percent).
Elon took control early with a 13-2 run and Appalachian State was never able to get closer than five points the rest of the way. The Phoenix extended its lead to as many as 17 points midway through the second half but Appalachian pulled within single-digits on four separate occasions late in the ballgame and cut the deficit to seven points when Michael Obacha (Edo State, Nigeria/High Point Christian) made the first of two free throws with 41 seconds to go. However, Obacha missed the second charity shot and Elon made 5-of-6 of its own free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Burgess scored 13 of his career-best 19 points in the second half to keep Appalachian within striking distance. The 5-8 sophomore made 7-of-10 shots from the field overall, including two three pointers, and sank all three of his free throws to top his previous career of 16 points, set in overtime loss at North Carolina Central on Nov. 22. The Mountaineers' point guard also dished out a game-high-tying five assists.
Burgess led four Appalachian State scorers in double-figures. Highlighted by a career-high five three-pointers, Mike Neal (Greensboro, N.C./Oak Ridge Military) scored 17 points while Tab Hamilton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Fishburne Military) and Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County) added 15 and 10, respectively. Obacha led all rebounders with 13, including six off the offensive boards.
Elon had five in double-figures, led by Lucas Troutman, who scored a game-high 21 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 marksmanship from the foul line. Sebastian Koch (17), Ryley Beaumont (14), Jack Isenbarger (14) and Tanner Samson (11) rounded out Elon's five double-digit scorers. In all, the Phoenix's five starters (Troutman, Koch, Beaumont, Isenbarger and Kevin Blake) combined to shoot a lofty 62.5 percent from the field (25-of-40).
Appalachian State looks to snap a two-game skid on Thursday when it hosts The Citadel at the Holmes Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: A season-high 2,004 was in attendance for Appalachian State Men's Basketball Alumni Day Appalachian's 1979 Southern Conference championship team, including head coach Bobby Cremins, was on hand to be honored for the 35th anniversary of the Mountaineers' first SoCon title and NCAA Tournament berth it was announced during the recognition of the '79 squad that the team members will be receiving championship rings, which it was not presented with following its title season it was also announced as part of the Alumni Day celebration that over $30,000 has been raised to go towards a newly established scholarship endowment in honor of legendary Appalachian head coach Bob Light Appalachian State shot better than 50 percent from the field for the second time in three games (it made 55.7 percent of its shots in last Thursday's win 80-67 win at The Citadel) Appalachian out-rebounded Elon, 29-25, marking the fourth-straight game and fifth time in six games that it the Mountaineers have grabbed more boards than their opponent after dishing out 15 or more assists just three times in the first 17 games of the season, Appalachian State has now done so three times in the last four games, including Saturday's 16.
ELON 83, APPALACHIAN STATE 76
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
ELON UNIVERSITY 45 38 - 83
APPALACHIAN STATE 34 42 - 76
ELON: BEAUMONT 14, TROUTMAN 21, BLAKE 4, ISENBARGER 14, KOCH 17 (7 REBOUNDS, 5 ASSISTS), SAMSON 11, HAMILTON 2. FG: 29-52, 3FG: 11-25, FT: 14-18. 25 REBOUNDS, 20 ASSISTS, 8 TURNOVERS.
ASU: OBACHA 7 (13 REBOUNDS), SPAGNOLO 10 (7 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 15, BURGESS 19 (5 ASSISTS), NEAL 17 (4 ASSISTS), KOBANI 2, TONEY 6. FG: 26-49, 3FG: 9-21, FT: 15-24. 29 REBOUNDS, 16 ASSISTS, 12 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Burgess, ASU Athletics