Donovan Gregory posted a career high 19 points as App State men’s basketball defeated Georgia Southern 77-71 on Saturday.
The victory completes a weekend sweep of the Eagles (7-6, 1-3 SBC) for the Mountaineers (9-4, 3-1 SBC) and pushes the Black and Gold’s win streak in the series to four games. In each of the four wins, App State has erased a double digit deficit en route to a victory.
App State found themselves down 29-18 with just under six minutes remaining in the first half. The Mountaineers countered with a 11-3 run to pull within three points at 32-29 with 3:47 left in the opening frame. Georgia Southern held the lead for the remainder of the half and took a 42-37 lead into the intermission.
In the second half, the Eagles opened a 50-43 lead before App State scored five straight points to pull within two. Georgia Southern pushed its lead back to six points at 54-48, only to see the Black and Gold storm back and take a 58-56 lead on a layup from Adrian Delph with 8:20 remaining.
The score would be tied twice more before the Mountaineers used two free throws from James Lewis Jr. and a basket from Gregory to take a 64-60 edge. App State pushed its lead to 68-62, but the Eagles responded with a 9-3 spurt to tie the score at 71-71 with 1:39 left to play.
Gregory gave the Mountaineers a 73-71 lead with a layup with 52 seconds left and after an App State defensive stop, Justin Forrest knocked down a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to push the Black and Gold lead to four points. The Eagles missed a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left and Lewis Jr. drained a pair of free throws seconds later to put the game away.
Gregory bettered his previous career-best of 18 points, set earlier this season against Greensboro College. He finished 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) from the field and added four rebounds and three steals.
Delph added 17 points and Michael Almonacy had 15 points and four rebounds off the bench. Lewis Jr. tallied his second career App State double-double with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds (five offensive).
The App State defense limited the Eagle to 29 second half points, including a 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) mark on 3-pointers. Offensively, the Mountaineers shot 52.8 percent (28-of-53) from the field.
In addition, App State forced Georgia Southern into 13 turnovers, scoring 22 points off the miscues. The Mountaineers also held a 40-28 edge in points in the paint and a 17-0 advantage on fast breaks.
The Mountaineers will hit the road next weekend for their first Sun Belt road series of the season at South Alabama. The two teams will meet in Mobile on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. EST and Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. EST on ESPN+ and the Appalachian Sports Network from Learfield IMG College.