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App State Men’s Basketball Drops Sun Belt Opener
James Lewis Jr. had a career high 16 points in the loss.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Men’s Basketball Drops Sun Belt Opener

James Lewis Jr. finished with an App State career high 16 points, but the Mountaineers fell 69-56 to Troy in its Sun Belt opener on Friday evening.

Lewis Jr. bettered his previous career best of 14 points, set earlier this season against Bowling Green. He went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, while adding four rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Donovan Gregory added 12 points, a game-high tying eight rebounds and a team-high tying three assists. Adrian Delph reached double figures with 11 points, Michael Almonacy finished with nine points off the bench and Justin Forrest had eight points, a team-high tying three assists and a game-high three steals.

Troy (6-4, 1-0 SBC) scored the first six points of the game, only to see the Mountaineers (6-4, 0-1 SBC) battle back and tie the score at 13-13 midway through the first half. The Trojans opened a 28-20 lead with 3:50 left in the opening frame, but the Black and Gold used a 6-0 spurt to pull within two points at 28-26. Troy took a 33-30 lead into the break.

App State tied the score at 37-37 on a layup by Lewis Jr. with 16:37 left to play. The Trojans came right back with five straight points and pushed their lead to 48-39 with 12:34 remaining. The Mountaineers scored the next five points, capped by an Almonacy three, to pull within 48-44 with 11:39 to go. Troy answered with a 7-0 run to open an 11-point lead at 55-44. The Black and Gold pulled within nine, but could get no closer the rest of the way.

Khalyl Waters and Nick Stampley paced Troy with 17 points apiece, while Zay Williams pulled down a game-high tying eight rebounds.