Four players reached double figures and 10 scored as App State men’s basketball posted a dominant 81-61 victory at South Carolina State in its season opener on Wednesday.
The 20-point road win marks the largest season opening road victory for the Mountaineers (1-0) since a 112-78 win at Presbyterian to open the 1966-67 season. In addition, it marks the Black and Gold’s third 20-point road win under head coach Dustin Kerns.
Donovan Gregory paced the balanced App State attack with a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) shooting and five rebounds. RJ Duhart also finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) shooting and five rebounds off the bench.
Kendall Lewis added 11 points and five rebounds and Adrian Delph went 4-of-5 (80.0 percent) from the field and 2-of-3 (66.7 percent) from deep to finish with 10 points.
Michael Eads and CJ Huntley each tallied eight points off the bench, while Justin Forrest finished with seven points.
Trailing 11-10 early, App State used an 8-0 run to jump front 18-11. Following a Bulldog (0-1) basket, the Mountaineers scored the next four points to extend its lead to 23-13 with just over 10 minutes left in the half.
South Carolina State pulled with seven at 25-18, only to see the Black and Gold respond with 10 straight points to open a 35-18 advantage. A three-pointer by Delph late in the half gave App State a 47-20 lead at the break.
The Mountaineers scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to open their largest lead of the contest at 54-22. South Carolina State chipped away at the lead and pulled to within 23 points at 64-41 with just over 11 minutes remaining. App State came right back with a 7-0 run to push its lead back to 71-41 and never looked back.
App State shot 55.4 percent (31-of-56) from the field and went 10-of-12 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Bulldogs shot 26-of-55 (47.4 percent) from the field.
The Mountaineers won the rebounding battle 38-26, including a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass. In addition, App State outscored South Carolina State 46-24 in the paint.
The Mountaineers return to action on Friday, hosting Carver in their home opener at 6 p.m. on ESPN+. App State would like to thank the Law Offices of Timothy Welborn as its 2020-21 season sponsor.