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Terence Harcum
Terence Harcum scored 22 points to lead the way for the Mountaineers, 18 of which that came in the second half.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Men’s Basketball Pulls Out Overtime Win

Down one after a Eugene Brown free throw with 23 seconds to play, Donovan Gregory took the ball at the top of the key and muscled his way down into the lane for a tough basket to put App State ahead 85-84 with nine seconds to play.

On the other end, Georgia Southern’s Avantae Parker worked his way into the lane to attempt the potential game-winning shot, but Justin Abson sent the floater flying away to close an 85-84 win for App State in overtime on Saturday.

The Mountaineers (19-4, 10-1 SBC) trailed by nine points on multiple occasions, but each time the Eagles (5-18, 5-6 SBC) punched App State, the Mountaineers found a way back into the game with timely shots and defensive stops. Terence Harcum, who tallied a season-high 26 points, tied the game on multiple occasions, including a made three to even the contest at 68 with 4:19 to play and another three to tie things at 83 with 48 seconds to play in overtime.

Coming off a stunning performance against Georgia State last Thursday, Justin Abson delivered a career-high 20 points on 9-13 shooting and blocked four more shots. Abson’s aggressiveness on the offensive end late in the game and in overtime helped get App State started in the extra frame, leading to a win.

It was a physical and competitive game in Statesboro in App State’s last game at the Hanner Fieldhouse, but the Mountaineers got off to a good start in hostile territory as Harcum got his stellar night started with a three just 15 seconds into the game to kick off the scoring.

Georgia Southern tied things at five apiece as played neared the first media timeout, but Abson got loose in the lane for a vicious two-handed jam off a pretty feed by Xavion Brown to reclaim a two-point lead. 40 seconds later, Harcum found his way into the paint for a tough bucket through contact as he accounted for eight of App State’s first 10 points in the game.

App State maintained a slim lead through the first media timeout as the two teams traded baskets. Hot shooting from the Eagles helped keep them in the game as Cam Bryant nailed a three to trim the deficit to one at the 14:24 mark.

The Mountaineer lead jumped to five points, the largest App State lead of the contest, after a dunk from Abson and a thunderous alley-oop slam from CJ Huntley. The bench provided four quick points just before the under-eight media break as both Huntley and Myles Tate found the basket for the Mountaineers.

After Huntley’s dunk and a quick break, the Eagles found their stride, sinking four shots in a row to take a five-point lead of their own at the 5:30 mark. The lead quickly jumped to seven after Avantae Parker scored a layup to give Georgia Southern its largest lead to that point.

With the Eagle lead at nine after a Cam Bryant jumper, App State made a run to close the half, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to trim its deficit to two with 1:42 to play. But despite the quick burst from the Mountaineers, it was Georgia Southern that took the lead into the halftime break as Derrick Harris and Tyren Moore each drained three-pointers late in the half to propel the Eagles ahead by six.

Poor shooting plagued App State in the first frame, but unlike against Georgia State last Thursday, the defense struggled in the first frame. Georgia Southern drained six first-half threes while nailing 56 percent of its field-goal attempts. Despite the offensive onslaught by the Eagles, App State did well to keep the deficit at just six as the horn sounded.

Myles Tate, Terence Harcum and Justin Abson all led the way for App State in the first half, each tallying eight first-half points. Tre’Von Spillers secured several second-chance opportunities in the first half and App State capitalized on them, scoring 10 second-chance points compared to just four from Georgia Southern.

The two teams traded buckets to start the final 20 minutes of action, but it was Georgia Southern who stormed ahead by a game-high nine points thanks to Eugene Brown’s three at the 16:15 mark.

When the Mountaineers needed a spark, it was Harcum who stepped up to provide it as the Mountaineers charged back to tie the game after a long three from the Butner, N.C., native to cap off a 9-0 run. Harcum’s three with 14:17 on the clock marked the first time Georgia Southern hadn’t led since the 6:46 mark of the first half.

But when the Mountaineers punched, the Eagles countered, going on a 9-0 spurt of their own to reclaim a nine-point lead by the 11:42 mark. It was Tyren Moore who sparked the Eagles’ spurt as he netted five straight points during the run.

With the deficit back at nine, Brown provided a spark to jump-start App State, skying high for a two-handed dunk off a feed from Donovan Gregory for his first field goal of the game. Seconds later, Abson found a seam in the defense and slammed home another App State dunk, forcing a Charlie Henry timeout as the lead slimmed to just three at the 8:46 mark.

Out of the timeout, Christopher Mantis tied the game with a step-back three-pointer that brought the App State bench to its feet with a roar. The two teams traded 9-0 runs as momentum shifted back in favor of the Mountaineers.

The Eagles regained the lead thanks to a steal by Parker and a jam on the other end. Moore ballooned the Eagle lead back to five after he drained a three for his 22nd point of the game.

Trailing again, Tre’Von Spillers found his offensive footing as his energy on the offensive glass resulted in baskets that tied the game three separate times. After Spillers tied the game with 1:27 to play, Tate gave App State its first lead since it was 24-23 at the 7:47 mark of the first half, driving into the lane and delivering a clutch layup with 24 seconds to spare. But Tyren Moore raced down the floor after the bucket and dished to an open Parker who tied the game at 74 and sent it to overtime. Saturday’s close contest would need an extra five minutes to be decided.

In App State’s third overtime game of the season and first since the Sun Belt road opener at South Alabama, Abson started the scoring with a put-back layup to give him a career-high 18 points. The Mountaineers missed their next two shots, allowing Georgia Southern to take a two-point lead right back after Parker slammed home a dunk.

The Eagle lead now at two, Abson tied the game at 80 apiece with his 20th point, marking his first career 20-point game. As was the story of the game, the Eagles answered right back with a three at the top of the key from Parker to give him a career-high 19 points.

With 48 seconds to spare, the Mountaineers started their offensive set and with Myles Tate at the head of the court, he delivered a strike to Terence Harcum who confidently stepped into his fifth three-pointer of the game, tying the game at 83. Harcum’s 26 points against Georgia Southern marked a new season-high and his third 20-point performance in his last four games.

A shooting foul on Harcum sent Elijah Brown to the free-throw line with a chance to give the Eagles a lead late in the game. Brown did just that, sinking one of two, and the Eagles led by one. Charlie Henry called a timeout, but that didn’t stop Gregory from bullying his way into the paint and finishing at the rim to propel App State ahead 85-84 with nine seconds to play. Gregory notched 11 points in the game, but none were bigger than that layup.

Now with the lead, a timeout by Dustin Kerns allowed App State to set its defense. The Eagles inbounded the ball to Parker at the top of the key with three seconds left who drove in toward Abson. As the timer expired, Parker floated up a shot, but Abson swatted it back toward the Eagle bench, closing the game in style and securing the tight 85-84 win in enemy territory.

The come-from-behind win against Georgia Southern on Saturday, marked just the third win this season where the Mountaineers trailed at the half. It also marked App State’s eighth consecutive win, marking the second winning streak this season of at least eight games.

Eight of the nine Mountaineers who touched the floor on Saturday recorded a basket and four more players reached double-figures. Terence Harcum played with his heart on his sleeve, scoring a season-high 26 points on five made threes. Harcum’s 26-point game was the most points scored by a Mountaineer this season. Justin Abson notched his first career 20-point game while also making his presence known on the defensive end, swatting away four shots. Abson has blocked 19 shots in his last three contests. Despite struggling from the floor for much of the night, Donovan Gregory’s tough layup proved to be the game-winner. Gregory netted 11 points, dished out three assists and emphatically blocked one shot.

App State turns its attention to a road dual with Texas State in San Marcos, Texas, next Wednesday. It will be the Mountaineers’ first trip to San Marcos in over two years. Tipoff from Strahan Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) and can be streamed on ESPN+.