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Terence Harcum
Terence Harcum had 17 points for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Men’s Basketball Season Comes to a Close

App State men’s basketball fell in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament to South Alabama, 68-61.

The game saw six ties and six lead changes as the Mountaineers fought hard for the full 40, bringing the game within one possession in the final minute. Four App State players scored in double-figures, led by Terence Harcum with 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

The Jaguars started hot with a 9-0 run that got them out a 14-5 lead early.

App State responded with an 11-0 run of its own, led by Xavion Brown, who stepped up after Donovan Gregory got in early foul trouble, scoring or assisting in 12 of the team’s first 14 points.

The teams traded leads for the rest of the first half before Harcum, who had previously made one 3-pointer, took over and scored 11 points in the last seven minutes before the break. The sophomore tallied another trio of shots behind the arc during the run, as well as a crafty finish at the rim to give his team a three-point advantage at halftime. The Black and Gold held the Jaguars without a field goal from the 5:07 mark to the 2:11 mark of the first half.

The squads traded buckets throughout the second half, starting with a quick five points by Gregory to open the period.

The Mountaineers trailed by seven with a minute and a half to go, right as CJ Huntley found the open lane for a dunk off a turnover. Brown assisted Gregory on the next play to cut the lead to three, but South Alabama’s Owen White hit a dagger behind the arc with 26 seconds left to give his team the win.

In a fierce battle against Kevin Samuel, Justin Abson grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Brown hustled from start to finish, posting 10 points, five rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal.