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Tyree Boykin
Tyree Boykin led the Mountaineers with 16 points.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Men’s Basketball Wins Over Coastal Carolina On The Road

App State men’s basketball started the new year with a 63-62 win over Coastal Carolina, thanks to a go-ahead tip-in from CJ Huntley and a defensive stop from Justin Abson at the final buzzer.

Huntley secured a season-high five offensive boards on the night, none bigger than with two seconds left when the junior caught a missed potential game-winner by Tyree Boykin and put it back in to give the Mountaineers (8-8, 1-2 SBC) a one-point advantage with one tick left on the clock.

The Chanticleers (7-7, 1-2 SBC) threw a deep ball across the court, but Abson intercepted the pass as the final buzzer sounded, allowing no game-winning attempt for the visiting team.

The scene was reminiscent of the last time these two met at the Holmes Center, just 357 days ago. The Mountaineers won that game, 61-60, after a go-ahead floater from Donovan Gregory and a game-saving block by Justin Forrest as time ran out.

Gregory had an impressive night in the recent game as well, dishing out a season-high nine assists to go along with 12 points, four rebounds, a steal and a block. Seven of his assists led to three-point baskets.

Huntley’s incredible put-back was a fitting finish to the Mountaineers’ efforts on the offensive glass. App State finished with 13 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points, while only allowing six by Coastal Carolina.

Boykin led the team in scoring with 16 on five made three-pointers, four of which were assisted by Gregory. Pearson added 12 in what could be considered his best game as a Mountaineer for the spark he initiated in the first half.

Terence Harcum posted a season-high six boards, and Dibaji Walker led the Black & Gold with a plus-minus of 10 for his defensive presence. Abson, Christopher Mantis and Xavion Brown added a combined six steals and two blocks on the defensive end.

Coastal Carolina started hot, jumping to a 20-10 lead in the first eight minutes. Boykin started the home team’s run before Pearson scored on three consecutive possessions to cut the lead to three. Gregory capped the 13-2 run with two mid-range jumpers that were heavily defended.

Both Pearson and Gregory would score again as App State gained a 29-28 advantage heading into the break.

The Chanticleers opened strong to begin the second half, taking the lead back at a score of 37-34. The Black & Gold responded with a 10-0 run, including five of Huntley’s nine points on the night. Both teams traded buckets for the rest of the game, tying at 58 with 1:37 to play.

In a crucial possession, Boykin dropped his defender, passed it to Gregory on the elbow to create space as Gregory dished it right back to Boykin for a wide-open three-pointer.

Coastal Carolina’s Jomaru Brown responded with four points in the last minute to give his team the lead with eight seconds left. Gregory dished it to the right corner where Boykin was unable to hit his sixth triple of the game, but the rest was in Huntley’s hands as the Mountaineers picked up their first Sun Belt win of the 2022-23 season.

App State will visit James Madison on Saturday at 8 p.m. in front of a national crowd on ESPNU.