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CVCC’s Tarlton Complex to Host Appalachian State vs. UNC-A Men’s Basketball Contest

The Mountaineers’ men’s basketball program is set to host UNC Asheville in the inaugural App State’s Hickory Hoops Classic, December 21 at 7 p.m.

The contest will be played at Catawba Valley Community College’s Tarlton Complex and marks the first of a two-year home-and-home series with the Bulldogs. App State will play at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville on December 14, 2024 as part of its 2024-25 nonconference schedule.

“This is going to be a very exciting series with a historic program like UNC Asheville. Competing against a great program that is coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance and Big South regular season and tournament championship will be a significant test for us in the non-conference,” head coach Dustin Kerns said.

“With our Hickory campus opening this year as well, it will be very exciting to play a game in Hickory in front of so many alumni and fans who will continue to promote the App State brand in that area. In addition, the following year playing in the great city of Asheville and western North Carolina has always been a priority, and we are thrilled that it has all come to fruition.”

App State’s Hickory Hoops Classic will be the fourth event hosted by the Mountaineers in Hickory since the new App State Hickory campus was announced in November 2021. Classes will begin on the campus in two weeks.

Tickets for App State’s Hickory Hoops Classic will go on sale Thursday, August 10.

App State finished the 2022-23 season with a 16-16 record and capitalized on the program’s defensive identity, leading the Sun Belt with its best field goal percentage defense (.403) since the 1959-60 season.

Donovan Gregory, who earned his way onto the All-Sun Belt third team, will be returning for his final year of eligibility alongside a core group of Justin Abson, Xavion Brown, Terence Harcum, CJ Huntley and Christopher Mantis. The Mountaineers are returning over 70 percent of their scoring and 70 percent of their minutes from a season ago.

The Mountaineers will also welcome a talented group of newcomers, highlighted by Butler transfer Myles Tate and junior college transfer Tre’Von Spillers, who led all NJCAA players in blocks and finished third in the nation in rebounds last season.

App State will round out its 2023-2024 roster with a freshman class that consists of Joshua Hayes (Gainesville, Fla.), Etienne Strothers (Newport News, Va.), Luke Wilson (Augusta, Ga.) and Jordan Marsh (Hickory, N.C.), who will have the opportunity to play in his hometown in App State’s Hickory Hoops Classic.

UNC Asheville is coming off its winningest season in program history. The Bulldogs captured the Big South Tournament to earn their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in program history.

App State leads the all-time series against UNC Asheville, 14-8. This will be the first meeting between the two programs since December 30, 2001.