Despite a career night from Justin Abson, App State fell to Marshall, 66-58. The top…
App State men’s basketball outscored Southern Miss 19-8 in the final three minutes, but fell to the home team, 76-70.
The Mountaineers (7-8, 0-2 SBC) trailed the top-ranked Golden Eagles (13-2, 2-0 SBC) 68-51 in the final frames, but did not give up.
Tyree Boykin broke the ice at the 2:40 mark to spark an 11-0 run that featured a fast break dunk by Donovan Gregory, another 3-pointer from Boykin, and a triple from Terence Harcum to cut the lead to six.
Harcum came back on the very next play to knock down three free throws, making the score 65-69 with a minute to play.
The Mountaineers shot 12-13 from the free-throw line, which was their best performance of all time with a minimum of 10 attempts at 92.3 percent. This was the third time this season that App State made at least 90 percent of its attempts.
As App State began to foul, Southern Miss’ Felipe Haase knocked down both of his free throws before Christopher Mantis quickly retrieved the ball for a layup on the other end.
The Golden Eagles’ leading scorer, Austin Crowley, who finished with 30 points, knocked down his pair of foul shots to increase the lead back to six. CJ Huntley cut that in half with a spot-up 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in what would be App State’s final made basket.
The Mountaineers had a strong, team-centric first half, pacing the home team 33-30 at the break in a half that saw at least two field goals from six App State players and at least two rebounds from seven players.
Mantis led the Black & Gold in scoring for the fifth time this season with 13 points, followed by Boykin (12), Gregory (10) and Huntley (10). Huntley was the team’s leading rebounder for the sixth time this season with seven boards on the day.
App State finished with 28 points in the paint, 20 off the bench, 18 on fast breaks and 13 after offensive rebounds. The Mountaineers rank in the top 25 in the nation in bench points.
The Mountaineers will host a Sun Belt opponent for the first time this season on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. as App State faces Coastal Carolina at the Holmes Center. Next Saturday night, the Black & Gold will visit JMU in front of a national crowd on ESPNU.