App State basketball sets new points record in opening win

App+State+mens+basketball+tipped+off+it+season+with+a+record-setting+68-point+victory+over+Warren+Wilson+Nov.+7%2C+2022.+

Tyler Bishop

App State men’s basketball tipped off it season with a record-setting 68-point victory over Warren Wilson Nov. 7, 2022.

Ethan Smith, Reporter

A crowd of 1,944 watched App State men’s basketball open its season with a win against Division III Warren Wilson in Boone Monday, 142-74.

The game began with the teams going back-and-forth before App State took a 15-11 lead going into the first media timeout. Warren Wilson employed a full-court press from the start of the game, leading to easy dunks or layups when the Mountaineers broke the press. After the quick start, App State went on a 25-12 run that included a couple of alley-oop dunks and three pointers. The Mountaineers recorded nine dunks in a seven-minute span, along with a couple of nice defensive plays to take control of the contest.

“I credit Warren Wilson for coming with a gameplan we weren’t expecting,” head coach Dustin Kerns said. “They had never played that way with the pressing and the trapping.”

App State ended the first half dominating on both ends, going up 83-37 at halftime. Sophomore forward Chris Mantis had 16 points and graduate student guard Tyree Boykin had 14 points and five rebounds. 

As a team, the Black and Gold shot 60% from the field and 43.5% from three and outscored Warren Wilson 35-23 in bench points. On defense, App State limited the Owls to 30% shooting from the field and 31% from three. 

In the second half, the Mountaineers kept the foot on the pedal, keeping the same intensity on both sides of the ball. The Owls shot only 35% from the field, and App State limited them to only four free throw attempts in the half. The Black and Gold’s largest lead was 70 at one point, and they cruised to a 142-74 win.

“We shared the ball great tonight, and you’re gonna see that all year from us,” Mantis said.

With the win, App State set the program record for most points scored in a game. Seven players scored in double figures, with Mantis leading the team with 22 and sophomore guard Terence Harcum next with 16. The Mountaineers shot 56% from the field and 42% from three and finished with 30 assists. 

The Black and Gold bench contributed 79 of the 142 points. They outrebounded the Owls 57-39 and shot 39-43 from the free throw line. 

“Proud of our guys; proud of 30 assists,” Kerns said.

App State returns to Holmes Convocation Center Thursday for a matchup with NC Central. The game is at 6:30 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN+.