App State basketball takes two against Texas State


Infographic | Malik Rahili

The Appalachian

Women squeak by, 61-55

App State women’s basketball (14-14, 9-10 Sun Belt) is officially headed to the Sun Belt tournament after defeating Texas State 61-55 in Boone Thursday night.

In a game that saw both teams struggle to score, physicality was the deciding factor.

The Mountaineers won the rebounding battle, holding a 46-39 edge including 17 offensive rebounds.

Senior forward Maryah Sydnor led all players with 12 rebounds while leading all scorers with 16 points on 7-13 shooting.

As a team, the Mountaineers shot 38.7 percent from the field while Texas State shot 35.5 percent.

Sophomore guard Joi Jones also scored the ball well, totaling 14 points on 6-12 shooting while adding three assists.

Toughness played a large part in this game, as the Mountaineers found themselves in an early nine-point deficit, but went on a timely 15-4 run to regain the lead before heading into halftime with score tied at 34.

App State grabbed the lead to begin the second half and never let it go.

Sydnor said she believes that the Mountaineers have found their identity as a tough group that doesn’t give up.

“This is who we are,” Sydnor said. “We get down early but we fight back, we play tough defense.”

The Mountaineers have now won three straight and look to continue their hot play when they take on UT Arlington Saturday at 1 p.m. in Boone.

App State will bolster its attack with the return of injured senior guard Katie Mallow. Mallow has missed the previous four games due to injury but will start in what will be her last appearance at Holmes Convocation Center.


Men edge visitors, 67-64

App State men’s basketball entered its third straight home game seeking its second win in a row and were not denied as they completed the season sweep of Texas State in a 67-64 win Thursday night in Boone.

“I’m very disappointed in the loss,” said Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar. “We had a lot on the line tonight and we let it get away with us.”

With a win, Texas State would have locked up a spot in the Sun Belt tournament.

“We can’t give up as many easy shots we did tonight,” Kaspar said. “It’s been the story of our year not shooting the ball well. You have to give Appalachian State credit.”

The game started out slow offensively for both teams as the defense of both teams made its presence known early with App State gaining an early 8-6 lead in the first seven minutes of action.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half, the Mountaineers finally got things going offensively thanks to four 3-point baskets by junior guard Chris Burgess to help give the Mountaineers a 32-27 lead at the half.

With game on the line and one minute left on the clock Burgess once again came up huge for App State, banking in a shot over a defender to increase the lead to 64-58.

“I already knew it was going in,” Burgess said. “I thought he fouled me on the shot so I already knew it was going. I couldn’t hit a two point shot for nothing tonight.”

The Bobcats came roaring back, however, in the next 20 seconds, scoring two back to back buckets to cut the lead down to 64-62.

Attempting to extend the game, Texas State fouled junior guard Dustin Clarke to put him on the free throw line.  Clarke made one of two shots from the charity stripe to give App State a 65-62 lead with 30 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession Texas State senior guard Wes Davis sped down the court to complete an uncontested lay-up to cut the lead back down to one point at 65-64.

The Bobcats then put App State junior guard Frank Eaves on the line. He made both shots from the line to bring the lead back to three points at 67-64.

Texas State had one more opportunity to tie the game off of a timeout with 12 seconds left on the clock, to try and send the game into overtime.

A highly-contested NBA range 3-pointer by Bobcats junior guard Ethan Montalvo banged off the rim to give App State the 67-64 victory.

App State head coach Jim Fox couldn’t contain his jubilation in a hard fought victory on the night.

“I’m really proud of our guys and their resilience,” Fox said. “They displayed toughness when they had to and they made plays when they had to. It was all-around a great team effort and a good win.”

App State had four of its five starters reach double digits in the win.

Burgess led the team with 15 points on 5-11 shooting from behind the arc. Eaves sank two 3-pointers in the game as he finished the night with 13 points. Fifth-year senior forward Tommy Spagnolo shot impressively from the field going 6-7 for 12 points.

Freshman guard Jake Babic was the key piece of the puzzle in the second half for the Mountaineers as he scored all of his 13 points in the second half.

“Babic did a good job of going in there and making the right plays,” Fox said. “If Babic constantly attacks he is pretty difficult to guard. I thought he was really good.”

With the win, App State moves to sixth place in the Sun Belt regular season standings as they head into their season finale at home against fifth place UT-Arlington in what will be Spagnolo’s final game for App State in his career.

Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Boone.

“I think it’s been a relatively successful season,” Spagnolo said. “We have had ups and downs but finishing on the right note we have a chance to win three in a row and really set the program going in the right direction.”

Story: Lee Sanderlin, Intern Sports Reporter & Bryant Barbery, Sports Reporter