App State defeats East Tennessee State 74-70

Sophomore+guard+Terence+Harcum+surveys+the+Buccaneer+defense+Nov.+24%2C+2022.+

Courtesy of App State Athletics

Sophomore guard Terence Harcum surveys the Buccaneer defense Nov. 24, 2022.

Ethan Smith, Associate Sports Editor

App State returned to the court Nov. 23 following a three-game homestand to take on East Tennessee State, defeating the Buccaneers 74-70.

Last season, App State defeated East Tennessee 69-67 in its home opener.

The first half was a back and forth contest between the two teams with neither able to gain much separation from the other. Sophomore guard Terence Harcum opened the game knocking down two three-pointers giving App State an early 8-3 lead. ETSU responded with a 10-0 run. The Black and Gold kept the game close, only going down by as much as seven before rallying to enter halftime down one, 33-32.

App State forced 10 first half turnovers and allowed only four points in the paint. They limited the Buccaneers to 37% shooting. The Mountaineers only shot 36% from both the field and three-point range. Harcum led the team in scoring at the half with 10, and sophomore forward Chris Mantis was second on the team with eight points despite playing limited minutes in the first half.

The Buccaneers jumped out to a five-point lead to start the second half, leading 39-34 within the first three minutes of the half. About a minute later, junior guard Xavion Brown stole the ball and sprinted up court for a dunk. After this, App State began to take control of the contest. Graduate student forward Dibaji Walker scored all 12 of his points in the second half, including a left-handed slam dunk that was named No. 1 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 list. The Mountaineers went up as much as 10 points before ETSU attempted a comeback in the final minutes, going up 68-67 with 2:32 left in the game. Some late-game free throws from senior forward Donovan Gregory and graduate student guard Tyree Boykin gave the Mountaineers the win, 74-70. 

App State had balanced scoring across the board. Gregory finished with 14 points and crossed the 800 career point mark. Harcum and Mantis scored 11 and 10, respectively, and Boykin added 13 points on 71% shooting.

For the game, the Mountaineers shot 44.8% and 28.6% from three-point range. They forced 19 Buccaneer turnovers and converted those into 23 points off turnovers.

With the win, App State improves to 5-2 on the season and secured the first road win over ETSU since 2005.

App State returns to Holmes Convocation Center Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for a matchup with Furman. The game can be watched on ESPN+.