Appalachian blown out by the Davidson Wildcats, 79-56

Michael Bragg

Hot-shooting Davidson beat the Appalachian State men’s basketball team 79-56 at the Holmes Center Saturday in a game the Mountaineers never held a lead.

Early in the first half, Appalachian would tie the game (5-5) with 18:23 left in the game before Davidson would go on an 8-0 run. Nathan Healy stopped the run when he connected on two free throws.

For the rest of the half, Appalachian found themselves playing comeback, never pulling within five points. Davidson extended their lead to 13 (22-9) until Healy connected on two more free throws with 12:03 left on the clock.

The Mountaineers went into the locker room at halftime facing a 22-point deficit (45-23). Tevin Baskin led the Mountaineers at the half with 11 points. Chris Czerapowicz led the Wildcats with 10 points. The Wildcats shot 62 percent in the first half and held Appalachian to just 21 percent.

At the half, the fans were graced with the presence of former football head coach Jerry Moore and the SoCon Champion Appalachian State football team. The team received a standing ovation from the crowd.

After the positive moment for Mountaineer fans, the second half was much like the first. Appalachian played from behind the entire rest of the way.

Davidson would lead by as much as 30 (69-39), while the smallest margin in the second half was 20 (47-27) with 18:01 to play.

Healy reflected on the game calling Davidson’s shots a snowball.

“We fell behind early and against a team like that, you can’t do that,” Healy said. “Once they got hot, it was like snowballs. You have to come out and throw the first punch.

Jake Cohen led the Wildcats with 17 points, while De’Mon Brooks notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Davidson shot 52.9 percent (27-of-52) from the floor and connected on 17 free throws.

Tevin Baskin led the Mountaineers with 18 points. Nate Healy had an impressive defensive game with a career-high in blocks and steals with four apiece.

Baskin explained what went wrong, right and what Davidson did well.

“Everything, everything and everything,” Baskin said. “We didn’t execute at all at either side of the floor. I think we were playing hard but not smart enough.”

The Mountaineers were outrebounded 41-29 and only had five assists, opposed to Davidson’s 15.
Healy said the team needed to have short-term memory on this game.

“We got beat tonight but its one game,” Healy said.  “We have to put this one behind us and get ready for Wednesday.”

Head coach Jason Capel said Davidson came out “determined to dominate the game.”

“My team came in and we were just hopeful that Davidson would miss,” Capel said. “I don’t think we brought the physicality to them like we talked about before the game and when we didn’t they made us pay for it.”

Appalachian State travels to College of Charleston Wednesday to play the Cougars at 7 p.m. in TD Arena.

Story: JAMES ASHLEY, Sports Reporter