Eaves and company fall to Jags 75-71

Senior+guard+Frank+Eaves+attempts+to+split+two+defenders+against+Georgia+Southern+earlier+this+season.+Eaves+scored+27+in+Thursday%27s+loss+against+South+Alabama.++Chris+Deverell+%7C+The+Appalachian.

Senior guard Frank Eaves attempts to split two defenders against Georgia Southern earlier this season. Eaves scored 27 in Thursday’s loss against South Alabama. Chris Deverell | The Appalachian.

Noah Gerringer

The Mountaineers lost their seventh straight game decided by six points or less Thursday night, this time against the South Alabama Jaguars.  Appalachian State (6-20, 4-11 Sun Belt) fell to South Alabama (12-15, 7-9 Sun Belt) 75-71 after a heart breaking missed three by senior guard Frank Eaves.  With this loss, App is now on a six-game losing streak and will need serious help to make the Sun Belt tournament in March.

The last time the two faced off, the black and gold led the Jaguars 30-25 at half, only to be blown away at the start of the second, eventually falling 73-60.

This time, it was sloppy to say the least.  App State managed to miss six shots, foul twice and turn the ball over, all before they could land their first bucket on a foul shot by Eaves.  The Mountaineers were 20-65 from the field and 5-22 from 3-point range.

“We just couldn’t get anything to fall,” head coach Jim Fox said.

However, App did manage to hold the Jags to 43 percent from the field and their top shooter, guard Ken Williams, to 1-5 from 3-point range.

“We’re right on the edge of being a really good team,” Eaves said.

He also stressed how tough it is to constantly play in games where the score is tied 15 times and there are 18 lead changes, like there were Saturday night.

“Mentally and physically that’s tough,” Eaves said. “We put ourselves in that position, but that’s tough.”

Once shots started falling for either side, the score never reached more than a six-point deficit.  The Mountaineers managed to get the Jaguars on their heels towards the end of the first half before they were able to tie it 33-33.

The second half was controlled mainly by South Alabama, who shot 48.5 percent from the field. Williams, with the help of a few others, put the Jaguars right where they wanted to be.

App State took the lead for the final time at the 1:36 mark making the score 69-68.  Unfortunately for the black and gold, however, three missed shots by Frank Eaves and Guard Ronshad Shabazz and four fouls gave the Jags a 75-71 lead and the final lead change of the night.  Shabazz was able to throw up a last shot before the buzzer but, like the rest of the night, it wouldn’t go the Mountaineers’ way and App secured their second loss to the Jags this season.

Shabazz spoke later on their record, reaching 20 losses and how it looks to everyone looking in.

“You’re not here witnessing it when we’re losing games on four point plays,” Shabazz said. “It’s taxing”

The inability to shoot, Fox says, was the story of the game.

“If we could’ve made shots I think it’s a much different story,” Fox said.

App State looks to rebound against Troy at 3:45 p.m. Saturday in the Holmes Center.

Story by: Noah Gerringer, Sports Reporter 

Photo by: Chris Deverell, Staff Photographer