Mountaineers blow lead, fall to 5-4


Courtesy of App State Athletics

Sophomore forward Chris Mantis poured in a career high 25 points in the loss to Charlotte Dec. 2, 2022.

Sam Vanolinda, Reporter

App State fell to 5-4 in a 71-62 loss against Charlotte Friday in front of a packed crowd at Dale F. Halton Arena.

After dominating the first half, an ice-cold Mountaineers second half allowed the 49ers to get back into the game and eventually take the lead, before closing out the game comfortably. 

In his first start of the season, sophomore forward Christopher Mantis was able to prey on the Charlotte defense, ending with a career high 25 points, 21 coming before the break.

Mantis led the team with five threes, along with two from junior forward CJ Huntley, who contributed 11 points. 

Freshman forward Justin Abson continued his defensive success, adding three blocks to his Sun Belt and freshmen-leading total. 

The Black and Gold shot 9-11 from three in the first half and 58.33% from the field, with the 49ers shooting just 37.5% from the field, allowing the Mountaineers to build a 22-point lead just 8 minutes into the game.

The second half, however, was a complete flip of the script, with App State shooting 1-11 from three and Charlotte shooting 63.64% from the field, which fueled the 49er comeback.

The Mountaineers were able to hold Charlotte forward Aly Khalifa to 4-10 shooting, but perimeter success from UVA transfer Igor Miličić Jr. and guard Montre’ Gipson led to the 49er’s win.

Gipson led the way for Charlotte, almost securing a triple-double with 14 points, along with 7 assists and 8 rebounds.

Despite the promising start, the Mountaineers were unable to avenge the buzzer-beating loss against Charlotte last season. They will continue their season against Carlow at the Holmes Convocation Center Tuesday, Dec 6., before an anticipated matchup at Wake Forest Dec. 14.