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The Appalachian

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Mountaineers hold off ETSU for fourth straight win

Sophomore+forward+Justin+Abson+goes+for+a+reverse+lay-up+against+ETSU%E2%80%99s+Jadyn+Parker+on+Nov.+29.+Abson+scored+seven+points%2C+four+rebounds+and+one+assist+during+App+State%E2%80%99s+72-61+win.
Ashton Woodruff
Sophomore forward Justin Abson goes for a reverse lay-up against ETSU’s Jadyn Parker on Nov. 29. Abson scored seven points, four rebounds and one assist during App State’s 72-61 win.

App State men’s basketball renewed their longtime rivalry with East Tennessee State Wednesday night and claimed a 72-61 victory.

“Really proud of our team with the way we came out against a really good team,” said head coach Dustin Kerns. “I thought our crowd, our students were terrific, really helped us get off to a great start.”

The Mountaineers opened the game in strong fashion on the defensive end, forcing a four-minute Buccaneer scoring drought. A 12-0 scoring run from the Mountaineers late in the first half, along with an ETSU shooting percentage of 21% from the field, allowed the Black and Gold to head to halftime with a 20-point advantage.

Junior forward Tre’Von Spillers dunks during the second half. Spillers scored 15 points and had a season high 11 rebounds. (Ashton Woodruff)

“We played really good defense,” Kerns said. “Once we settled down and stopped fouling, we really got out some stops and got out in transition, and we really just got the tempo of the game where we wanted it. But, I really thought it started at the defensive end for us.”

The Mountaineers struggled offensively in the second half, including a two-and-a-half minute scoring drought early in the period. The Buccaneers got within eight points with six minutes remaining.

Four late-game turnovers ruined any chance ETSU had, as App State extended their lead to 11 points by the final buzzer.

“They’ve got some really good players with Peterson, Asamoah, Boyd, some really good guards, they’re really hard matchups,” Kerns said. “I thought we did an outstanding job on Peterson. He didn’t make a shot, he had two points, he came in averaging 15.”

The scoring was led by junior forward Tre’Von Spillers with 15 points, freshman guard Jordan Marsh with 14 and junior guard Myles Tate with 12. All three players are playing their first season in Boone. 

“It gave me great confidence,” Marsh said. “Whenever my team needs me to step up for a big win, they know I can do it all the time.”

Tate also credited the locker room environment for his ability to make an early impact in his career as a Mountaineer.

“It’s a lot of belief in the locker room from everybody, coaches and players,” Tate said. “They believe in me, I believe in them, it’s a great unit altogether.”

One of the most anticipated games in program history is next for the Black and Gold, as the Auburn Tigers will pay a visit to Holmes Convocation Center on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.

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About the Contributors
Spence Smithback, Reporter
Spence Smithback (he/him) is a senior journalism major, geography minor, from Jamestown, NC. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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