Mountaineers remain undefeated at home with 64-55 win over Charlotte

Senior+guard+O%27Showen+Williams+drives+during+App+State%27s+68-62+win+over+East+Carolina+on+Nov.+12.
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Mountaineers remain undefeated at home with 64-55 win over Charlotte

Senior guard O'Showen Williams drives during App State's 68-62 win over East Carolina on Nov. 12.

Senior guard O'Showen Williams drives during App State's 68-62 win over East Carolina on Nov. 12.

Lynette Files

Senior guard O'Showen Williams drives during App State's 68-62 win over East Carolina on Nov. 12.

Lynette Files

Lynette Files

Senior guard O'Showen Williams drives during App State's 68-62 win over East Carolina on Nov. 12.

Dan Davidson

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App State men’s basketball defeated Charlotte 64-55 in a stiff defensive battle in front of another large crowd. The win keeps the Mountaineers perfect at home on the season, with their third victory in the Holmes Center. 

“App nation, man. They always come out and support,” said senior guard O’Showen Williams. “This was the most people I’ve seen here in my years here, and I hope it continues.”

Both teams opened the game shooting a combined 4-19 through the opening 6:48. However, App State started to figure things out earlier than the 49ers, allowing them to open up an early 17-7 lead. 

The run for the Mountaineers continued as the team pushed the lead to 17 after an 18-2 run. Senior forward Isaac Johnson capped off the run with an emphatic dunk that electrified fans in the Holmes Center. 

The 49ers ended the half with a miniature run of their own, bringing the score to 30-17 as the teams headed for their locker rooms. App State’s leading scorer on the season, junior guard Justin Forrest, was held to zero points in the first half. 

Charlotte found more production out of its offense in the second half, but only enough to trade blows with the Mountaineers. The teams traded buckets until Williams knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to push the Mountaineer lead to 15. 

However, the 49ers wouldn’t go down without a fight. With 37 seconds to play, the lead was cut to 6. The score was 61-55, but Charlotte wouldn’t score again. The Mountaineers closed out the game the same way they had controlled it the entire time: defense. 

Williams led the way for the Mountaineers, with 18 points and six rebounds. The 18 points were just four shy of tying his career-high. 

“After the last game, coach told me in front of all of my teammates that I need to shoot the ball more,” Williams said. “That’s what I did tonight, and that’s what I want to do for the rest of the season.”

Sophomore guard Adrian Delph added 15 points and eight rebounds of his own, and was tasked with guarding UNCC’s star player, Jordan Shepherd, who finished with 19 points. 

“We just tried to stop him from driving and closed all the gaps,” Delph said. 

After getting removed from the starting unit following the season-opener at Michigan, Hunter Seacat continued his improved play. The fifth-year senior had six points and four rebounds, with four of his points coming from emphatic dunks. 

“I think he’s had success here because he’s been playing against the opponent’s second unit,” head coach Dustin Kerns said. “He’s fine with it because he’s playing a lot, but I think that’s helped him.”

Justin Forrest only dropped three points in the game on 1-13 shooting. This was his lowest total since last season’s matchup with UT-Arlington in January, when he also scored three points. 

“We proved tonight that we can win without him making shots or scoring,” Kerns said. “He had three assists, which is a season-high for him, and he did impact the game.”

The Mountaineers will be back in action Nov. 26, when they visit the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.