Mountaineers struggle offensively, fall to Little Rock 73-57

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Mountaineers struggle offensively, fall to Little Rock 73-57

Junior guard Justin Forrest shoots a floater in App State's 73-57 loss to Little Rock on Jan. 19. Forrest finished with 22 points.

Junior guard Justin Forrest shoots a floater in App State's 73-57 loss to Little Rock on Jan. 19. Forrest finished with 22 points.

Courtesy of App State Athletics/Jay Crain

Junior guard Justin Forrest shoots a floater in App State's 73-57 loss to Little Rock on Jan. 19. Forrest finished with 22 points.

Courtesy of App State Athletics/Jay Crain

Courtesy of App State Athletics/Jay Crain

Junior guard Justin Forrest shoots a floater in App State's 73-57 loss to Little Rock on Jan. 19. Forrest finished with 22 points.

Connor Davidson, Reporter

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App State men’s basketball had a tough night shooting against Little Rock on Saturday. It took the Mountaineers nearly four minutes to score their first points, and they finished the game shooting 32.8% from the field. 

“We missed some shots that we normally make tonight, so it’s no doubt in our ability,” junior guard Justin Forrest said. “We’ll just get in the gym this weekend and keep getting shots up and come back next game ready to play.”

Despite poor shooting, the effort from the Mountaineers never wavered. With just under 14 minutes to play in the first half, Forrest, who led all scorers with 22 points, made a diving steal, which led to a layup from freshman guard Kendall Lewis.

“I don’t think you can dispute that our guys laid down or quit, they played all the way to the final buzzer,” head coach Dustin Kerns said. “It just wasn’t our night.”

App State managed to make it a one-point game halfway through the first half, cutting the Trojan lead down to 19-18. However, Little Rock had an answer for everything App State threw at them and held a 37-29 lead at halftime.

The Mountaineers had a sluggish start to the second half as well, and the Trojans took advantage. Little Rock mounted a 22 point lead with 4:37 left in the game, and the game seemed all but over. However, the Mountaineers didn’t go down without a fight. At one point in the second half, App State managed to cut the lead down to 14. In the end, the Trojan lead was just too much to come back from, and Little Rock took the win 73-57.

“I do think that our team played hard all the way to the end,” Kerns said. “We didn’t play well, but we played hard all the way to the end, and certainly, I hope our fans appreciate that. We picked a bad night to have a bad night.”

 The last game for the Mountaineers involved them winning in overtime over Arkansas State in which the Mountaineers put up 83 points.

“We scored 83 points last game, but tonight I felt like we had some good looks, but we just didn’t make them. It was just one of those nights,” Kerns said. “It was certainly a struggle. We went inside; we got shots at the rim. I thought we got some pretty decent looks; they just didn’t fall for us tonight. It was just a bad night for us shooting.”

App State now sits at 10-10 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The Mountaineers’ next game is at Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 25.