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The Appalachian

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Mountaineers up win streak to seven in win over Georgia State

Junior+guard+Xavion+Brown+drives+down+the+court+against+Georgia+Southern+Jan.25.+Brown+has+started+15+games+this+season.
Emily Simpson
Junior guard Xavion Brown drives down the court against Georgia Southern Jan.25. Brown has started 15 games this season.

The Mountaineers gifted head coach Dustin Kerns a birthday victory Thursday in Atlanta. The 81-71 win over the Georgia State Panthers extended App State’s win streak to seven games.  

The Mountaineers won their previous matchup with Georgia State Jan. 17 from the Holmes Convocation Center. App State has now defeated the Panthers four consecutive times, dating back to last season. 

After falling behind early, the Black and Gold went on a 8-0 run capped by junior forward Christopher Mantis drilling a fastbreak triple to give the team a 16-10 advantage at the 9:15 mark in the first half. 

The lead ballooned to 28-19, when junior forward Tre’Von Spillers converted a short range jumpshot at the 3:31 mark. Georgia State closed the half on a 11-2 run, drawing even at 30 heading into halftime. 

App State shot just 33% from the field and 22% from beyond the arc in the first half, playing down to the Panthers and allowing them to stick around.

A motivated Mountaineer team stormed out of the locker room, going on a 14-2 run. The run was capped off by graduate student Donovan Gregory grabbing his own rebound and converting a contested layup to give App State a 44-32 lead four and a half minutes into the second half. 

The Panthers attempts to stay within striking distance were denied time after time by the Black and Gold’s high powered offense. App State’s shooting woes were nowhere in sight as the team shot 59% from the field and 44% from the three-point line in the half. 

Sophomore forward Justin Abson showed tenacity on both sides of the ball, posting 15 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks. Abson has tallied 15 rejections in his past two games following a program-tying eight swats in the Mountaineers previous matchup with James Madison. 

Junior guard Terrence Harcum sealed the win with a fastbreak three-pointer at the 4:35 mark to give App State their largest lead of the night at 73-56. Harcum led the team in scoring with 22, notching four of the Mountaineers’ six treys. 

 This win strengthens App State’s Sun Belt Conference lead, landing the team at 18-4 overall and 9-1 in conference play. The Black and Gold are a game away from tying their season-high eight-game win streak, beginning against UNC Wilmington Dec. 16. 

The Mountaineers continue their three-game road trip Saturday in Statesboro, Georgia as they take on Georgia Southern at 3 p.m. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
Fran Murphy, Reporter
Fran Murphy (he/him) is a junior digital journalism major, english minor, from Asheville, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Emily Simpson, Associate Photo Editor
Emily Simpson (she/her) is a junior Commercial Photography major. This is her first year with The Appalachian.
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