BOONE, N.C. (1/9/16) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team faced a double-digit deficit before finding the score column and shot 35 percent for the game in a 70-57 setback at Appalachian State Monday night.
The loss drops the Red Wolves to 11-6 on the season and 2-2 in Sun Belt Conference play. Appalachian State improved to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in conference action.
Freshman Jahmiah Simmons had a career high for the second-straight game, scoring 16 points. Connor Kern added 11 points off the bench with C.J. Foster and Rashad Lindsey adding nine and seven points, respectively. Ronshad Shabazz had a game-high 18 points to lead the Mountaineers with Emarius Logan (12) and Isaac Johnson (10) also had double figures.
The Red Wolves shot near 36 percent for the second-straight game, finishing 35.2 percent (19-54) on the night. The Red Wolves were 5-for-10 from 3-point range, with Kern knocking down 3-of-5. A-State struggled at the charity stripe, hitting 14-of-25 for 56 percent.
Appalachian State finished 44.2 percent (23-52) from the field and 42.1 percent (8-19) from 3-point range. The Mountaineers converted 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) at the charity stripe, including 8-of-10 in the second half.
How It Happened (First Half):
Appalachian State raced out to a 12-0 lead thanks to 0-for-6 shooting and four turnovers by the Red Wolves. A-State responded by holding the Mountaineers to 1-for-11 shooting the next 9:24 to put together a 23-5 run to build a 23-17 lead with 5:55 left in the period.
The Red Wolves forced seven first half turnovers, but were able to convert for just four points off those miscues. The A-State bench played a large role in the rally as Jahmiah Simmons (11) and Connor Kern (6) combined for 17 of the 32 points.
A-State finished the half hitting 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) after the 1-for-11 start to finish the half 10-for-25 (40 percent). The Mountaineers shot 36.0 percent (9-for-25) from the field, but 44.4 percent (4-9) beyond the arc. A-State was 3-for-5 (60 percent) from long range in the first half and hit 9-of-15 (60 percent) at the charity stripe.
How It Happened (Second Half):
The Red Wolves held a two-point advantage that the halftime break, 32-30, but A-State converted just 31 percent (9-29) from the field in the second half. The second half featured two ties early in the second half, but Appalachian State scored five quick points midway through the period to open a 5-point advantage, 46-41, with 10 minutes left.
A-State got within three twice, but failed to make front end of a one-and-one twice and Appalachian State took advantage to build the 13-point advantage at the end of the game.
Jahmiah Simmons had a career high 16 points on the night following a previous season best of 14 points at Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Connor Kern reached double figures with 11 points, his career best in a league game.
Jahmiah Simmons had a game-high seven rebounds, one shy of his career high set at Army.
Rashad Lindsey tied his career high with six assists while Jahmiah Simmons set a career high with two blocks.
A-State suffered its first loss this season after holding a halftime lead. The Red Wolves entered the game 11-0 when leading at intermission.
Quoting Coach McCasland:
“The team is in a tough place because we started slow in back-to-back games on the road. In order to win games on the road, you’ve got to set the tone early and do a good job defensively. We didn’t have the same energy we’ve played with over the course of the season and as a coach, I’ve got to do a better job of finding a way to help this team compete at a higher level.
From an execution standpoint on the offensive end, I’ve got to help our team find different ways (to score). We established a way to play depending on our personnel, but when our personnel changes I’ve got to do a better job of finding ways to score. If we find more ways to score offensively, that will help our team on the defensive end as we continue to compete better.”
Arkansas State closes the three-game road swing with a 6 p.m. (CT) matchup at Little Rock on Saturday.