App State Men’s Basketball Posts 77-73 Road Win at Little Rock

App State Men’s Basketball Posts 77-73 Road Win at Little Rock
App State Basketball (Source: Wimberly, Nate)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Appalachian State men's basketball forced Little Rock into 21 turnovers en route to a 77-73 road victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (6-14, 1-6 SBC) made the most of the 21 Trojan (7-14, 2-6 SBC) turnovers, scoring 23 points off the miscues.

Ronshad Shabazz paced the Black and Gold with a game-high 21 points, to go along with five rebounds and three assists. He also moved into fourth place in program history in field goals made, passing Darryl Robinson (638) with a three-pointer at the 6:04 mark of the second half.

Justin Forrest added 18 points, five assists and a steal.

Off the bench, Bennett Holley poured in a season-high tying 12 points to go along with six rebounds. Tyrell Johnson chipped in with nine points and five rebounds and O'Showen Williams added seven points and a season-high tying four assists.

Little Rock jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, only to see App State respond with and 10-2 run to jump in front 14-13. The Black and Gold pushed its lead to as large as eight points in the opening half at 34-26 and took a 36-31 advantage into the intermission.

In the second half, the Mountaineers opened up a double digit lead at 50-40 on a jumper from Johnson with 14:17 remaining. Little Rock responded with eight of the next 10 points to cut the App State lead to 52-48.

Later in the half, the Black and Gold pushed its lead to 12 points at 67-55 with 4:56 to play. The Trojans answered with a 8-1 spurt to pull within 68-63 with just under three minutes remaining. Little Rock pulled to within three points at 70-67, before the Mountaineers converted on five consecutive free throws to extend lead back to 75-67 with 57 seconds left.

The Trojans cut the Black and Gold lead to within four points at 77-73 and forced a Mountaineer turnover with 19 seconds left. Little Rock's Rayjon Tucker shot a three-pointer with eight seconds left that was no good and Shabazz grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock to close out the victory.

Appalachian State shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field and 80.0 percent (20-of-25) from the free throw line. The Trojans finished 25-of-56 (46.4 percent) from the field and 12-of-20 (60.0 percent) from the charity stripe.

Markquis Nowell paced Little Rock with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Tucker finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.

App State will return to Boone for a pair of games next week. The Mountaineers will welcome Louisiana to the Holmes Center on Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. contest against ULM on Saturday. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can be heard on the Appalachian IMG Sports Network.

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