BOONE, N.C. (News release) – For the second-straight game, the Arkansas State men’s basketball team played an extra five minutes, but the Red Wolves came up short in an 83-80 overtime decision at Appalachian State Thursday at the Holmes Convocation Center.
A-State (12-7, 4-4 Sun Belt) shot 42 percent (28-66) on the night, hitting 33 percent (8-24) from 3-point range, but free throw shooting hampered the Red Wolves in the close decision. A-State finished 53 percent (16-30) at the charity stripe while Appalachian State (10-9, 4-4 Sun Belt) converted 81 percent (29-36) at the line. The Mountaineers finished 41 percent (24-58) from the field and 25 percent (6-24) beyond the arc.
Melo Eggleston led four Red Wolves in double figures with 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Marquis Eaton and Jerry Johnson added 13 points while Caleb Fields finished with 11 points and three assists. Malik Brevard had a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with nine points. With his 13 points, Johnson reached 1,000 career points in his career at Fairfield, Chattanooga and A-State. Justin Forrest led Appalachian State with a game-high 20 points.
Appalachian State built 10-point advantages two different times in the first half, but the Red Wolves were able to trim the deficit to one by halftime. The Mountaineers led 34-23 with 3:57 to go in the half, but three-straight 3-pointers by Johnson got A-State back into the game. The Red Wolves tied the score at 35, but Appalachian State reeled off the next four points before Fields hit a 3-pointer before the halftime horn.
A-State did not take regain a lead until back-to-back free throws by Johnson Jr. made the score 50-49. Appalachian State regained the lead and led by as many as five, but A-State took the lead back, 62-60, on a layup by Brevard. The Red Wolves did not trail the remainder of regulation, but only led by as many as three.
The Red Wolves led by three, 72-69, with under a minute to play, but Appalachian State converted a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime. The Mountaineers led 81-79 with 18.1 seconds to play with the ball, but A-State forced a five-second in bounds violation to get the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead. Fields was fouled with 5.3 seconds remaining and went to the line for two shots and hit the first, but the second rimmed off and Appalachian State hit both free throws to lead by three with two seconds left. Johnson had a clean look from half court as time expired but the shot hit the back iron resulting in the 83-80 decision.
The Red Wolves finished with a 46-38 advantage on the glass and had just seven turnovers. Appalachian State turned the ball over only five times, but owned a 12-8 advantage in points off turnovers. A-State was outscored in the paint 34-32.
A-State continues the road trip Saturday at 1:00 p.m. (CT) against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C.