ESTERO, Fla. – App State men’s basketball used a tough defensive effort to defeat Akron 57-45 on the second day of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Mountaineers (3-3) advance to play Vermont on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on FloHoops in their final game of the tournament.
The App State defense limited Akron (2-3) to just 30.5 percent (18-of-59) shooting and 21.2 percent (7-of-33) shooting from deep. The Mountaineers also forced the Zips into 14 turnovers in the victory.
Akron’s 45 points scored is the lowest for a Mountaineer Division I opponent since App State held The Citadel to 45 points on Feb. 6, 2014.
Trailing 10-5 early, App State mounted a 10-0 run to take a 15-10 lead with 8:33 left in the opening half. The Mountaineers pushed their lead to eight points at 22-14 on a pair of free throws from Adrian Delph, but the Zips closed the half with seven straight points to cut the Black and Gold lead to 22-21 at the break.
App State used a basket from Michael Almonacy and a 3-pointer from Delph to score the first five points of the second half and take a 27-21 lead. Following an Akron basket, App State scored 10 of the next 13 points to open a 37-26 lead with 13:10 to play. The Mountaineers expanded their lead to 49-34 with 3:54 remaining on a basket from Almonacy. The Zips pulled within eight, but could get no closer the rest of the way.
Almonacy tallied a season-high 18 points on a season-best 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) shooting, while adding a season-best six rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Donovan Gregory added a season-high 14 points, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds and a block.
Delph also reached double figures with 11 points, while recording six rebounds and a pair of steals.
App State shot a season-best 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Mountaineers return to the High Country for two straight home games, taking on Hartford on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Boyce on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on ESPN+. Season and single game tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale and can be purchased by clicking here.