BOONE, N.C. — Isaac Johnson tallied his fifth double-double of the season, but Appalachian State men’s basketball dropped a tough 70-69 decision to Texas State on Saturday inside the Holmes Center.
Johnson finished with a game-high tying 16 points on 6-of-8 (75.0 percent) shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds. He has now reached double figures in rebounding in six games this season.
Justin Forrest added 12 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 clip from the free throw line.
For the second straight game, the Mountaineer (5-12, 0-4 SBC) bench gave them a strong boost, holding a 29-14 advantage. Tyrell Johnson tallied 12 points on 5-of-10 (50.0 percent) shooting off the bench. O’Showen Williams chipped in with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a career-high two blocks in a reserve role. Over the last two games, the App State bench is averaging 27.0 points.
Midway through the second half, Texas State (14-3, 3-1 SBC) broke a 48-48 tie with a 7-0 spurt to take a 55-48 lead with 10:55 to play. App State stormed back with a 9-1 run, capped off by a three from Williams, to take a 57-56 lead with 6:44 left. The two teams traded three-pointers on each of their next two possessions, before the Bobcats go a steal and a dunk to open a 66-63 edge with 3:00 remaining.
The Black and Gold trimmed the deficit to 66-65 after Isaac Johnson grabbed a long rebound and took it the length of the court for a dunk. The Mountaineers fouled on the ensuing possession and the Bobcats sank both free throws to build a 68-65 lead. Forrest responded with a layup to cut the Bobcat lead back to a point. The Mountaineers fouled again and Texas State sunk both free throws to open a 70-67 lead. Forrest was fouled with two seconds left in regulation. He made both free throws to make the score 70-69 in favor of Texas State. The Bobcats were able to run out the clock on the ensuing inbounds pass to end the game.
In the first half, Texas State jumped out to an early 13-5 lead. App State chipped away at the lead and a pair of free throws from Isaac Johnson knotted the score at 24-24. Trailing by one late in the half, Forrest drained a trifecta to beat the buzzer and give the Mountaineers a 35-33 lead at the break.
The Mountaineers finished 23-of-57 (40.4 percent) from the field and went 14-of-17 (82.4 percent) at the free throw line. Texas State finished 27-of-62 (43. percent) from the field and 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from the charity stripe.
Tre Nottingham and Nijal Pearson finished with 16 points apiece for Texas State.
Appalachian State will embark on a three-game road trip, beginning Jan. 19 at Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.