WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – App State men’s basketball came just short of its second Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers fell to Wake Forest, 66-67 in a heartbreaking thriller.
Terence Harcum scored a corner three-pointer with 14 seconds left to give the Mountaineers a one-point advantage, but Wake Forest’s Andrew Carr responded with a buzzer-beating mid-range jump shot to end the game.
Christopher Mantis led the way with 18 points on 6-7 shooting, a trio of three-point shots and a perfect game from the line. The sophomore was active on both ends, tallying two steals and two blocks in his third career start where he earned a plus/minus of +13.
The Mountaineers had a hot first half, shooting 17-25 and getting out to a 37-31 lead at the break. The Demon Deacons responded with a 17-2 run to open the second half, leading to their largest lead of the game (9) with 14 minutes to go.
Donovan Gregory broke the ice with a driving finish through contact, sparking eight consecutive App State points to cut the lead to one. The teams continued to fight back and forth as the game saw 15 lead changes and six ties.
App State trailed by four with two minutes remaining before Dibaji Walker found his way into the lane to make the score 61-63. Walker followed that with a block on the other side that led to a CJ Huntley layup that tied the game.
After a couple of defensive stops by both teams, it was Walker again who came up with the defensive rebound that led to Harcum’s eventual go-ahead three-pointer.
The Mountaineers had an impressive offensive outing, shooting 52.7% from the field with 36 points in the paint and 17 points off of turnovers.
App State will return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. as the squad hosts Regent. Next week, the Mountaineers will compete against UC Santa Barbara in the Jerry Colangelo Classic at the Footprint Center.