BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State men’s basketball held a 47-19 edge in bench scoring en route to a 82-73 victory over North Carolina Central on Saturday afternoon.
The victory improves the Mountaineers (4-5) to a perfect 4-0 at home this season and extends their home non-conference winning streak to 11 games.
The 47 points from the bench are the second most the bench has scored this season for App State, trailing only a 68-point output in a season opening victory over Mars Hill.
Joseph Battle led the way for the Black and Gold with a career-high 18 points off the bench on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting and a 10-of-11 (90.9 percent) clip from the charity stripe. He also added three rebounds, all of which offensive.
O’Showen Williams chipped in with a season-high 13 points, going 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) from deep, to go along with a season-best four assists. Also off the bench, Adrian Delph had 10 points on 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) shooting.
Ronshad Shabazz and Tyrell Johnson each reached double figures for App State. Shabazz finished with 12 points and three assists, while Johnson tallied 11 points on 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) and six rebounds.
The first half was tight and featured six ties and three lead changes. After trailing for the majority of the half, the Black and Gold jumped in front 32-31 on a basket from Battle with just over three minutes left. App State pushed its lead to four points on three-pointer from Breki Gylfason, but a late N.C. Central (4-6) basket trimmed the Mountaineer lead to 38-36 at the break.
In the second half, the Eagles opened the half on a 9-2 run to take a 45-40 advantage. The Mountaineers stormed back with a 14-3 spurt to take a 54-48 edge with 12:41 left to play. The Black and Gold continued to pull away and a trifecta from Williams capped a 20-5 run and gave the Black and Gold with 74-56 lead with just under five minute to go. The Eagles trimmed the Mountaineer lead to seven in the closing minute, but were unable to get any closer.
Appalachian State shot 27-of-59 (45.8 percent) from the field and went a season-best 21-of-25 (84.0 percent) from the free throw line. The Eagles went 28-of-58 (48.3 percent) from the field.
Raasean Davis led N.C. Central with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds, while Larry McKnight Jr. chipped in with 17 points and six rebounds.
App State will now hit the road for a two-game road trip. The Mountaineers will take on South Florida on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. on ESPN3 followed by a contest at Georgetown on Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. on FS1.