ARLINGTON, Tex. – Appalachian State men’s basketball came up on the short end of a 78-68 decision at UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon.
Ronshad Shabazz paced App State (8-16, 3-8 SBC) with 15 points, a season-high eight rebounds and a team-high three assists.
Isaac Johnson added nine points and six rebounds, while Justin Forrest had seven points and three rebounds.
Off the bench, Tyrell Johnson reached double figures for the fourth straight game with 11 points. Bennett Holley drained a trio of three-pointers to finish with nine points and Michael Bibby finished with a career-high seven points and three rebounds. In all, the Mountaineer bench held a 30-20 scoring edge.
In the opening half, neither team built a lead larger than four points. A jumper from Shabazz with 4:49 left in the first frame gave the Black and Gold a 33-29 edge. The Mavericks (12-12, 8-3 SBC) used a late spurt to take a 39-37 lead into the intermission.
In the second half, UTA used an early 9-2 run to build a 52-42 lead with 15:41 remaining in the game. The Mavericks pushed their lead to 13 points at 57-44, only to see the Black and Gold cut the deficit to nine points at 59-50 with 11:31 to play. UTA pushed its lead back to 76-61 with just under seven minutes remaining. App State would pull within 10 points late, but could get no closer.
The Mountaineers finished 26-of-59 (44.1 percent) from the field, while UT Arlington went 31-of-71 (43.7 percent) in shooting.
Brian Warren paced the Mavericks with game highs of 22 points and nine assists. Edric Dennis added 14 points and six assists and Andres Ibarguen and TiAndre Jackson-Young each had 10 points.
The Mountaineers will return to Boone and welcome Coastal Carolina to the Holmes Center on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. The contest will serve as Alumni Day for the program and the App State football team will also be honored at halftime.