TROY, Ala. – App State men’s basketball overcame a 12-point second half deficit in a 70-65 win at Troy on Saturday.
The Trojans (5-8, 1-1 SBC) opened a 61-49 lead with 13:18 left to play in the game. From there, App State (8-4, 2-0 SBC) held Troy without a point for an 8:43 span, scoring 12 points in the process to tie the game at 61-61.
Troy answered with a pair of free throws, but the Black and Gold tied the score at 63-63 on a layup from O’Showen Williams with 3:52 to play.
The Trojans came right back with a basket to take the lead back at 65-63, but from there, it was all Mountaineers. Isaac Johnson tied the game at 65-65 with a jumper at the 2:28 mark of the second half and Justin Forrest gave App State the lead with a 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining.
Troy could get nothing going and the Black and Gold got free throws from Hunter Seacat and Johnson down the stretch to cap the victory.
App State’s 8-4 start to the season is the best for the program since the 2006-07 season, when the Mountaineers started 9-3. The two Sun Belt wins to open conference play marks just the second time the Black and Gold have won its first two Sun Belt games, also accomplishing the feat in 2017-18.
The Mountaineers also won their first two conference games on the road for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when App State began Southern Conference play with road victories at Furman and Wofford.
Troy jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, before App State answered with seven straight points to tie the score at 10-10. With the Trojans leading 17-12, the Black and Gold went on a 9-0 spurt to take a 21-17 edge with 9:36 left in the opening half. Later in the half, Troy snapped a 28-28 tie with six straight points and took a 45-39 lead into the break.
Forrest paced App State with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-18 (50.0 percent) shooting and a 4-of-8 (50.0 percent) clip from deep, to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
Johnson added 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Seacat tallied nine points and five rebounds. Williams chipped in with six points, five rebounds and a game-high four assists.
App State shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field and held the Trojans to 31.8 percent (21-of-66) shooting, including just 25.0 percent (7-of-28) in the second half.
The Mountaineers return to action on Dec. 29 at NC State in their non-conference finale at 4 p.m. on ACC Network. App State then returns to Boone for three straight Sun Belt games, beginning on Jan. 2 against Georgia State at 7 p.m. on ESPN+. Season tickets and single game tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale and can be purchased by calling the App State ticket office at 828-262-2079.
App State men’s basketball would like to thank AutoStar Nissan as its presenting sponsor to the 2019-20 season.