TROY, Ala. — Appalachian State cut a 22-point first half deficit to just one, but came up on the short end of a 89-85 decision at Troy on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans (8-6, 1-1 SBC) came out of the gate on fire and opened a 35-15 with 10:31 remaining in the opening half. But the Mountaineers (5-10, 0-2 SBC) stormed back, outscoring Troy 23-3, including the final 14 points of the half, over the final six minutes of the opening frame to cut the halftime deficit to 46-45.
In the second half, the Trojans pushed their lead to nine points at 66-57 with 8:32 left to play. App State countered with eight of the next 10 points to trim the Troy lead to 68-65 with 6:28 to go.
The Mountaineers pulled within a point at 75-74 with 3:12 remaining on a three-pointer from Adrian Delph. Troy pushed it lead back to six, but the Black and Gold trimmed the deficit to three points at 83-80 with 17 seconds left.
App State fouled and the Trojans’ B.J. Miller hit a pair of free throws to make the score 85-80. The Black and Gold answered with a old fashion three-point play from Justin Forrest to cut the deficit to 85-83 with five seconds left. App State fouled on the ensuing inbounds and Troy drained a pair of free throws to push its lead to 87-83. Following a Forrest layup, the Mountaineers fouled again and Jordon Varnado drained a pair of free throws in the finals seconds to put the game away.
Ronshad Shabazz tallied a team-high 25 points and pulled down a season-high six rebounds. Forrest added 18 points, a career-high six assists and three rebounds.
Delph tied his career-high with 18 points, including a 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) clip from deep, a career-best seven rebounds and a career-high two blocks. Hunter Seacat chipped in with 11 points and five boards for the Mountaineers.
Jordon Varnado paced Troy with a game-high 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
App State pulled down a season-high 17 offensive rebounds and won the battle on the glass 39-38.
Appalachian State will return to the High Country for a pair of games next week. On Thursday, App State welcomes UT Arlington to the Holmes Center at 7 p.m., followed by a meeting with Texas State on Saturday at 2 p.m. Single game tickets are on sale and can be purchased by clicking here or by contacting the Appalachian State ticket office at 828-262-2079.