MONROE, La. – Ronshad Shabazz etched his name further in the record books by scoring his 2,000th career point, but the Appalachian State men’s basketball team dropped a 81-75 decision at ULM on Thursday evening.
Shabazz entered the contest needing 40 points to reach 2,000 for his career. Backed by a 24-point first half and a 23-point second half, he drained a three-pointer at the 2:26 mark of the second half to join Donald Sims as the only two players in program history to reach 2,000 points.
In addition, he went over 500 points for the season and is the first player in program history to score 500 or more points in three seasons.
Shabazz finished the game with a career-high 47 points, on a career-best 17 made field goals and a career-high 10 three-pointers. His 47-point performance marks the 11th time in program history a Mountaineer has eclipsed the 40-point mark in a game and ranks as the fourth highest scoring output in single game program history and eighth highest scoring output across Division I this season. In addition, his 10 three-pointers made ties the school record set by Nate Cranford in the 2007 season
Isaac Johnson posted his eighth double-double of the season and 12th of his career with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Johnson has now pulled down double digit rebounds in his last three games.
Justin Forrest chipped in with seven points, four rebounds and a career-high tying six assists.
The Warhawks (15-12, 8-7 SBC) used an early 7-0 spurt to jump out to a 12-2 lead. ULM pushed its edge to 28-12 later in the half, but the Black and Gold countered with nine straight points to cut its deficit to 28-21. From there, Shabazz scored the final 12 points for the Mountaineers (9-19, 4-11 SBC) to cut the Warhawk lead to 37-33 at the break.
An old-fashioned three-point play from Adrian Delph early in the second half pulled the Mountaineers to within two points at 38-36. ULM pushed its lead back to eight points, but a trey from Shabazz with 9:46 remaining pulled App State within two points at 56-54.
Later in the half, an old-fashioned three-point play from Johnson gave the Black and Gold its first lead of the night at 62-61 with 6:40 remaining. The Warhawks responded with a three-pointer on their next possession to jump back in front 64-62.
ULM pushed its lead out to 68-63 on a pair of free throws from Daishon Smith, but the Mountaineers cut the deficit back to two points at 70-68 on a trey from Shabazz. From there, the Warhawks scored six consecutive points to open a 76-68 lead with under a minute to play and put the game away.
Smith paced ULM with 26 points, five rebounds and three steals. Michael Ertel added 22 points and four rebounds.
App State held a 36-28 edge in the rebounding battle, including a 11-3 advantage on the offensive glass.
Appalachian State will play its final road game of the regular season on Sunday at Louisiana at 2:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can be heard on the Appalachian Sports Network from Learfield IMG College.