BOONE, N.C. — Facing one of the top scoring teams in the country, Appalachian State men’s basketball set the tone early and never trailed en route to a 78-62 win over Davidson on Saturday evening in the Holmes Center.
The Wildcats (2-2) entered the game averaging 95.3 points per game, which was sixth highest in the country. In addition, Davidson also came into the contest leading the nation with an average of 17.3 made three-pointers per game.
Appalachian State (4-3) was up to the task, limiting the Wildcats to just 62 points and 9-of-33 (27.3 percent) shooting from beyond the arc.
Junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) paced a balanced Mountaineer attack that saw all five starters score at least nine points, with a game-high 18 points to go along with four assists.
Senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) finished with a season-high tying 16 points on 6-of-10 (60.0 percent) shooting and a season-best nine rebounds. In his first career start, freshman Justin Forrest (Decatur, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) added 16 points on 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) shooting, four rebounds and two steals.
Junior Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) chipped in with nine points, four rebounds, a career-high four assists and a season-best three blocks. Sophomore Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) added nine points to go along with nine rebounds.
App State set the tone from the opening tip, limiting Davidson to just one made field goal out of their first 15 attempts to build an early 12-2 lead.
The Wildcats would close the gap to four points at 17-13, before the Black and Gold answered with a 12-4 run, capped a Shabazz trey, to take a 29-17 edge with 3:06 left in the first half. The Apps took a 36-23 lead into the break.
Appalachian opened the second half by scoring the first four points, before Davidson responded with a 10-0 run to trim the Mountaineer lead to 41-35 with 15:55 to play.
The Wildcats would pull to within four points at 46-42, but a quick 7-0 spurt from App State allowed them to open a 53-42 advantage with 11:23 remaining.
Davidson was unable to trim the deficit under double digits the rest of the way, as the Mountaineers built as large of a lead as 18 points.
App State shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, while the Wildcats shot 40.0 percent (26-of-65). In addition, the Mountaineers held a 17-1 scoring advantage at the free throw line, limiting Davidson to just four free throw attempts in the contest.