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Appalachian State Mountaineers Win Thriller Over Coastal Carolina, 61-60

Justin Forrest blocked a three-point shot by Josh Uduje in the final second of the game to clinch the win for Appalachian State. Photo courtesy | Appalachian State Athletics

By Nathan Ham

Appalachian State’s Donovan Gregory hit a shot in the lane with 30 seconds left that turned out to be the game-winner for the Mountaineers, giving the home team a 61-60 win on Friday night. Senior guard Justin Forrest blocked a three-point shot attempt by Josh Uduje with just over a second left in the game to seal a hard-fought victory. 

Neither team led by more than eight points in the entire game and the largest second-half lead was a 41-34 advantage for the Mountaineers two minutes into the second half. 

App State was able to build a 39-32 halftime lead thanks to the team hitting nine shots from three-point territory while Coastal Carolina was ice cold from three-point range, hitting just 1-of-7 from three in the first half. The Chanticleers ended up shooting just 3-of-19 (16%) from three-point range in the game. The Mountaineers ended up shooting 34% from three, hitting 11-of-32 attempts. 

With the victory, Appalachian State improved to 9-9 overall and 3-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. Coastal Carolina dropped to 9-7 overall and 1-3 in the SBC. 

“It was a great college basketball game, great atmosphere. Our fans and students were amazing. They really helped will us to some stops there late,” said Appalachian State Head Coach Dustin Kerns. “I’m proud of our team, proud of our bench. Everyone that played scored and that was a big deal. We got great, tough stops down the stretch.”

Senior guard Adrian Delph led the Mountaineers with 16 points and chipped in seven rebounds and three assists. Gregory finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Michael Almonacy scored 10 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. James Lewis Jr. finished with five points and six rebounds and CJ Huntley scored two points but pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. 

Forrest came off the bench and scored nine points. Christopher Mantis added six points off the bench and Michael Eads Jr. had three points. 

Coastal Carolina guard Vince Cole led all scorers with 25 points. Big man Essam Mostafa had another impressive performance with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. Uduje had seven points and Wilfried Likayi scored five points. 

The two teams will face off again on Saturday, this time in Conway, South Carolina with the Chanticleers hosting the Mountaineers at 2 p.m. The game will be aired on ESPN+. 

Sun Belt Conference Standings

*As of January 13

1 UT-Arlington: 8-8, 4-1 conference

2 Troy: 12-5, 3-1 conference

3 Louisiana: 8-6, 3-1 conference

4 Arkansas State: 11-4, 2-1 conference

5 Appalachian State: 9-9, 3-2 conference

6 Texas State: 10-4, 1-1 conference

7 Little Rock: 6-8, 1-1 conference

8 South Alabama: 11-5, 1-2 conference

9 Georgia Southern: 8-6, 1-2 conference

10 Coastal Carolina: 9-7, 1-3 conference

11 UL Monroe: 9-8, 1-4 conference

12 Georgia State: 6-7, 0-2 conference