By Nathan Ham
The Appalachian State Mountaineers are quietly having a much-improved season under new head coach Dustin Kerns. App State is off to an 8-5 overall start and is unbeaten inside the Holmes Convocation Center with a 4-0 record.
The Mountaineers will begin its homestand with a game on Thursday night against Georgia State at 7 p.m. The team will host Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. this Saturday and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Monday at 7 p.m.
Appalachian is 2-0 in the Sun Belt Conference with both of those wins coming on the road. The Mountaineers beat preseason conference champion pick South Alabama 81-71 on December 19 and Troy by a 70-65 score on December 21. Most recently, Appalachian traveled to NC State and came up a bit short with the Wolfpack scoring a 72-60 win in Raleigh. That loss snapped a four-game winning streak.
For Thursday night’s game, the first 100 people through the gates get Yosef 2020 party glasses. On Saturday, the basketball team is celebrating Black Saturday with all fans that come to the game dressed in black get a $5 discount on ticket prices. For Monday’s game, the first 500 fans get a Rally Towell as part of Make an Impact Monday.
Junior guard Justin Forrest has had a stellar season so far for the Mountaineers. The Georgia native is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game. Senior Isaac Johnson is second on the team in scoring at 11.5 PPG and is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.9 rebounds per game. Adrian Delph is averaging 9.5 PPG and is the team’s best three-point shooter so far at 35 percent from beyond the arc. O’Showen Williams averages 9 PPG and is tied for the team lead in steals with 23.
The Mountaineers are one of five teams in the Sun Belt with a 2-0 conference record. The net two opponents (Georgia State and Georgia Southern) are also 2-0. Georgia Southern will be playing at Coastal Carolina on Thursday night.