The outcome of Appalachian State’s 116-57 win over Montreat College was a virtual given. More significant was the way in which App State went about claiming the victory.
Especially as a three-game losing streak including a bitter home loss to Western Carolina had overtaken the team.
During that streak, Appalachian:
Was shooting just 35% on two-point shots, but shot 72.7% against Montreat.
Had been outscored in the paint by 42 points, but owned Montreat 44-22.
Trailed 39-38 overall on second-chance points, but reclaimed the advantage 13-9 against Montreat despite only missing 26 shots.
Now, the Mountaineers have to build on that against an NC State team that is most certainly not Montreat./p>
So, What Went Down?
APP STATE OFFENSE
The performance was full of bright spots, but some were more important than others. It’s great that 14 of 15 different Mountaineers scored, but more significant that certain guys produced.
Ronshad Shabazz attacked at will and scored 17 on just 11 field-goal attempts in 19 minutes.
Tyrell Johnson played only 12 minutes but went 3-4 from the floor after struggling of late.
Emarius Logan drilled a couple of three-pointers after a rough game last weekend and is shooting 40% from the arc this season.
The Appalachian bench produced 64 points against Montreat after failing to hit 20 points in two of the past three games.
App State needed to see that gravity still worked around their rim and that was accomplished. Now, they have to convert against an NC State team that will challenge shots in a way that Montreat couldn’t.
APP STATE DEFENSE
App State turned 20 Montreat turnovers into 33 points, and held a 14-0 fast-break scoring advantage.
Despite surrendering 17 offensive rebounds, which can happen when your opponent misses 47 shots, Appalachian recovered to allow only nine second-chance points.
Montreat star Alonzo Mobley, who leads the Cavaliers in scoring, rebounding, and assists, was held to zero points on 0-3 shooting, just two rebounds, and one assist after fouling out in just eight minutes of court time.
After allowing Montreat to start with 19 points in the first 9:15 of the game, App State held the Cavs to just 38 points for the remaining 39:45 of play.
Kelvin Robinson had a solid bounce-back after a couple of tough shooting games, scoring nine points on 4-6 shooting with five rebounds and three assists. Pat Good went just 1-3 from the floor (all three-point attempts) but played the role of distributor with six assists. Isaac Johnson was incredibly efficient again with 10 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes. Zach Cottrell also had his best game with seven points on 3-6 shooting.
Swingman Craig Hinton had a breakout game with 10 points on 3-4 shooting and six rebounds, and Jake Wilson blocked six shots and grabbed seven rebounds.
With a trip to 7-2 NC State coming up we’re going to see how much App State really returned to their groove.
State comes into the game averaging nearly 80 points per game and intent on forcing App State into an up-tempo game that favors the Wolfpack.
Appalachian has to maintain its renewed confidence but play with greater discipline than they have since the win at Hartford.