Appalachian State’s three-point shooting too much for Panthers in 74-69 upset

In a shocking upset on Saturday afternoon from Boone, N.C., Georgia State men’s basketball was defeated by the Sun Belt’s last-place Appalachian State Mountaineers by a final score of 74-69. The loss bring the Panthers’ record to 11-7 and 4-3 in the conference.

First Half

The Panthers took an early 4-0 lead as R.J. Hunter made his first pair of two-point jump shots. Appalachian State junior guard Frank Eaves then made a three for the Mountaineers’ first three points of the game as the score became 4-3.

Three more points by Hunter increased the Georgia State lead early to 7-3, but App State then engineered a 5-0 run with Eaves’ second three and a two-pointer from junior forward Michael Obacha to go ahead 8-7.

The Panthers would gain the lead at 9-8 as Ryan Harrow scored his first pair of points of the game.

Georgia State maintained their early one-point lead with the scoreboard reading 11-10. With 12:35 remaining in the first half, the first two points from Jordan Session extended the early Panthers lead to 13-10, but Eaves’ third three of the game tied the game at 13.

The two teams would later be knotted up at 15, and later at 17. With around eight minutes left in the first half, two-pointers from Hunter and Harrow gave Georgia State a 21-17 lead.

The Panthers then held on to their four-point lead with the score being 23-19, but Hunter as well as Jalen Brown contributed three-pointers as the Georgia State lead grew to 29-19.

Eaves’ fourth three-pointer of the game cut the App State deficit to 29-22 before four consecutive points by Harrow increased the Panthers’ lead to 33-22.

Georgia State, with under four minutes to play, led the Mountaineers 35-34 before another three by Eaves trimmed the App State deficit to 35-27. Harrow would later contribute a three-point play to extend the Panthers’ lead to 38-27 as well as his individual point total to 15.

The score grew to 40-27 as Markus Crider threw down a slam dunk off an assist by Kevin Ware. Appalachian State’s final possession of the half would see junior guard Chris Burgess get on the scoreboard with his first three-pointer of the game cutting the Mountaineers’ deficit to 40-30 as the game reached halftime.

Second Half

The ten-point Panthers lead was cut to two as threes from App State’s Burgess and Eaves along with a jump shot by senior forward Tommy Spagnolo made the score 40-38.
Two-pointers by Ware, Harrow and Crider increased the Georgia State lead back to six at 46-38. At this point in the game, Hunter was on the bench with four fouls.

Georgia State’s lead would be maintained at eight with leads of 48-40 and 50-42. The Panthers’ lead grew to 11 with Crider’s ninth and tenth points of the game. Curtis Washington made one of two free throws after being fouled by freshman forward Griffin Kinney.

Ryann Green extended the Panthers’ advantage to 56-48 with just under 11 minutes to play, but a pair of three-pointers by Burgess allowed the Mountaineers to close the gap to 56-51.

Crider upped his point total to 12 with a pair of free throws, giving the Panthers a 58-51 lead.

With the score at 60-53 in Georgia State’s favor, Eaves and Spagnolo each made a pair of free throws as App State would only trail by a score of 60-57.

The Mountaineers trailed the Panthers 62-59 before a possession that saw Appalachian State attempt several three-pointers before junior forward Jacob Lawson was called for a foul against Ware.

Another three by Eaves would tie the score at 62. Green would then be credited with two more points after a goaltend by the Mountaineers for blocking the ball after it touched the glass. Eaves’ eighth three-pointer of the game would give App State a 65-64 lead.

Green then made a pair of free throws after being fouled by Eaves as the Panthers went back ahead by a 66-65 score.

With under two minutes to play, App State’s Spagnolo put in a dunk on a three-on-one transition play that included a foul against Ware. Spagnolo’s free throw was good to place the Mountaineers ahead 68-66.

Washington would then only make one of two free throws bringing Georgia State within one at 68-67. The Panthers would retake possession after Burgess lost the basketball out of bounds.

Harrow made a pair of free throws with under a minute left to play placing the Panthers ahead again by a score of 69-68, but Spagnolo threw down another dunk with 18.7 seconds left giving the Mountaineers a 70-69 lead.

Georgia State had an opportunity to win the game on their next possession, but a shot from Hunter was no good and led to Spagnolo being fouled after a rebound. He would then make a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds to go as the Mountaineers took a 72-69 lead.

The following inbounds pass from the Panthers was intended for Crider, but instead found Spagnolo who was fouled by Jalen Brown. Two more free throws from Spagnolo increased the App State lead to 74-69, the Mountaineers margin of victory for the game over Georgia State.

The Panthers will return to the hardwood on Monday night at 8:30 p.m. as they travel to face Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark.

Final Stats
Georgia State Appalachian State
Harrow: 21 points Hunter: 16 points
Eaves: 27 points, 8-14 three-pointers Spagnolo: 22 points, 12-13 free throws
About Akiem Bailum 285 Articles
Akiem Bailum - Sports Editor Fall 2014 - Spring 2015. Journalism major with a concentration in telecommunications. Class of 2015. Before becoming sports editor at The Signal, Akiem began his writing career at Georgia State in 2012. After a brief absence, he returned to The Signal in 2014. Akiem has covered Georgia State sports events on site for football, volleyball, basketball and softball games. His advice for future sports writers is to cover more than major sports and to attend as many events in person as possible. When away from the court or the field, Akiem's interests include studying the radio industry.

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