SAN MARCOS, Texas –– Despite a late surge in the second half behind a powerful 1:22 run that saw Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) pour in three consecutive triples to help bring Appalachian State University men’s basketball within just two points at 50-48 following a 19-7 run; Texas State would hold off the inspired rally and prevail 67-58.
The Mountaineers (5-7, 0-1 Sun Belt) were led offensively by Shabazz who would finish with a team-high 19 points, including 13 in the second half. Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) picked up his second career double-double and second in as many games – finishing with 13 points and a new career-high 11 rebounds.
The Apps fell behind in the early going to the Bobcats (8-5, 1-0 Sun Belt), after Texas State up a 17-5 advantage at the 13:41 mark of the opening half. However, over the course of the next 7:06, the Mountaineers would battle back to within just six points at 25-19 after a jumper from Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day).
From there, the Bobcats would score 10 unanswered points to end the half and lead the Mountaineers 35-19 at the break.
After trading buckets early in the second period, Appalachian State would go on an ensuing 24-10 run to cut what was an 18-point Bobcat advantage down to just two points at 50-48 with 8:11 to play. In the early going of the second half, App State garnered some momentum from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) swatting shots on back-to-back attempts in the paint near the Bobcat basket. He finished with a career-high four in the game.
Following the furious run by the Black and Gold and behind Shabazz’s heroics from downtown, the Bobcats would not give in and push its two-point lead back up to nine with a 7-0 run.
Appalachian would not get closer than eight points the rest of the way and Texas State sealed the win in what was both teams’ Sun Belt Conference opener.
App State will get back on the court on Monday, Jan. 2 when they square off against UT Arlington at 8 p.m. ET from the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Notes: With the loss, App State moves to 3-3 all time against Texas State … Ronshad Shabazz’s 19 points was his 11th double-digit scoring game of the season and 29th of his career … Shabazz also tied his season high with four 3-pointers … Griffin Kinney picked up his second double-double of the season and of his career … Kinney also posted a career-high 11 rebounds … the Mountaineers 19 points in the first half was their lowest total of the season … App State collected 40 rebounds for the sixth time this season … Appalachian outrebounded its opponent for the eighth time this year … Tyrell Johnson swatted a career-high four blocks and now leads the team with 14 on the season.