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Originally published: 2013-11-19 23:28:10
Last modified: 2013-11-19 23:28:10

App State men belt Lees-McRae

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

After three season-opening losses, Appalachian State was looking for a win. Lees-McRae turned into the perfect tonic for the Mountaineers' woes.

Mountaineers guard Mike Neal benefited the most. Neal scored a game-high 21 points, 14 in the first half, in the Mountaineers' 91-63 victory over the Bobcats, who play in the Division II Conference Carolinas.

Neal also had a good floor game by handing out six assists and making four steals, while turning the ball over just one time.

"I thought Mike was fantastic," Mountaineers coach Jason Capel said. "I thought Mike really set the tone with his play.

Appalachian State (1-3) played well in the first half in a 98-77 loss to North Carolina State. In a 73-66 loss to Campbell, the Mountaineers played well in the second half after a rough first half.

A big, physical Cincinnati team pressed constantly against the Mountaineers, and the Bearcats' size and athleticism wore the Mountaineers down in a 77-49 Cincinnati victory.

Capel said the Mountaineers needed to find some success to get back some confidence that was lost in those three games.

"We needed to come out and perform well," Capel said. "We needed to come out and have some success. I thought we put together a good first half against N.C. State and a good second half against Campbell. I thought we put together a good 40 minutes tonight."

Appalachian State (1-3) took a 14-point lead in the first half and didn't look back. The Mountaineers  shot 51.3 percent from the field in the first half in taking a 47-33 lead. The Mountaineers forced 11 first-half turnovers and dished out nine assists for the 20 baskets they made in the first.

The combination allowed App State to take a 47-30 lead before the Bobcats' Darius Smith hit a 3-pointer just before halftime to close the Mountaineers' lead to 14.

Three Mountaineers scored in double figures in the first half. Tab Hamilton scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half. Michael Obacha added 11 points, 10 in the first 20 minutes of the game. Frank Eaves came off the bench to score 11 points.

Mike Kobani chipped in 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He also pulled down two rebounds in 10 minutes.

Appalachian State scored 50 points in the paint compared to 28 for the Bobcats (3-2). The Mountaineers also shot 52.7 percent from the field and had 15 fast-break points, compared to just two for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae, which turned the ball over 16 times compared to seven turnovers for the Mountaineers, shot just 33 percent in the second half and 40 percent for the game. The Bobcats made just 22 baskets from the field and just 14-of-23 from the foul line.

Mike Chambers came off the bench to score 18 points for Lees-Mcrae. Daryl Bond added 13 points and pulled down six rebounds.

Poor foul shooting, which hurt the Mountaineers in a season opening loss to Campbell, was not a factor Tuesday night against the Bobcats. App State made 6-of-12 from the foul line Tuesday.

 

 

Appalachian State 91, Lees-McRae 63

Lees-McRae 63 (3-2)

Hicks 1-3 0-0 3, Tutton 2-6, 2-4 7, Bond 4-9 4-7 13, Moore 3-9 0-0 6, Smith 2-6 1-4 6, Gaither 0-1 0-0 0, Falls 1-1 0-0 2, Felton 0-0 0-0 0, Chambers 6-12 5-6 18, Burton-Harper 0-0 0-0 0, Wallis 0-0 0-0 0, Tillman 0-1 0-0 0, Arnold 3-5 0-0 6, Malbon 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 22-55 14-23 63.

Appalachian State 91 (1-3)

Baskin 3-11 2-5 8, Spagnolo 1-1 0-0 2, Hamilton 8-14 1-2 19, Burgess 1-4 0-0 2, Neal 9-17 0-0 21, Kobani 6-7 0-0 12, Clarke 0-1 0-0 0, Obacha 4-5 3-4 11, Gilbert 1-2 0-0 2, Eaves 5-9 0-1 11, Purgason 0-0 0-0 0, Toney 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 39-78 6-12 91.

Halftime score-App State 47, LMC 33. 3-point goals-LMC 5-15 (Hicks 1-1, Smith 1-1, Tutton 1-2, Bond 1-4, Chambers 1-4, Moore 0-1, Arnold 0-1);  App State 7-20 (Neal 3-5, Hamilton 2-5, Toney 1-1, Eaves 1-5, Baskin 0-1, Clarke 0-1). Rebounds-LMC 38 (Tutton, Bond 6), App State 39 (Baskin, Obacha 8). Assists-Lmc 10 (Smith 4); App State 20 (Neal 6) Steals-LMC 2 (Falls, Arnold); App State 9 (Neal 4). Turnovers-LMC 16, App State 7. Total fouls-LMC 16, App State 19. Fouled out-None. Technnical fouls-None. Att.-1,16.