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Originally published: 2013-01-18 20:05:05
Last modified: 2013-01-18 20:05:05

Chattanooga takes heartbreaker from ASU

by Staff Reports

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Appalachian State men’s basketball team got off to a quick start, but was unable to overcome a late Chattanooga surge in a heartbreaking 91-88 overtime loss to its Southern Conference rival Thursday at The McKenzie Arena.

The Mountaineers (7-9, 3-2 SoCon) dropped their sixth-straight road game to the Mocs (8-10, 3-2) and saw their five-game winning streak come to a bitter end. It was a game that the Mountaineers have every chance to win, but saw the Mocs rally from 19 points behind and spoil ASU’s chance at a second-straight SoCon road victory.

Appalachian State would extend its lead to as many as 19 points (64-45) with 6:36 left in the game when the Mocs would begin an improbable run that would erase the deficit and send the game to overtime.

The Mocs used intense defensive pressure to force several Appalachian State turnovers over the final six minutes of regulation as it pulled within six points (70-64) with 3:17 left in regulation.

After falling behind by three points (78-75) in the final 30 seconds, the Mocs would get a second life when Dontay Hampton nailed a desperation three to tie the game and ASU’s Mike Neal’s last-second shot fell short.

An intense overtime period followed as the teams traded blows to begin the extra period before Hampton gave Chattanooga its first lead of the contest (83-82) when he banked in a 3-pointer with 3:28 left to play.

After falling behind by four points (89-85) in the final 30 seconds, ASU’s Nate Healy pulled Appalachian to within one point when he connected from long range, but the Mocs converted crucial free throws down the stretch to come away with the win.

Healy paced the Mountaineers with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Tab Hamilton scored 21. Canty finished with 19 points, six boards and five assists and Tevin Baskin added 11 points off the bench.

The Mountaineers dished out 21 assists for their 30 baskets. Neal led all Mountaineers with seven. ASU also shot 46.9 percent from the field in regulation, but cooled to 37.5 in the overtime period.

Chattanooga was led by a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds from Z. Mason while Hampton came off the bench to score 22. The Mocs shot 43.1 percent (31-of-72) from the floor while the Mountaineers shot 46.9 percent (30-of-64) including 12-of-20 from beyond the arc.

Healy set the tone early for the Mountaineers by drilling a 3-pointer on the team’s first possession of the game, spurring a barrage of shots from deep by the Mountaineers, who were 7-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half.

Healy made 4-of-10 overall from 3-point range.

After Hampton hit a layup at the 15:34 mark of the first half to draw the Mocs within two points (12-10), Appalachian reeled off a 10-2 run that gave it a 10-point cushion (22-12) with just under 12 minutes on the clock.

Chattanooga put a stop to the run on Drazen Zlovaric’s jumper with 10:43 remaining, but back-to-back threes from Jamal Trice and Hamilton gave the Mountaineers their largest lead of the half at 28-16 with 9:35 to play.

Appalachian would go cold from there as it did not connect on another field goal until Mike Neal hit a three at the 3:12 mark. The Mocs took advantage of the long scoring drought as they reeled off an 11-1 run during that stretch to tie the game at 29-29 before Neal’s bucket, but Appalachian State ended the half on a 9-1 run to take a 38-30 lead into the locker room.

The Mocs were able to cut the deficit to six points (38-32) on a fastbreak layup to begin the second half, but Jay Canty responded with a layup of his own just seconds later. The bucket spurred an 11-2 run by the Mountaineers, who extended the lead to a comfortable 15 points (49-34) with 15:12 to go.

Appalachian State returns to action when it travels to Samford for an 8 p.m. matchup on Saturday at the Pete Hanna Center.


Chattanooga 91, Appalachian State 88 (OT)

Appalachian State (7-9, 3-2)

Obacha 2-2 2-3 6, Healy 8-16 2-2 22, Canty 7-13 5-8 19, Hamilton 7-10 2-3 21, Neal 2-11 0-0 6, Baskin 3-9 5-7 11, Burgess 0-1 0-0 0, Trice 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 30-64 16-23 88.

Chattanooga (8-10, 3-2)

Zlovaric 5-10 0-1 10, Mason 8-17 5-6 23, White 4-9 9-10 17, McGhee 3-9 1-2 8, Cobb 1-7 0-0 2, Hampton 6-11 5-7 22, , Stokes 0-1 0-0 0, Watson 2-3 1-2 5, Bareika 0-1 0-0 0, Robertson 1-2 0-0 2, Bryant 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-72 21-28 91.

Halftime score—ASU 38, Chatanooga 30. 3-point goals—ASU 12-26 (Hamilton 5-6, Healy 4-10, Neal 2-5, Trice 1-2, Canty 0-1, Baskin 0-1, Burgess 0-1), Chattanooga 8-25 (Hampton 5-8, Mason 2-4, McGhee 1-4, Robertson 0-1, White 0-4).  Rebounds—ASU 39 (Healy 10), Chattanooga 45 (Mason 11). Assists—ASU 21 (Neal 7), Chattanooga (17 (McGhee 5). Turnovers—ASU 16, Chattanooga 12. Total fouls—ASU 22, Chattanooga 24. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None. Att.—2,787.