Davidson pulls away from App State
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
DAVIDSON – Appalachian State's men's basketball team will not pull off the upset it hoped for in the Mountaineers' final Southern Conference game at rival Davidson.
Davidson broke away from the visiting Mountaineers in the second half and claimed a 78-66 victory in front of 3,989 fans at Belk Arena.
Both programs are leaving the SoCon in 2014. Appalachian State is moving to the Sun Belt in a football driven move, while Davidson is leaving for the Atlantic 10, also next season. The Wildcats claimed the final five games of the series that dates back to 1945.
“It was a typical game in the Southern Conference,” Davidson head coach Bob McKillop said. “You have to fight every night for 40 minutes. That's what we had to do and credit Appalachian State. They never gave up, and they played the entire 40 minutes.”
Appalachian State (4-12, 0-3 SoCon) once held a 21-11 lead with 11:58 left in the first half following a 7-0 run capped by a Tommy Spagnolo basket. But the Mountaineers could not hold their advantage and trailed 35-34 at halftime.
After Appalachian State scored the first basket of the second half, Davidson (7-10, 3-0) went on an 11-0 run capped by a Tyler Kalinoski 3-point basket to give the Wildcats a 46-35 lead they would never lose.
“We scored the first basket out,” Mountaineers coach Jason Capel said. “Now, your traditional lineups – again – Davidson is going to struggled to score with (DeMon) Brooks on the bench. I'm going to struggle with my big guys on the bench.”
Jay Canty led the Mountaineers in scoring with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. The senior forward had to often play out of position along the Mountaineers' front line since Spagnolo, Tevin Baskin and Michael Obacha were in foul trouble for most of the game.
Appalachian State was also missing Mike Kobani (concussion) and Rantavious Gilbert (sprained ankle) because of injuries.
“Now you have Jay playing the power forward position that he's never played in his life,” Capel said. “He's only practiced for two weeks, so it's tough.”
Capel said that because of the Mountaineers' foul trouble, particularly at the start of the second half when App State was called for three fouls, forced the Mountaineers to change to a zone defense,which the Wildcats were able to make outside shots over.
“With Davidson, it's my belief that you have to guard the 3-point line,” Capel said. “If you have to play zone, you're vunerable defending the 3-point line because of what you're giving up.”
“They were able to separate because we went zone,” Capel added. “Tommy had four fouls, Tevin had three or four. Those were the big bodies I had.”
Guards Frank Eaves and Tab Hamilton each scored 11 points for the Mountaineers. Baskin added 10 points and Obacha pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Brooks scored 19 points for the Wildcats on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Overall, Davidson made 57.1 shots from the field and 66.7 percent in the second half. Tom Droney had seven assists for the Wildcats, which was one more than the six assists the Mountaineers had as a team.
“(Brooks) is a heck of a player,” Capel said. “That's what he brings. Now, if you take away some of my guys, like Michael Obacha, who can physically battle him a bit inside, and then you take away Tommy Spagnolo, who can somewhat back (Brooks) inside, we're picking at straws here.”
Kalinoski scored 16 and Chris Czerapowicz scored 15 for the Wildcats, who have won two straight SoCon games after losing to former SoCon member College of Charleston on Jan. 1.
Appalachian State hosts Chattanooga on Jan. 16 at the Holmes Center.
Davidson78, Appalachian State 66
Appalachian State 66 (4-12, 0-3)
Baskin 5-12 0-0 10, Obacha 0-1 2-2 2, Hamilton 4-8 2-2 11, Burgess 1-3 0-0 2, Canty 7-10 7-8 23, Spagnolo 2-3 0-0 4, Eaves 4-10 3-5 11, Neal 0-4 3-6 3. Totals 23-51 17-23 66.
Davidson 78 (7-10, 3-0)
Brooks 7-8 5-7 19, Sullivan 1-2 0-0 3, Kalinski 5-8 3-4 16, Droney 4-7 0-2 9, Cerapowicz 7-12 0-2 15, Barham 3-4 1-4 7, Gibbs 1-2 4-6 6, Belford 0-4 3-4 3, McAuliffe 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-49 16-29 78.
Halftime score-Davidson 35, App State 34. 3-point goals-App State 3-13 (Canty 2-2, Hamilton 1-4, Eaves 0-4, Neal 0-2, Burgess 0-1), Davidson 6-11 (Kalinski 3-6, Droney 1-2, Czerapowicz 1-2). Rebounds-App State 31 (Obacha 10), Davidson 27 (Brooks 6). Assists-App State 6 (Neal 3), Davidson 15 (Droney 7). Steals-App State 5 (Five with one), Davidson 4 Kalinoski 2). Turnovers-App State 15, Davidson 9. Total fouls-App State 25, Davidson 21. Fouled out-App State, Baskin, Spagnolo. Technical fouls-App State, Obacha. Att.-3,989.