Mountaineers rally past Carson-Newman
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State had its hands full in its 62-59 victory over Carson-Newman in an exhibition game at the Holmes Center Monday.
Carson-Newman, a Division II program that plays in the South Atlantic Conference, led by five at halftime, and did not surrender the lead until late in the game. The Eagles made 9-of-24 3-point baskets, including 6-of-12 in the first half. Their shooting allowed them to take a 31-26 halftime lead.
It wasn’t enough to keep Jay Canty from taking control of the game last in the game. Canty scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his second game since the 2010-11 season, when he played for Xavier. Canty sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.
“I thought we grew up,” Mountaineers coach Jason Capel said. “You work on things in practice — situation things that try to prepare you for the game, but nothing prepares you for the game better than actual game-time situations.”
Canty’s stickback with 5:10 left in the game sparked a 7-0 run that gave Appalachian State a 60-54 lead. It was his defense that preserved the victory.
Canty defended Carson-Newman’s Antoine Davis on a one-on-one drive that Davis would miss that the Mountaineers rebounded.
Carson-Newman made things difficult for Appalachian State by taking an eight point lead three times, and a 10-point lead (13-3) early in the first half. Canty’s 3-point basket with 43 seconds left in the first half cut the Eagles’ lead down to five.
Appalachian State did not take the lead until a Nate Healy jumper put the Mountaineers in front 43-41 with 12:31 left in the second half. Healy finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
“We were not making shots,” Nate Healy said. “In the second half, we were a lot more aggressive. Our entire mindset was completely different.”
Tab Hamilton added 14 points for the Mountaineers. Backup point guard Chris Burgess scored just two points, but also dished out a team-high five assists in 36 minutes.
“We had to heat ourselves up a little bit longer than we wanted, but toward the second half, we felt like we should have,” Hamilton said. “We got a little better when we gained some confidence and played better in the second half.”
Davis led the Eagles with 21 points. Ishmael Sanders added 16 points for Carson-Newman, who rallied from an 18-point deficit in a 71-65 loss to East Tennessee State on Saturday.
Starting forward Odell Parker transferred to Carson-Newman from Wofford, and Cody Henegan is a transfer from UNC Greensboro. Parker went scoreless and Henegar had two points.
“They have two transfers from Division I,” Capel said. “We’re a young team. It’s a challenge that we won. I like coming out on the winning end of it, but they’re a team that went to East Tennessee State and almost won there too.”
Appalachian State, which beat Lees-McRae in its first exhibition game, play for real Friday night at home against Montreat in the second half of a doubleheader with the women’s team.
Appalachian State 62, Carson-Newman 59
Henegar 1-6 0-3 2, Parker 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 9-18 0-0 21, Johnson 2-2 0-0 4, Sanders 6-13 1-3 16, Perez 1-3 0-0 2, Brooks 1-2 1-4 3, Likely 2-2 0-0 6, Rogers 2-6 0-0 5. Totals 24-53 1-7 59.
Appalachian State (62)
Healy 4-11 2-2 12, Canty 9-17 6-8 27, Okam 0-1 0-0 0, Hamilton 4-14 2-2 14, Trice 0-5 0-0 0, Baskin 2-2 0-0 4, Obacha 0-2 3-4 3, Burgess 1-7 0-0 7. Totals 20-59 13-16 62.
Halftime score—Carson-Newman 31, Appalachian State 26. 3-point goals—C-N 9-24 (Davis 3-7, Sanders 3-8, Likely 2-2, Rogers 1-4, Henegar 0-3), ASU 9-30 (Hamilton 4-9, Canty 3-7, Healy 2-5, Trice 0-4, Burgess 0-5). Rebounds—C-N 29 (Henegar, Johnson 5), ASU 42 (Caney 10). Assists—C-N 8 (Three with two), ASU 12 (Burgess 5). Turnovers—C-N 16, ASU 18. Total fouls—C-N 12, ASU 11. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None. A—NA.