App State provides storybook ending for its seniors with win over South Alabama


Senior Adrian Delph led the Mountaineers with 20 in a Senior Day win. (Photo: App State Athletics)





BOONE, N.C. – Senior Day is always special. Saturday in the Holmes Center presented even more opportunity for a celebration.


The four App State seniors – Adrian Delph, Michael Almonacy, Justin Forrest, and James Lewis – ended arguably the most successful tenure in recent Mountaineer history, leaving the floor to hugs from teammates and a rousing ovation from the largest crowd in 10 years. The foursome paced their club in scoring, notching 55 of the team’s 69 points in a 69-51 decision over visiting South Alabama before an announced crowd of 4,508.


“It means a lot,” said Forrest. “These guys are my family for life. The way they just went out there and played hard for me and for all of us – App State basketball has grown so much. It’s amazing to see. I’ve been through so much in my time here at App. This moment is something that I actually dreamed of.”


Almonacy added, “Everything’s about momentum in conference play. Getting that win after two tough losses – I think we stepped it up a lot tonight. We really grew tonight as a team, defensively and offensively, throughout the whole game.”


Mountaineers coach Dustin Kerns also honored his seniors after the game.


“Our seniors are to be commended. We just solidified the third-straight winning season. That’s the first time that’s happened here since 1998-2000,” Kerns said. “Our seniors helped change the course of this program. They’re to be commended for that. That’s a big deal. I’m just really proud of our guys.”


HOW IT HAPPENED

FIRST HALF

  • App State (17-12, 11-5 Sun Belt) took an early lead it would not relinquish, as Adrian Delph broke the seal with a triple from the left side off a kick-out from the paint at the 17:54 mark, putting the Mountaineers in the lead; Delph splashed another triple under a minute later to spot App the game’s first six points

  • Delph dropped another triple from the top of the circle just inside the 16-minute mark to put the Mountaineers ahead, 9-2

  • South Alabama (18-9, 8-6 Sun Belt) used a stoppage to regain composure and fire off a 7-0 run over a roughly two-minute span to draw within a pair at 16-14 (9:22)

  • Michael Almonacy cashed in a rhythm triple from the left wing to slow the prolonged South Alabama run (3:46)

  • Following a Javon Franklin layup for South Alabama, App State went on a 9-0 run, punctuated by a CJ Huntley dunk on an alley-oop and another Almonacy triple

  • The run afforded App State a 30-19 advantage at the interval; Adrian Delph paced the Mountaineers and all scorers with 12


HALFTIME STATS

App State: 34% FG (10-29), 33% 3FG (6-18), 80% FT (4-5), 1.034 PPP (29 trips), 41.4% scoring, 13.8% turnovers

South Alabama: 27% FG (7-26), 20% 3FG (1-5), 57% FT (4-7), .655 PPP (29 trips), 31.0% scoring, 20.2% turnovers


SECOND HALF

  • Justin Forrest splashed a three to start the second half and extend the Mountaineer run to 12-0 (19:40)

  • Another Forrest triple, paired with one from Delph, compelled a South Alabama stoppage (39-21 App State, 17:36)

  • App continued its offensive barrage out of that stoppage, extending the lead to 51-32 (12:43)

  • Delph banged home another triple at the 10:17 mark, affording the Mountaineers their largest lead of the game to that point (56-34)

  • An Alex Anderson bucket and four quick points from Jay Jay Chandler provided a 6-0 Jaguar run over a three-minute stretch, knifing the margin to 16 with 6:24 to play

  • App State closed out the game from there, never allowing the Jaguars any closer and sending out the seniors on a high note


FINAL STATS

App State: 41.3% FG (26-63), 38.2% 3FG (13-34), 80% FT (4-5), 1.169 PPP (59 trips), 47.5% scoring, 11.9% turnovers

South Alabama: 36.8% FG (21-57), 23.1% 3FG (3-13), 54.5% FT (6-11), .879 PPP (58 trips), 41.4% scoring, 15.5% turnovers


APP STATE 69, SOUTH ALABAMA 51


SOUTH ALABAMA (18-9, 8-6 SUN BELT): Thomas 0-4 0-0 0, Smith 2-3 0-0 6, Franklin 3-6 0-0 6, Manning 4-16 0-1 8, Chandler 3-10 4-8 11, Jones 0-3 0-0 0, Goncalves 0-2 0-0 0, Kearing 6-7 2-2 14, Anderson 3-6 0-0 6, Shirley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 6-11 51.


APP STATE (17-12, 11-5): Lewis 5-7 0-0 10, Forrest 4-11 2-3 13, Almonacy 4-8 0-0 12, Gregory 4-11 0-0 8, Delph 7-16 0-0 20, Duhart 0-0 0-0 0, Huntley 1-6 2-2 4, Mantis 0-2 0-0 0, Eads 0-0 0-0 0, Harcum 0-1 0-0 0, Glushkov 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-63 4-5 69.


Halftime — App State 30-19. 3-Point Goals—App State 13-34 (Forrest 3-8, Almonacy 4-8, Delph 6-12, Huntley 0-4, Mantis 0-2), South Alabama 3-13 (Thomas 0-3, Smith 2-2, Manning 0-3, Chandler 1-3, Goncalves 0-2). Fouled Out — NA. Rebounds —App State 41 (Lewis 9), South Alabama 37 (Franklin/Anderson 6). Assists —App State 22 (Gregory 10), South Alabama 6 (Manning 3). Total Fouls — South Alabama 10, App State 9. Technical — NA. A —4508.


HUSTLE STATS Points in the paint: South Alabama 30, App State 26

Points off turnovers: South Alabama 5, App State 5

Second-chance points: App State 11, South Alabama 6

Fast-break points: South Alabama 5, App State 4


NOTABLE

  • App State assisted on 22 of 26 baskets, the highest total of the year (previous high was 21 twice, at Furman and at Duke)

  • The Mountaineers also snagged 11 offensive boards, tied for their third-highest total of the year with Georgia State (15 at Georgia State, 14 at North Carolina)

  • App set a season-high for three-pointers, draining 13 on 34 attempts (previous high was 12 against Boyce)

  • App’s seven turnovers were the second-lowest total on the season (previous low 6 against Vermont and ETSU)

  • Delph’s six threes were his second-highest output of the year (7 against Delaware and Louisiana-Monroe)

  • Gregory's 10 assists were a career-high (previous high 6 against Coastal Carolina and Georgia State)

QUOTABLE


NEXT UP

App State travels to Little Rock Wednesday to battle the Trojans. Game time is set for 7:30 (Eastern). South Alabama returns home to the Mitchell Center to square off with Texas State. That Wednesday contest will tip off at 8:00 (Eastern).

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