GS Men’s Basketball falls at App State

Thomas Jilk

The Georgia Southern men’s basketball team suffered another road loss on Monday night, falling to rival Appalachian State, 83-78, in Boone, N.C. The Eagles have now lost their last four games on the road, while winning their last eight in Hanner Fieldhouse.

Monday’s Game

Sophomore guard Tookie Brown had a monster game for GS, scoring 32 points – 20 in the second half – while grabbing a team-high 9 rebounds and dishing out five assists.

“He brings it every night,” GS head coach Mark Byington said of Brown. “He plays with the gas pedal pushed all the way to the floor.”

Brown’s backcourt mate, sophomore Ike Smith, scored 19 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, but he committed 6 turnovers as well. App State’s bench outscored the GS bench, 25-12. The Mountaineers were able to outlast the Eagles on their home floor at the Holmes Convocation Center.

“Going on the road in college basketball is hard,” Byington said.

App State junior forward Griffin Kinney scored 25 points and had nine rebounds to lead four Mountaineers who scored in double figures on Monday. Kinney shot 20 free throws, making 13 of them in addition to 6-10 shooting from the field.

Sophomore guard Ronshad Shabazz and freshman guard Patrick Good contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, for App State. Sophomore guard Emarius Logan scored 10 points, rounding out the Mountaineers’ balanced attack.

Looking Ahead

Byington explained that his team’s defense will be the deciding factor in determining whether the Eagles can win a Sun Belt Championship and contend for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re constantly growing,” Byington said. “We have certain guys who are really improving but the team defense and finishing with rebounds, sometimes we’re lacking in those areas.”

Monday’s loss puts the Eagles, at 9-4 in the conference, in a three-way tie with Georgia State and Arkansas State for second place in the Sun Belt and half a game behind conference-leading University of Texas-Arlington (9-3). The Eagles will have a chance to play both Arkansas State and Georgia State among their last three regular-season games, both on the road.

GS will play their next two games at home, with Texas State coming to Hanner on Saturday at 5 p.m. and the UT-Arlington Mavericks coming on Monday at 7 p.m.

The Sun Belt Tournament begins March 9 in New Orleans.