App State Falls to Ragin’ Cajuns, 77-62

BOONE, N.C. –– Appalachian State University men’s basketball overcame early deficits to hold a one-point lead over UL Lafayette in the first half, but it would not be sustainable in a 77-62 loss on Monday night inside the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (8-20, 3-14 Sun Belt) overcome two nine-point deficits early in the second half to take a one-point lead at 22-21 with 9:19 to play in the opening period.

In the opening 3:32 of the game, App State remained scoreless and the Ragin’ Cajuns (18-11, 8-8 Sun Belt) were up 9-0 before a fastbreak dunk from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson).

Down again by nine points at 19-10, the Mountaineers engineered a 12-2 run which was sparked by a Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) layup and capped by a Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) layup.

The Cajuns would take the lead right back on a three from Justin Miller and pushed its lead to a game-high 10 points at the break, 43-33.

Out of halftime, the Mountaineers would try and claw their way back into the game scoring a quick four points. The Black and Gold would close the deficit to five at 49-44 after a pair of free throws from Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) at the 16:06 mark of the second half.

Unfortunately, the Cajuns’ lead grew to 14 points nearly four minutes later and UL Lafayette would lead by as many as 22 in the second half en route to the 15-point victory.

Shabazz led the Mountaineers with 17 points. Babic chipped in seven points and six assists, while Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) grabbed a team-high seven boards.

The Cajuns were led by 21 points from Frank Bartley, while three others posted double-figures including Bryce Washington who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Notes: App State moves to 0-7 all-time against UL Lafayette … Ronshad Shabazz notched his 25th double-digit scoring game of the season and 43rd of his career … Shabazz now has 832 career points – 168 shy of becoming the 32nd 1,000 point scorer in App State history … Isaac Johnson led the Mountaineers in rebounding for the 12th time this season … Jake Babic tied his career-high with six assists.

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