The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.
I am covering two weeks of action, as the stomach bug last Thursday and a rush home on Friday had me delay my post. I decided to just put two weeks together to make a bigger post.
It’s been two weeks since I have posted a Conference Contemplation, and wow has it been a roller coaster ride in that span. A win over Western Carolina and an overtime win on the road in Statesboro where we tried to hand the game to the Eagles (again) got the fan base feeling pretty good going down to Davidson. But then a Wildcat drubbing set everyone back
and even got some people wanting to drop basketball and add hockey. A quick turnaround and a win against Furman has all taken place in the last little bit. T-Dog has done an outstanding job as usual detailing those games so I will just take out the highlights.
Almost two weeks ago, the not so kind folks from Cullowhee came to Boone. They brought a not so fierce following, including some very annoying students, and watched the Mountaineers defeat the Catamounts 74-65. Nathan Healy continued his streak of very good play and led the Apps with 24 points, 8 rebonds, and 7 steals, including a dunk with about 20 seconds left to flush the Catamounts. Healy was very effecient in 39 minutes of action, shooting 8-11 from the field including 4-5 from 3, and he was 4-6 at the line. Jay Canty added 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Mountiaineers, who led the whole way. Appalachian finished the game on a 9-1 run when Western cut the lead to 1 point with 2:06 left. Who says we can’t finish?
The following Thursday the Mountaineers set out on a road trip that not many people felt to confident about, including myself. Georgia Southern started well and built a 10 point lead at halftime, but the 2nd half saw the Mountaineers play good basketball for 18 minutes. The Apps held a 7 point lead with around 2:00 to play, and it happened, again. Georgia Southern used the press to eventually tie the game up and send it to overtime. Mike Neal had 4 free throws in the last minute that could have sealed the game for the Mountaineers, but missed all four. Heading into overtime, it seemed as if the game was Georgia Southern’s to lose, but Appalachian got hot and ended up stealing one on the road by a final count of 91-86. App shot 3-3 from the field and 12-12 from the charity stipe in the OT period. Once again, Nathan Healy led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds. 4 other Apps finished in double figures as Tab Hamilton finished with 16, Jay Canty with 15 (and 8 rebounds), Mike Neal with 13, and Tevin Baskin with 12. Both teams were horrid from the line, with the Apps finishing 29-43 (67%) and the Eagles finishing 15-28 (54%)
Two days later, the Apps hit the road again as the went to Davidson. Davidson is the class of the SoCon right now and everyone knows it. However, the Apps had won 3 of their last 4 games there, only losing to a team led by Stephen Curry. There isn’t much to talk about with the actual game itself, as it ended up worse than the game in Boone, which was hard to do. The Wildcats won 87-52 on a night where they could do no wrong. The Mountaineers got absolutely waxed by the best team in the league, and I was as disappointed as anybody. I blame this game on the Davidson “fans” who made me move out of my seat in the General Admission section. If I had gotten to stay in my seat, who knows what the outcome would have been. I guess they just feel entitled to their General Admission, first come first serve seats.
Two nights following the Wildcat waxation, the Mountaineers took the floor in the more comfortable Holmes Center to take on the Furman Paladins. Early on it seemed as if the Mountaineers wouldn’t have any trouble as they built an 18 point first half lead. That dream was short lived as the Paladins used a 10-0 run to end the half to cut the deficit to 6 at the break. This game almost mirrored the game against Western from a week prior, as everytime the Paladins would get to within 3 or 4, the Apps would respond. Furman cut the lead to one, just like the Catamounts did, but the Mountaineers finished again and won 72-66. A key to success this year for the Apps has been getting 4 guys in double figures. I don’t know the exact statistics,although I may look them up for next week’s post, but when Appalachian has put 4 guys above 10 points, it seems as if the win percentage is a whole lot higher than normal. On Monday night, the Apps had four players score 14 points each. Those four were Nathan Healy, Michael Obacha, Jay Canty, and Mike Neal as they scored 56 of the Apps 72 points. Healy also added 12 boards to go along with his share of the scoring. Once again, the Apps led from tip to horn and controlled the game most of the night.
The Mountaineers have a favorable schedule down the stretch to close out the regular season, but this weekend features a pair of big games, especially tonight. Every game is big at this point, but tonights seems even bigger. The Apps head to Burlington to take on the Elon Phoenix, who lead the SoCon North Division by 2.5 games over Appalachian. Elon is 9-3 in Southern Conference action, and they are 16-8 overall. The Phoenix are led by big man Lucas Troutman, who was injured in a win last weekend over Furman and from my last check is questionable for tonights game, which would be a pretty big blow for the Phoenix. The Apps defeated Elon 80-70 back on January 12 in Boone, so you know the Phoenix will be ready. On Sunday, the Mountaineers head to the Greensboro Coliseum to take on the UNCG Spartans, who aren’t having the year they expected. UNCG is sitting dead last in the North Division despite having the conference’s leading scorer, Trevis Simpson. Wes Miller’s squad comes in 5-7 in SoCon action, and 7-16 overall, having lost to Wofford 59-50 last Saturday. After these two important contests, the Mountaineers play their 3 remaining games in Boone against The Citadel, Samford, and Chattanooga. Revenge for the last two is hopefully forthcoming…
Now for a look on the SoCon action in the upcoming week…
Thursday, February 14
Furman @ Chattanooga, 7:00
Appalachian State @ Elon, 7:00
Western Carolina @ UNC-Greensboro, 7:00
Georgia Southern @ The Citadel, 7:05
Davidson @ Charleston, 7:30, ESPN3
Wofford @ Samford, 8:00
Saturday, February 16
Samford @ Furman, 4:00
Georgia Southern @ Charleston, 4:00, ESPN3
Western Carolina @ Elon, 7:00
Chattanooga @ Wofford, 7:00
Davidson @ The Citadel, 7:05
Sunday, February 17
Appalachian State @ UNC-Greensboro, 2:00
SOCON INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
Trevis Simpson, UNCG, 20.0
Trey Sumler, WCU, 18.0
Karl Cochran, WOF, 15.5
-FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Mike Groselle, CIT, 57%
Tim Williams, SAM, 55%
Lucas Troutman, ELON, 54%
Marshall Harris III, CIT, 5.1
Raijon Kelly, SAM, 4.6
Stephen Croone, FUR, 4.2
Adjehi Baru, C of C, 8.5
Nathan Healy, APP, 7.8
Mike Groselle, CIT, 7.7
Lucas Troutman, ELON, 2.1
Jake Cohen, DAV, 1.8
Nathan Healy, APP, 1.5
Trey Sumler, WCU, 2.2
Nathan Healy, APP, 2.0
Karl Cochran, WOF, 2.0
-Stats and Standings courtesy of ESPN.com
-Be sure to follow Yosef’s Cabin on Twitter, with the Twitter handle “@YosefsCabin” for all the happenings around the mountain, including Yosef’s Cabin posts and in-game updates