GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers will try to solve their road woes when they square off with the Davidson Wildcats in Southern Conference play at Belk Arena.
Appalachian State enters this contest hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive loss. The Mountaineers were in action Thursday night against UNC Greensboro and were dealt a 66-60 home loss. They have not traveled well this season as they are winless in eight road games.
Putting an end to that slide will not be easy against a Davidson team that has won 23 straight SoCon home games dating back to 2010-11. Overall, the Wildcats have won 15 consecutive league games and 22 of their last 23. They went just 1-3 at home during their early-season non-conference slate but opened conference play with back-to-back road wins over Wofford (78-63) and Furman (73-56) this week.
Davidson holds a 41-32 series lead over the Mountaineers and has won each of the last four meetings.
Appalachian State led UNCG 30-29 at halftime of Thursday's matchup, but the Spartans opened the second half with a 13-6 spurt and played frontrunner the rest of the way. The Mountaineers were never able to get in sync as they shot just 34.5 percent from the floor. After knocking down 4-of-7 3-pointers in the first half, ASU made only 1-of-10 threes in the second stanza. Jay Canty led the way with a game-high 15 points, while Tevin Baskin and Tab Hamilton finished with 13 apiece. Canty sat out the early portion of the season because of academic issues but has averaged a team-best 15.7 points in three games since returning to action. Also averaging double figures are Hamilton (13.3 ppg), Baskin (11.8 ppg) and Mike Neal (10.9 ppg).
Headlining Davidson's roster is SoCon Preseason Player of the Year De'Mon Brooks, a 50-percent shooter from the floor who paces the squad in both scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). While Brooks has certainly held his own down on the blocks, he is also the only forward in the Wildcats' four- guard starting lineup. The backcourt trio of Brian Sullivan (12.8), Tom Droney (11.8) and Tyler Kalinoski (10.7) all average double figures. Kalinoski leads the team with three double-doubles and has been deadly from 3-point range, where he is shooting at a 48-percent clip (23-of-48). In Thursday's win at Furman, senior Chris Czerapowicz posted a game-high 21 points behind 5-of-8 3- point shooting, and Brooks finished with 18 points and nine boards. It marked the second straight game the Wildcats shot 50 percent or better as a team.
Davidson's 1-3 home record through non-conference play is a bit surprising, but the fact remains SoCon foes have not been able to solve Belk Arena since the 2010-11 campaign.
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