Justin Forrest poured in a season-high 32 points and Hunter Seacat had a key block in the closing seconds as Appalachian State men's basketball recorded a thrilling 85-84 victory over ULM on Saturday afternoon.
Late in the contest, a pair of free throws from Isaac Johnson with 1:21 remaining allowed the Mountaineers (8-14, 3-6 SBC) to open an 85-82 lead. The Warhawks (11-10, 4-5 SBC) answered with a basket on their ensuing possession to cut the App State lead to 85-84. The Black and Gold came up empty on its next possession, but got a stop on ULM's next possession. Off the miss, Seacat grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 11 seconds left to play.
He stepped to the line to shoot a one-and-one and missed the front end. ULM pulled down the rebound and Michael Ertel drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Seacat. The Warhawks' JD Williams grabbed the loose ball and put up an off balance jumper that was no good. ULM could not get off another as shot as the buzzer sounded to give the Mountaineers the thrilling win.
The Warhawks opened an early 11-3 lead, before the Mountaineers jumped in front 19-17, getting 13 points from Forrest in the process. The score would be tied seven more times the rest of the half, before a late 6-0 run by the Mountaineers gave them a 46-40 lead at the intermission.
The second half saw the Black and Gold open its largest lead of the contest at 59-46 with 16:26 remaining on a three-pointer from Adrian Delph. ULM stormed back with a 18-5 run to tie the score at 64-64. From there, the score would be tied five times and change hands two more times, before Seacat's late rejection preserved the Mountaineer win.
Forrest scored 22 of his 32 points in the first half and finished the game 11-of-18 (61.1. percent) from the field and 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) from deep. It marks the third 30-point game of his career, joining a 32-point contest versus Iowa State and a career-high 36-point output at James Madison last season.
Isaac Johnson added 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Ronshad Shabazz had 12 points and five assists and Delph tallied 11 points, including a 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) clip from deep.
Off the bench, Tyrell Johnson reached double figures for the third time in his last four games with 11 points.
Ertel led the Warhawks with 26 points and Williams chipped in with 23.
App State shot 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the field and 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from deep. The 14 made threes are tied for the second most in a game this season, while the Mountaineers' shooting percentage and three-point percentage are their second highest on the year.