Justin Forrest had a game-high 22 points and Adrian Delph added a career-high 19 as Appalachian State men's basketball topped East Carolina 68-62 on Tuesday evening in the Holmes Center.
Forrest scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half. He added three rebounds and went 10-of-11 (90.9 percent) from the free throw line. Forrest has now scored 20 or more points in all three contests this season.
Delph tallied 14 of his 19 points in the first half. He also had a career-high nine rebounds and dished out two assists in the win. He bettered his previous career-high of 18 points, set twice last season.
The App State (2-1) defense also limited the Pirates (1-2) to just 35.6 percent (21-of-59) shooting from the field and 22.7 percent (5-of-22) shooting from deep. The Mountaineers have now held their last two two opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field and under 25 percent on three-pointers.
The Black and Gold scored the first nine points of the game to jump out to an early 9-0 lead. ECU trimmed the App State lead to two points at 21-19, before getting a basket by Hunter Seacat and a three from Delph to take a 26-19 lead with 6:04 remaining in the opening frame. The Pirates cut the Mountaineers lead to a point, but a late three-pointer from Michael Bibby gave the Black and Gold a 31-27 halftime lead.
In the second half, ECU took a 40-37 lead at the 15:08 mark. App State scored the next four points to jump back in front and pushed its lead to five points at 57-52 on a three-pointer from Forrest. ECU countered with the next four points, but the Mountaineers got a basket from Isaac Johnson and a pair of free throws from James Lewis Jr. to open a 61-56 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Leading 65-59 with under a minute left, App State got key blocks from Lewis Jr. and Johnson to regain possession. Delph was fouled and drained a free throw to give the Mountaineers a 66-59 lead and put the game away.
Seacat finished with seven points on 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) shooting off the bench. Johnson had a solid all around game with six points, seven rebounds and a career-high tying five steals. Bibby drained a pair of threes and finished with six points off the bench.
The Black and Gold held a 14-6 edge in points off turnovers and also outscored the Pirates 18-6 on the fast break.
The Mountaineers will now shift their focus to the Spartan Invitational, hosted by UNC Greensboro, where they play three games in four days. App State will battle Montana State on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Tennessee Tech on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., with both games in Fleming Gymnasium. The Black and Gold then close out the invitational against UNC Greensboro in the Greensboro Coliseum on Monday at 7 p.m.