CCU men fall to App State in Sun Belt tournament semifinals, 64-61

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Devante Jones scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds, but CCU fell to App State in the Sun Belt tournament semifinals, 64-61.

PENSACOLA, Fla. – DeVante’ Jones scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Chanticleers fell to Appalachian State 64-61 in overtime in the Sun Belt Conference Championship semifinal round action Sunday night at Pensacola, Fla. 

The semifinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Championship was the best showing the Chanticleers had made in the championship since joining the conference in 2016. 

It was a game where neither team had a strong night shooting the ball, but 22 turnovers seemed to do in the Chanticleers (16-7) as those miscues led directly to 20 points for the Mountaineers. The Chants turned the ball over two of their last three possessions in the game’s final 10 seconds as they tried send the game into a second overtime. 

Jones’ double-double was his fifth of the season with the most important three points coming on three free throws with 10 seconds left in regulation to send the game into the overtime period. 

Ebrima Dibba also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and tied for a game-high six assists. Essam Mostafa reached double-digits with 15 points and came up just one rebound short of his ninth double-double with nine rebounds. 

The Chants only shot 37 percent (23-of-62) from the field and an even worse 15 percent (3-of-20) on their three-point attempts.  CCU did hit 12 of its 14 free throws for 86 percent. 

Led by Dibba and Jones the Chants had 52 rebounds compared to only 38 for the Mountaineers. 

Adrian Delph led App State (16-11) with a game-high 20 points. He was the only player on the court that was successful from three-point range, knocking down 6-of-12 three’s on his way to his game-high. Michael Almonacy scored 19 points and Justin Forrest added 13. 

The first half was a half of runs by both teams. The Chants jumped out to an 18-7 lead through the first 11 minutes of the half. During the run, the Mountaineers missed 16-of-17 shots, but poor shooting by the Chants did not push the lead out any further. 

App State got on a run of its own coming all the way back to take a 20-18 lead on a 13-0 spurt. During their move, the Chants went almost six minutes without scoring until a Garrick Green three-pointer with three minutes left stopped App’s run. 

That three started another CCU run that saw the Chants outscore the Mountaineers 11-0 over the final three minutes of the first half to take a 29-20 lead into the locker room. 

Jones and Mostafa led CCU with nine points each with them combining for an 8-of-14 shooting performance over the first 20 minutes of play. The rest of the team was only 4-of-17 from the field as CCU ended the opening 20 minutes shooting 38.7 percent. 

Almoncy scored seven to lead App State in the first half while Delph had six. The Mountaineers finished the half shooting 24.2 percent from the field. 

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics

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