BOONE, N.C. –– Griffin Kinney posted his third career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Tyrell Johnson notched a career-high 14 points, however, it would not be enough in a 76-68 loss to Little Rock inside the Holmes Center on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (5-9, 0-3 Sun Belt) were led by both Kinney and Johnson, while Ronshad Shabazz tallied 12 points. Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll) and Patrick Good both finished with nine points each, while Isaac Johnson grabbed seven rebounds for the Black and Gold.
Down by three points early, the Mountaineers regained a lead after a Jake Babic 3-pointer to take a 15-13 lead. The Apps pushed the lead to a game-high six on the heels of back-to-back buckets from T. Johnson and Shabazz at 19-13 with 9:41 left in the opening half.
With a 31-28 lead, a Deondre Burns three would tie the game for the Trojans (11-5, 2-1 Sun Belt) heading into the break.
Little Rock got out to a fast start in the second half with a three-point play from Lis Shoshi to go up 34-31. Shortly thereafter, the Trojans pushed its lead to a game-high eight points at 43-35 with 16:52 to go in the game.
Down 45-38 after a Marcus Johnson, Jr. layup, the Mountaineers engineered a 8-0 run with threes from Good and Shabazz and a layup from Kinney. The run spanned just 1:16.
Following a Shoshi layup, the Mountaineers were back down by six points with 6:23 left in regulation. The Mountaineers refused to go away quietly and orchestrated a 7-0 run to regain the lead 63-62 on an and-one play from Kelvin Robinson.
Unfortunately, the Trojans would regain the lead on two Shoshi free throws and never look back en route to the 76-68 win.
Appalachian State will return to the court on Monday, Jan. 9 when it hosts Arkansas State at 7 p.m. inside the Holmes Center.
Notes: With the loss, App State moves to 2-5 all-time against Little Rock … the Mountaineers drop to 4-2 at home in 2016-17 … Griffin Kinney notched his third career double-double and matched his career high with 11 rebounds … with 12 points, Ronshad Shabazz netted his 31st career double-digit scoring game … the Mountaineers assisted on 16 of its 24 field goals … App State scored 18 points off of Little Rock’s seven turnovers.