BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State University men’s basketball continues its three-game homestand as Samford visits the High Country for the teams’ second meeting this season. Thursday's tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Holmes Center
The Mountaineers (9-11, 5-5 SoCon) split a pair of games last week, with a narrow overtime setback at UNCG and a resounding 81-66 home win against Elon.
ASU improved to 7-2 at home on the season and knocked Elon from its place atop the division standings. Heading into this week, Appalachian stands third in the SoCon North, one game behind UNCG and just a half-game behind the Phoenix.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS:
• Samford (7-14, 4-6 SoCon) picked up its biggest win since joining the Southern Conference with a 77-74 defeat of previously undefeated Davidson last Saturday.
• The Bulldogs then dropped Monday’s contest against College of Charleston and fell one game behind the Apps in fourth place.
• Drew Windler leads the squad with 13.7 points on 51.1 percent shooting and a 45.1 percent clip from downtown. Jeffrey Merritt adds 6.7 rebounds per game in addition to a 9.0 scoring average.
• Samford leads the Southern Conference in three-pointers with 8.8 per game.
• Head coach Jimmy Tillette’s squad is 2-7 on the road, including a 1-3 mark in SoCon play.
• Appalachian downed the Bulldogs, 68-63, in early January to improve to 5-2 all-time against the Southern Conference’s newest member.
• It was the fifth-straight win for the Mountaineers and the second in a row by six or fewer points.
• Omar Carter led the Apps with 17 points and eight rebounds in the game, but it was Nathan Healy’s breakout performance that put ASU over the top. The junior came off the bench to score 14 points with eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
• Tab Hamilton (12), Mike Neal (11) and Andre Williamson (10) also scored in double figures for ASU.
• Williamson is the only ASU player to see action in all seven meetings with the Bulldogs. He averages 6.0 points and 4.1 rebounds against Samford.
• Carter adds 13.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in three games against the division rival, while Isaac Butts adds 5.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in four meetings.
• In the season’s first meeting, Jeffrey Merritt and Drew Windler combined for 29 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Bulldogs.
ASU TO HOST WINTHROP IN BRACKETBUSTER EVENT:
• The 2012 BracketBuster pairings were announced on Jan. 30, with Winthrop slated to take on the Mountaineers in Boone on Feb. 18.
• Four of ASU’s previous five BracketBuster games have been decided by two or fewer points, including last year’s 82-81 win at High Point.
• ASU dropped a 65-63 decision at Winthrop in 2009, but is 4-1 all-time against the Eagles, including a 70-51 win in Nov. 2009 at the Holmes Center.
• ASU is 3-2 in BracketBuster games.
Appalachian wraps up its three-game homestand on Saturday against College of Charleston. The Mountaineers then play their third game in five days on Monday at Elon in the first half of a two-game road trip.