Appalachian got big games from three seniors and scored the most points in a game on the season in a 93-81 win over College of Charleston. Omar Carter started the game, and despite shaking the ill effects of what could have been a cold, managed to score 19 points and grab five rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, Isaac Butts grabbed fourteen of them while scoring eleven points and Andre Williamson grabbed fifteen rebounds and chipped in ten points. The contributions of these seniors single-handedly outrebounded Charleston by themselves. For the game, the Mountaineers outrebounded Charleston 50-31.
Next up for the Mountaineers is UNC-Greensboro, the North Division champions. Greensboro lost their last three games of the regular season, but won the division with late season losses by Elon and Samford. The game will be a battle of strengths as the Spartans have on the leagues premier backcourts while the Mountaineers rely on their inside game to open up shots on the perimeter.
Appalachian could not have written a better script for its opening game in the Southern Conference Tournament. Appalachian will avoid its nemesis Georgia Southern, a team that gives Appalachian matchup problems and face Western Carolina, who defeated the Eagles in overtime on Friday. The Mountaineers defeated the Catamounts twice this season and have won six straight games overall against their in state rival. Appalachian beat Western by 36 points in Cullowhee and 19 points at home. Western Carolina was 6-2 in February in league play.
Despite Appalachian’s spirited play today, Greensboro should be favored in this game, but they may not be. Appalachian covered a big spread at home against Greensboro in December. At the game in the Greensboro Coliseum, Appalachian was spotted a point and a half and led by as many as 17 points in the first half. Greensboro charged back and forced overtime as Appalachian faltered down the stretch and won by four points. Several people are saying this is a good matchup for Appalachian and there are rumors of an injury keeping a certain Greensboro player out of the lineup. We could see a very small spread either direction. Greensboro lost their final three games of the regular season.
I could not find a line for the game so a pick could not have been made. I was told later that Appalachian was a 2 point favorite, which was just about what I was thinking the night before. I would have most likely taken the Mountaineers, but I cannot count this against me without knowing before the game.