The Appalachian State men’s basketball team doesn’t make it out west very often.
The Tuesday night game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., will be the first time the team has trekked this far West since 2000, when it competed in a November tournament in Hawaii. That event was also the only previous time the Mountaineers faced the Beavers, and Oregon State emerged with a 60-37 win.
Appalachian State (1-1), which was picked to finish second in the preseason Sun Belt Conference poll, is coming off a 91-78 loss at Northern Illinois on Saturday in the first leg of the MAC-SBC challenge. Donovan Gregory, a preseason first-team all-conference selection, led the Mountaineers with 17 points.
“When you return a lot of guys who have played a lot, that’s a good thing,” Appalachian State coach Dustin Kerns said. “Experience sometimes is your best teacher. We have a lot of guys that have seen a lot of plays. They’ve seen about everything you can see.”
The Mountaineers began their campaign with an 87-49 rout of NAIA program Oakland City on Tuesday.
The Beavers opened the season with an 82-46 victory against NCAA Division III Linfield on Nov. 6, then outlasted visiting Troy 81-80 in double overtime on Friday.
Jordan Pope converted a three-point play with 6.9 seconds left in double overtime to put the Beavers ahead. Pope scored nine of his 16 points in the extra periods.
“I’m really confident that he’s going to make the right play,” teammate Tyler Bilodeau said in a postgame radio interview. “He was struggling a little bit during (regulation) and he ended up making some really big plays for us down the stretch and overtime and helped us win the game.”
Dexter Akanno and Bilodeau each scored 18 points to lead the Beavers with Christian Wright adding 14.
Bilodeau, a sophomore who fouled out in the last minute of regulation, had 12 rebounds for his first career double-double.
“I’m really proud of this team,” Bilodeau said. “We battled to the end.”
–Field Level Media
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