BOONE, N.C. – In a high-scoring affair that saw two Mountaineers cross the 20-point threshold, the App State Mountaineers took down the Queens Royals 93-81 for their seventh win in a row and sixth straight win against a Division I opponent. It’s the first time that App State has scored 90 points against a Division I opponent in nearly three years and just the second time under Kerns.
With the win, App State (8-2) has now won seven games this season by at least 10 points, which is the most in the Sun Belt Conference. The win also marks the seventh consecutive win for Coach Kerns’ squad, which is the first seven-game winning streak for App State since the 2007-08 season.
All nine players who checked into the game scored a bucket on Wednesday night against Queens (6-6), marking the sixth game this season that at least nine Mountaineers have scored in a game. Continuing the trend of balance, the Mountaineers saw three players score at least 10 points, which is the 16th consecutive game that has happened.
How it Happened
App State would use a 17-2 run over the first five minutes to explode out of the gates on Wednesday and would never trail in the contest. The Mountaineers would drill six of their first eight shots, including three three-pointers to blow the Royals away right from the jump.
Terence Harcum, Justin Abson and Christopher Mantis would drill consecutive three-pointers on three-straight possessions to propel App State to a 15-point lead at the under-16 media timeout. It was a three-point shooting barrage for the Mountaineers at Curry Arena as they drilled nine threes on the night.
Unphased by the Mountaineer run, the Royals would storm back and tie the game at 25, fueled by a 10-0 run on 5-6 shooting. Queens would drain two threes during its run and brought Curry Arena back to life as App State went cold.
The Mountaineers would build their lead back up to seven after the Royals tied it up thanks to an aggressive couple of minutes by Donovan Gregory. Gregory would score four of his season-high 22 points during this stretch as the App State faithful that made the trip down to the Queen City rose to their feet.
Xavion Brown would bring the house down with a ferocious two-handed dunk to build the lead back to double-digits at the under-four media break. Brown, who had his best game of the season against Central Penn last Tuesday, would play a big role in the first half for the Black & Gold as the team outscored Queens by 15 points with Brown on the floor in the first half.
The Royals would end the half strong and cut the lead to seven as the first half buzzer sounded. A floating jumper from Deyton Albury, who notched a career-high 25 points on Wednesday, would bring the game to its closest point since it was 25-33 at the 5:33 mark.
Gregory, Abson and Spillers led the way for the Mountaineers in the first half. Gregory continued his efficiency from the field this season as he notched 13 points on 6-7 shooting in the first frame. Gregory had missed just 11 shots in his last five games coming into play on Wednesday and continued his hot stretch in the first half.
As a team, the Mountaineers would shoot an incredible 57 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes while draining four threes.
Queens would keep the momentum after Albury’s buzzer-beating shot to end the first half and come out hot to begin the second half and cut the lead back down to four after a BJ McLaurin three-pointer. McLaurin scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half.
App State would power through a slow start to begin the second half and propel the lead back up to eight by the next media break. Gregory and Spillers would score the first eight points in the final frame to help App State get its offense started to begin the half.
The Mountaineers would use the momentum generated by Gregory and Spillers and go on an extended run, outscoring the Royals by 11 points over a three-minute stretch to jump back in front by 17, which was the largest lead of the night. CJ Huntley, who played his best game of the season on Wednesday, scored 10 of his season-best 22 points during the run.
Continuing the back-and-forth play, Queens would answer App State’s run with a 9-2 run to trim the lead back down to 10 at the 8:22 mark. Jordan Marsh and Christopher Mantis would quell the Royals’ flame, however, as they would each drain layups to push the lead back to 14 at the under-eight break.
The Royals would continue to answer the Mountaineers’ momentum as they would continue to hit shots and stay in the contest. An Albury layup would trim the lead to seven points with just 2:43 left to play.
Even with Albury’s hot night, the Mountaineer offense would be the storyline as Terence Harcum would drill a step-back three to give App State a 10-point lead and all but ice the contest on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers would drill six straight free throws with less than two minutes to play to end the contest on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers missed just two free throws in the game as they continued to shoot well from the line.
To sum up the night, Gregory would get a friendly bounce on a three-point basket with 15 seconds to play to push App State up and over the 90-point mark for the first time against a Division I opponent since 2020. When the final horn sounded, the Mountaineers claimed their eighth win of the year, seventh win in a row and sixth straight win over a Division I opponent. App State had all the answers on the offensive end to tame the Royals’ high-scoring offense.
It was another balanced effort for Coach Kerns’ squad at Curry Arena as three players scored at least 10 points. Gregory and Huntley both tallied 22 points, becoming just the second and third Mountaineers to score 20+ points this season. Huntley and Gregory both were efficient from the floor as the two combined to go 16-21 from the field while draining all nine free throws they attempted. Tre’Von Spillers continued his solid play in his sixth career start as a Mountaineer, notching his second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Spillers has scored double-digits in all but one game as a starter.
The Mountaineers will take to Greensboro, N.C., for a neutral site bout with the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs on Saturday at the Novant Health Fieldhouse. It will be the Mountaineers’ first trip to Greensboro since 2019. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.