Men’s Basketball Unable to Hold Off App State



Thomas Hummel, Sports Editor

The Hartford men’s basketball team could never get over the hump on Monday, as it dropped a 69-59 decision to Sun Belt Conference preseason favorite App State inside Holmes Convocation Center. Senior Austin Williams scored a season-high 19 points for the Hawks, who fall to 0-6. Michael Eads Jr. shot 80 percent from the field for the Mountaineers to lead all players with 20 points. With the win, App State moves to 4-4 on the season.

Despite Williams opening the game on a tear by scoring each of Hartford’s first seven points — and 10 of his team’s first 13 points — the Hawks found themselves in a 15-7 hole with 11:27 left in the first. The senior’s second three of the night with 10:16 left helped the Hawks cut that deficit in half, but three straight triples from Eads allowed App State to push the lead to 26-15 with 7:36 to go. Scoring 13 points off Hartford’s nine first-half turnovers, the Mountaineers, who shot 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, took a 38-23 lead into the halftime break.

Hartford came out of intermission strong, scoring the first six points to bring the deficit down to single digits at 38-29. The Hawks continued to make things interesting, but despite pulling within single digits five more times, including an eight-point spread with 7:22 left, they could never get over the hump. Holding Hartford scoreless for nearly five minutes, App State would use a 9-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 17 (64-47) and ultimately seal the win with 3:04 left.

The turnaround is quick for the Hawks, as they head to Rock Hill, S.C. to take on Winthrop on Wednesday. Tipoff from Winthrop Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m.