Tuesday's High Country Sports Update.... (2016-11-29 15:00:58)

Late Push Not Enough in App State Men’s Hoops’ Loss to 49ers....CHARLOTTE, N.C. –– Appalachian State University men’s basketball’s late second half push and Isaac Johnson’s (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) first career double-double were not enough in Appalachian’s 80-72 loss at Charlotte on Monday night.

The Mountaineers (2-4) were led by the true freshman Johnson who totaled his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson finished 6-of-8 from the field and five of his 10 rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Freshman Kelvin Robinson (Little Rock, Ark./Episcopal) led the Black and Gold in scoring with 14 points, while also notching seven rebounds in the effort.Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) and Jake Babic(Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) both finished in double-figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Appalachian State outrebounded Charlotte 37-32, including a staggering 18-7 advantage on the offensive glass, however, both teams posted 12 second-chance points in the contest. 

At halftime, the 49ers (4-2) held a slim 46-41 lead despite red-hot shooting as the Niners connected on 63.3 percent (19-30) of its first half field goals. 

In their own right, the Mountaineers shot 47.2 percent (17-36) in the opening half and had whittled two double-digit Charlotte leads down to just five at the break.

The 49ers pushed its halftime lead to 11 and as many as 13 points at 60-47 with13:37 on the clock to open the second half of play. The Mountaineers would trim a nine-point deficit down to just five at 65-60 with a layup from Johnson and two free throws from Robinson.

Despite the short run, Charlotte answered and pushed its lead back to double-digits at 11 with a 73-62 lead and 6:47 to play.

The Black and Gold would engineer a 10-2 run sparked by layup from Johnson and including consecutive 3-pointers from Robinson and Emarius Logan(Columbia, S.C./White Knoll) which forced a 49er timeout. 

App State would pull to within four points on a Shabazz free throw at 76-72, but would not get any closer. A layup and two free throws from the Niners would seal the eight-point victory for Charlotte.

Jon Davis led the 49ers and all scorers with a game-high 19 points.

Appalachian State will return to the floor on Saturday, Dec. 3 when it hosts Western Carolina at 3:30 p.m. from inside the Holmes Center.

Notes: Isaac Johnson recorded the first double-double of his career with a season-high 12 points and 10 rebounds … Johnson now leads the team with 5.5 rebounds per game … Kelvin Robinson scored in double-figures for the second consecutive game and third time this season with a season-high 14 points … Robinson also tallied a season-high seven rebounds … Jake Babic scored in double-figures for the third time in six games this season - last year Babic scored double-digit points on just one occasion … for the fifth time this season, Appalachian State outrebounded its opponent … the Apps also garnered a season-high 18 offensive boards.


Chapman Named CoSIDA Academic All-American

BOONE, N.C. — After receiving the All-District honor, Appalachian State University men’s soccer forward Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) was named to the second team College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-America for his 3.63 GPA in his actuarial sciences degree.

Chapman joins players from Bowling Green, West Virginia, North Carolina, UCLA, Stanford, South Carolina, Charlotte, NC State and Louisville as part of the 33 players selected to one of the three academic all-American teams.

The Greensboro-native was a leader for the Mountaineers both in the classroom and on the field, being a constant offensive threat this year, ranking second in the Sun Belt Conference in goals (eight), third in points (18) and ninth in shots (30).

His best conference game of the season game against Howard at home when he buried a penalty kick late in the game to put the Mountaineers ahead before lasering in a goal later to seal the win.

The senior adds this recognition to a stellar year that included first team All-Sun Belt honors as well as receiving the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week award once this season, leading the team in all offensive categories, while also ranking tied for first on the team with two assists. He also finished 5-5 in PKs this year.

Watts Selected ACC Co-Player Of The Week
GREENSBORO, N.C. - North Carolina sophomore guard Stephanie Watts has been named ACC Women’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week after a record setting performance last week, announced on Monday by the league office.

Watts, from Wesley Chapel, N.C., set an ACC record when she made 10 three-pointers last Tuesday in a victory over Charleston Southern. She scored a career-high 39 points that evening against the Buccaneers, tying for the fifth most points every scored in a game by a Tar Heel player.

She also registered a double-double later in the week with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 91-77 victory over Minnesota on Friday night at the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas.

Watts averaged 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.0 assists over three games last week.

North Carolina (5-1) visits Wisconsin on Thursday in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip time is 8 p.m. ET from Madison, Wisconsin.


Switzer Headlines Tar Heels On All-ACC Teams

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- After a record-setting senior season in which he caught 91 passes for 1,027 yards and five touchdowns, senior wide receiver Ryan Switzer was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Lucas Crowley,Jon Heck and T.J. Logan were second-team selections, while Elijah Hood, Nazair Jones and Mitch Trubisky were third-team picks.

A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Switzer ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally with 91 receptions, a total that eclipsed Dwight Jones' previous school record of 85, which was set in 2011. An incredible 82 of his 91 catches came against Power 5 opponents, the top such total nationally. He also had five receiving touchdowns on the year, upping his career total to 18, tied for fifth-most in school history. 

Crowley earned second-team honors at center following his most successful season as a Tar Heel. The Ponte Vedra, Florida, senior was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week three times in 2016, anchoring an offensive line that was hampered by injuries. Fellow senior Heck, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, was a second-team pick at tackle. Despite losing two senior starters to injury, Crowley and Heck helped lead a line that paved the way for Carolina to finish the regular season second in the ACC in yards per play.

Logan was honored for his dynamic presence as a kickoff return specialist. The Greensboro senior ranked third nationally with a 32.9 yards per return average and returned two kicks for touchdowns, including a school-record 100-yard score against The Citadel. Logan led Carolina in all purpose yards with 1,509, a 125.8 yards per game average.

Hood rushed for a team-high 858 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season, while also catching 25 passes for 142 yards in 11 games.

Jones was a key veteran leader on a young defensive line, recording a team-best 7.5 tackles for loss among his 62 total stops.

Trubisky emerged as one of the nation's top passers in his first year as a starter, tossing for 3,468 yards and 28 touchdowns, both UNC single-season records.

Switzer (specialist) was also one of six Tar Heels to earn honorable mention on the All-ACC list. He was joined by Bug Howard (wide receiver), Des Lawrence (cornerback), Andre Smith (linebacker),M.J. Stewart (cornerback) and Nick Weiler (place-kicker).


Jones Named ACC Rookie of the Week

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors following his performance against Miami this past Saturday.

In the 40-21 loss to the Hurricanes, Jones completed 34-of-50 pass attempts for 316 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.  The effort marked the fourth 300-yard passing performance for Jones against ACC competition this season.

The league honor is the fourth for Jones, as the Charlotte, N.C., native also was honored as the rookie of the week following Duke’s contests against Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

The ACC’s other weekly honors included Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (Offensive Back), N.C. State’s Joe Scelfo (Offensive Lineman), Syracuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo (Receiver), Boston College’s Harold Landry (Defensive Lineman), Virginia Tech’s Andrew Motuapuaka (Linebacker), Pitt’s Quadree Henderson (Specialist) and Georgia Tech’s Lance Austin (Defensive Back).


Week Thirteen Sun Belt Football Players of the Week Announced

Offensive Player of the Week
Isaiah Saunders (Idaho, So., RB, Sociology/Criminology)
Saunders was the driving force for Idaho’s offense in the Vandals’ 38-31 victory over South Alabama for their seventh victory of the season. Saunders carried the ball 23 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and was caught for a loss just once – for one yard. He scored the first touchdown of the game with 9:48in the first quarter then came back with scoring runs in the third quarter (which returned the lead to the Vandals) and the fourth quarter (to give the Vandals a 10-point advantage with 14:27 to play).
Defensive Player of the Week
Jalen Thompson (South Alabama, So., DB, Exercise Science)
Thompson intercepted a pair of passes and added a career-high 10 tackles — all unassisted — at Idaho last time out, breaking up another pass as well.  The sophomore cornerback became the first Jag to pick off multiple passes in a game in more than a year, and the first since the 2010 finale and season opener in 2011 to record an interception in back-to-back outings.  He was also the first USA cornerback to finish with a double-digit tackle total since Nov. 2, 2013.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Bentlee Critcher (Appalachian State, Sr., P, Business and Marketing Education)
Critcher was 8-for-8 on kickoffs for touchbacks and punted once for 53 yards in the Apps’ 37-7 win against New Mexico State on Saturday. Critcher kept the Aggies backed up throughout with his lone punt downed at the 3-yard line.  App faked one punt, on which Critcher took the snap and rumbled 28 yards for a first down.


Photo Courtesy: Ryan Switzer, UNC Athletics