HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — App State men’s basketball begins conference play on the road against the two top-ranked NET teams in the Sun Belt, beginning with Marshall on Thursday night before Saturday’s game at Southern Miss. This is Game Number 2,500 for the App State men’s basketball team, dating back to the 1919-20 season.
Thursday’s game will be a battle between the top two shot-blocking freshmen in the country. Marshall’s Micah Handlogten ranks seventh in the nation in blocks (34), first among freshmen and first in the Sun Belt. Justin Abson ranks 14th in the nation, second among freshmen, second in the Sun Belt and first among all players in the nation who are 6’9″ or shorter.
The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with live stats and listening options available to follow along.
- This will be the 51st meeting between the two schools in a series that Marshall leads 32-18.
- In their last matchup on Mar. 22, 2010, the Mountaineers defeated the Thundering Herd 80-72 in the second round of the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS (7-6)
- App State dropped its last game against UC Santa Barbara in the Jerry Colangelo Classic. Tyree Boykin led the team in scoring with 14, which was his fifth game of the season with 14 or more.
- The Mountaineers have a top-25 defense nationwide when it comes to FG%, holding their opponents to 38.3%. The Mountaineers lead the Sun Belt in this category.
- The Black & Gold average 31.1 bench points per game, the 23rd-highest mark in the nation, and third in the SBC.
- Donovan Gregory continues to lead the squad, pacing the team in points (12.6), assists (46) and steals (20).
SCOUTING THE THUNDERING HERD (11-2)
- Marshall has posted the best nonconference record in the Sun Belt this season, going 11-2 with an 8-0 record at home. The team’s two losses have come against both of their North Carolina opponents (Queens, 82-83 & UNCG, 67-75).
- The Thundering Herd feature the first and third leading scorers in the Sun Belt: Taevion Kinsey (21.2) and Andrew Taylor (19.5). The duo combined for 57 in a 100-85 victory over Toledo, with Kinsey posting 30 and Taylor adding 27. Kinsey has also posted 5.4 assists per game, the second-most in the SBC.
- 7-footer Handlogten has had an impactful presence in the post, averaging 11 rebounds and 2.6 blocks, making himself the league leader in both categories.
- Marshall has assisted more buckets than anyone else in the conference, averaging 19.2 per game.
The Mountaineers will travel south to Southern Miss on Saturday at 3 pm ET to challenge the Golden Eagles who post a NET ranking of 30.