App State sports briefs

Staff report

Photo courtesy | Dave Mayo, Appalachian State Sports Information - Ronshad Shabazz rises up for a jumper in Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina.

Dejournette named SoCon Wrestler of the Year

BOONE — Appalachian State University senior heavyweight wrestler Denzel Dejournette earned the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year honors after his performance in crucial and dramatic victories this season for the Mountaineers.

Dejournette becomes just the fourth wrestler ever to be named SoCon Wrestler of the Year in consecutive years and the first since Appalachian’s Travis Drake in 2001 and 2002.

The senior helped the Mountaineers achieve one of its best seasons in program history, going 23-5 to go along with Appalachian’s 13-3 record overall. Both Dejournette and App State went undefeated in SoCon play at 6-0 and 7-0, respectively. He had 10 bonus point victories and two seven-match win streaks on the season.

Dejournette also earned a SoCon Wrestler of the Week nod from the conference, the sixth time in his career that the senior has won the weekly wrestling award. He is tied for third on the conference’s all-time list in most times awarded the honor.

Heading into the conference tournament, the Winston-Salem native ranks fifth on Appalachian’s all-time win list with 106 victories.

Dejournette also joined senior Vito Pasone in being one of the 10 all-Southern Conference selections for the 2016-17 season. The two fifth-year seniors were two of the seven wrestlers who received the maximum number of points in the voting process.

Mountaineers announce 2017 football schedule

BOONE — A nationally televised November home date with rival Georgia Southern and a visit from ACC foe Wake Forest highlight the 2017 Appalachian State football schedule. The Sun Belt Conference released game dates and opponents for the upcoming season on Wednesday.

App State will host Georgia Southern on Nov. 9, a Thursday night, at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The Mountaineers will also host Wake Forest on Sept. 23 at Kidd Brewer Stadium, the second consecutive season a Power 5 opponent has traveled to The Rock. A record crowd of almost 35,000 was on hand for Miami’s visit to Boone last season.

Louisiana visits Boone on Dec. 2 in the regular season finale, another matchup of Sun Belt bowl teams from a season ago. ESPN will have the option of selecting one or two Sun Belt Conference matchups to televise on ESPN or ESPN2 on the final day of the regular season.

Homecoming 2017 is set for Saturday, Oct. 7 as the Mountaineers welcome New Mexico State to Boone for the first time. App clinched last season’s Sun Belt title with a 37-7 win over the Aggies in Las Cruces, N.M.

The Sun Belt’s newest member, Costal Carolina comes to The Rock on Oct. 21.

App will make two first time road trips in 2017.

The first comes as the Mountaineers open Sun Belt play on Sept. 16 with a first-ever trip to San Marcos, Tex. to face Texas State. A final road trip to Moscow, Idaho falls the following week as App travels to Idaho on Oct. 14.

App State heads north to face UMass on Oct. 28 in Amherst, Mass. The Mountaineers and UMass last met in the 2006 I-AA National Championship Game in Chattanooga, Tenn. App won 28-17 to clinch its second consecutive title.

The final regular season road trip is to Atlanta to face Georgia State at Turner Field on Nov. 25. App has held GSU to a total of six points in three meetings, including a 17-3 win last season in Boone.

App opens the season at Georgia in Athens, Ga. on Sept. 2, followed by its home opener with Savannah State on Sept. 9 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Kickoff times for the season’s opening three weeks are TBA until June. All game times will be announced in a 12-day window following Week 3.

Men’s basketball wins regular season finale

BOONE — With 45 seconds left in regulation and Appalachian State University men’s basketball leading by one at 69-68, Kelvin Robinson drove to the basket and completed an old-fashioned three-point play to put App State up 73-69 and would hold off Coastal Carolina for a 77-73 victory.

The Mountaineers (9-20, 4-14 Sun Belt) got out to a lightning fast start and led the Chanticleers (15-16, 10-8 Sun Belt) 20-8 at the 10:16 mark of the first half. App State pushed its lead to a game-high 20 points right before the half on a Ronshad Shabazz 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the half. App State took a 48-30 lead into the break.

Shabazz led the Mountaineers with 18 points.

Coastal opened the second half on a 29-9 run that spanned the first 11:52 of the second period and took a 59-57 lead – its first of the game. The next handful of possessions would see-saw back and forth with the lead changing hands on three occasions before Robinson completed his three-point play.

In the last four minutes of regulation, the Mountaineers finished the game 10-for-13 at the foul line to help put the game away.

Five Mountaineers finished in double-figures. After Shabazz, both Griffin Kinney and Jake Babic tallied 11, while Robinson and Emarius Logan collected 10 points each.

Kinney led the team with eight rebounds, while Isaac Johnson and Babic each grabbed seven boards.

Appalachian State will play as the No. 11 seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament next week. The Mountaineers will face-off against Troy for the second time this season on Wednesday, March 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Photo courtesy | Dave Mayo, Appalachian State Sports Information – Ronshad Shabazz rises up for a jumper in Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina. courtesy | Dave Mayo, Appalachian State Sports Information – Ronshad Shabazz rises up for a jumper in Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina.

Staff report

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