Appalachian St. gets 1st January win, tops Little Rock 77-73

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Ronshad Shabazz pumped in 21 points and Appalachian State earned its first Sun Belt Conference victory by beating Little Rock, 77-73 on Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers snapped a seven-game losing streak and had dropped their first six conference games, including an 82-81 loss in overtime at Arkansas State on Thursday night.

Appalachian State took the lead with 10:22 left in the first half on two free throws by Justin Forrest and stretched it to 36-31 by intermission. The Mountaineers led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Little Rock battled back and cut its deficit to three, 70-67 with just under two minutes to go, but got no closer.

Shabazz knocked down 3 of 6 from distance and collected a pair of steals for Appalachian State (6-14, 1-6). Forrest converted 9 of 11 from the line and added 18 points and five assists.

Markquis Nowell had 20 points to lead the Trojans (7-14, 2-6). Rayjon Tucker added 17 points.

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