BOONE, N.C. (AP) Deven Simms sank four free throws in the final seconds to total 23 points as Arkansas State sprinted to an early lead but then had to fend off a late Appalachian State rally for a 93-88 win on Saturday.
Arkansas State (8-14, 3-6 Sun Belt Conference) dominated early to take a 56-32 advantage into halftime. The Red Wolves were up 75-51 midway in the second period before Appalachian State rallied to close to 86-81 with :42 remaining. Ronshad Shabazz scored 17 of his 27 points in the final 8:30 to spearhead the rally.
Ty Cockfield, who added two insurance free throws with 22 seconds left, totaled 20 points with Marquis Eaton adding a career-best 16 to go with six assists in his first start. Grantham Gillard added 13 points for Arkansas State, which has won two of the last three games after dropping five straight.
Shabazz drilled 5 of 9 from distance with Justin Forrest adding 15 points and Isaac Johnson chipping in 10 with 12 rebounds for the Mountaineers (9-14, 4-6).