Forrest, Shabazz help Appalachian State fend off Little Rock

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Justin Forrest and Ronshad Shabazz each scored 18 points and Tyrell Johnson made a critical shot block and Appalachian State turned back Little Rock 69-67 Saturday night.

Nursing a 65-62 lead with 18 seconds left in the game, Johnson blocked Little Rock's K.J. Gilmore on a drive to the basket, and Craig Hinton grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Hinton sank both for Appalachian State (13-17, 8-9 Sun Belt), making it a two possession game.

Little Rock's leading scorer Jaizec Lottie made two baskets in the last nine seconds, but it wasn't enough. Shabazz answered the first bucket with a pair of free throws and Lottie hit from 3 as time ran out. Lottie tied his career high 17 points for the Trojans (6-23, 3-13).

Little Rock held a slight edge on the boards, but Appalachian State pulled down 20 of its 26 rebounds off the defensive glass.

Shabazz made four of Appalachian State's 13 3-pointers. The Mountaineers are in a crowd of six teams lurking within a game of each other for fourth and fifth place in the Sun Belt.

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