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App State loses heartbreaker in NCAA Tournament

Mountaineers comeback falls short in First Four
Credit: AP
Appalachian State guard Adrian Delph (20) shoots a three-point basket during the first half of a First Four game against Norfolk State in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Devante Carter made two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining, and Norfolk State held on to beat Appalachian State 54-53 in the First Four after blowing an 18-point second-half lead. 

The Spartans completed a sweep on the first day of NCAA Tournament play by historically Black colleges and universities, joining Texas Southern, which beat Mount St. Mary’s earlier Thursday. 

Norfolk State advanced to face top overall seed Gonzaga on Saturday. 

Jalen Hawkins scored 20 of his 24 points before halftime for the Spartans, who earned their first tournament win since upsetting No. 2 seed Missouri in 2012. 

Justin Forrest had 18 points for App State.