Appalachian (16-14) sank a season-low six field goals in the first half, but added nine free throws to gain a narrow 22-21 advantage at the intermission. ASU shot just 37.5 percent from the field in the frame, but held the Eagles to a 34.6 mark, including an 0-4 clip from downtown.
After the break, the squads tied six more times before the Mountaineers opened the game up to a six-point advantage at 43-37 with eight minutes to play. ASU maintained a comfortable advantage for the next three minutes before a five-point GSU run cut the score to 50-47 with under five minutes left.
Petey Hausley then converted a layup and Omar Carter added a pair of free throws to bump the lead back to seven points.
GSU would pull within four points with one minute to play but never challenged any further as the Apps sank seven of their final eight foul shots.
Hausley finished with 11 points and three rebounds off the bench, while Carter added 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals in the contest.
Donald Sims led the squad with 20 points on 4-of-9 shooting with 11 free throws to accompany four rebounds and a pair of assists.
Three Eagles (5-27) scored in double figures, led by Ben Drayton with 16. Jelani Hewitt added 15 points and Marvin Baynham added 13 off the bench.
After falling behind 20-12 on the boards at halftime, the Mountaineers rallied to haul in 18 rebounds at the half compared to just 11 for GSU. grabbed a game-high seven rebounds to accompany nine points, including five free throws.
ASU converted 12 Georgia Southern turnovers into 15 points and owned a 6-2 advantage in fast break points.
The Mountaineers shot 50 percent in the second half to finish at 45 percent (18-of-40) for the game. GSU sank 20-of-49-attempts from the field for a 40.8 field goal percent. Neither team was particularly accurate from long range as the teams combined for just three treys.
Appalachian’s contest against Wofford is a rematch of last season’s Southern Conference title game. The winner advances to Sunday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Saturday afternoon's Western Carolina-UNC Greensboro quarterfinal.