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APSU Men’s Basketball: Governors get off to quick start to defeat Eastern Illinois, 73-60

 

apsugovernorsSenior Wesley Channels scored 20 points to lead Austin Peay men’s basketball team to a 73-60 Ohio Valley Conference win against Eastern Illinois, Saturday, at the Dunn Center. The victory was APSU coach Dave Loos’ 319th win as Governors head man, tying Cal Luther (Murray State 1958-74; UT Martin, 1992-99) for most victories while coaching in the OVC.

The victory improved APSU to 5-4 overall and 2-0 in the OVC while Eastern Illinois slips to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the OVC.

John Fraley rises towards the goal at the Eastern Illinois game Saturday (Robert Smith/The Leaf-Chronicle)

John Fraley rises towards the goal at the Eastern Illinois game Saturday (Robert Smith/The Leaf-Chronicle)

A pair of sophomores aided Channels in the Govs win. Center John Fraley posted his second career double-double, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while forward Anthony Campbell, who struggled from the field, finished with 11 points behind an 8-of-9 effort from the free-throw line.

Austin Peay led by 10 points, 34-24, at the break and held that double-digit lead for much of the second half. Channels gave the Govs their biggest lead of 16 points, 48-32, with a three pointer at 12:23 mark. The Panthers battled within six points, 54-48, after making three free throws after being fouled behind the arc with 6:15 to play. However, the Governors scored the next six points and the Panthers would not get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The Governors, who have had a propensity of falling behind in first halves all season long, trailed by no more than three points early in the half and last trailed 7-6 with 16:43 left. Then Marcel Williams hit a jumper and followed by two free throws from Duran Roberson before Channels hit layup.

The Govs would build as much as a 13-point first-half lead—freshman guard Justin Blake knocked down a pair of threes as APSU built its cushion—before settling for the 10-point halftime advantage. The Govs, who entered the game shooting 38 percent from the field during first halves this season, were 13 of 26 (50 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes. However, EIU was able to stay reasonably close by dominating the boards, 22-13, including 11 offensive rebounds.

Although the Govs shot only 40 percent (8 of 20) in the second half, they completely turned their fortunes on the glass, holding a 20-8 advantage.

Fraley had six second-half rebounds while Campbell had seven. Fraley and Campbell also combined to make 15 of 17 free throws in the second half.

Tyler Laser was Eastern Illinois’ only double-figure scorer with 14 points. The Panthers, who shot just 34.5 percent (10 of 29) in the first half, finished at 40 percent (22 of 55).


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