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In Overtime, APSU Governors beat SIU Edwardsville for first OVC win of the Season

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's Basketball - Austin Peay State UniversityEdwardsville, IL – It took overtime, but Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team earned its season’s first Ohio Valley Conference victory in thrilling fashion with an 83-81 win against SIU Edwardsville, Thursday.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball gets 83-81 win at SIU Edwardsville Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball gets 83-81 win at SIU Edwardsville Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

It was very nearly a wire-to-wire performance for the Govs, who started the game on a 15-5 run and saw their lead swell to 17 with less than five minutes to go in the first half before a 9-2 Cougar rally to close the half made it 35-25 at the break.

SIU Edwardsville committed 14 turnovers in the first half alone, leading to 15 Austin Peay points.

The lead held right around double digits for the first few minutes of a foul-plagued second half; both teams were in the bonus at the 13:45 mark. The Cougars were never able to make a sustained run until late in the second half, erasing a 14-point Governor advantage over the final 5:31 of regulation with a 19-5 run that culminated in a Keenan Simmons lay-up with six seconds left to the game and force overtime.

In the extra period, the Governors were carried by John Murry, Josh Robinson and Jared Savage, who scored all 13 Governor points, combining to go 4-for-5 from the floor and 5-for-6 at the free-throw line. Robinson punctuated his game-high 26 points with jumpers on back-to-back possessions to make it a five-point game with 28 seconds left, and Savage put the game away with two free-throws to make it a five-point game with five seconds left.

The Difference

Austin Peay forced 21 SIU Edwardsville turnovers, with both Jared Savage and Chris Porter-Bunton collecting four steals apiece. The Govs turned those Cougar miscues into 21 points.

Notably

  • The win was Austin Peay’s first overtime victory since the 2016 OVC Tournament semifinal win against Belmont, March 4th, 2016.
  • Robinson scored 26 points on 10-for-21 shooting, his third night of 25 points or better in his last five outings. His 21 attempts were most by a Governor this season, and his six rebounds were a season-high.
  • The Governors 36 rebounds were their most since November 19th against Miami.
  • The four steals picked up by Savage and Porter-Bunton were career-highs for both players.
  • Murry’s 23 points marked his fourth career 20-point night as a Governor. He’s averaging 15.4 ppg in his last seven games. He’s now reached double-figures in scoring in a career-high four straight games. His 43 minutes played were an Austin Peay season-high.
  • The win was the Governors fourth straight against SIU Edwardsville dating back to 2014. It snapped an 11-game losing streak overall for Austin Peay.
  • Austin Peay made (23) and shot (31) their most free-throws of the season; the 28 fouls committed also were a season high.
  • The Govs are now 4-1 this season when leading at halftime. They also picked up their first win of the season when allowing the opponent to score 80 or more points.
  • Milestone Watch: Robinson passed LaMonte Ware (1987-89, 90-92) for 18th all-time in scoring with 1,283 points. Next: Donald Tivis (1,292).
  • Milestone Watch II: Robinson also went from 29th to 24th in all-time field goals with 403, passing Reggie Crenshaw, Percy Howard, Charlie Fishback, Jim Beshears and Zac Schlader. And with four made free-throws, he moved into a tie for ninth all-time with Edwardsville native Will Triggs (315).

Coaching Quotables

Assistant head coach Jay Bowen

Against the SIUE zone

“We got some good looks in the second half, missed some layups and missed some second shots. We were pretty pleased but we’ve got to get better at making shots and attacking the zone.”

On the play

“We were pleased with their effort and enthusiasm. Offensively, I didn’t think we were great tonight. Defensively, I felt like we did a good job.”

On forcing turnovers

“We got out and were active, had high hands. We’re pretty pleased with how our defense is going. Our offense will come.”

Up Next for the APSU Govs

Austin Peay finishes up a grueling four-game road trip with a journey to Eastern Illinois for an 11:00am, Saturday contest on the American Sports Network.


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