Clarksville, TN – After Thursday’s 15-point victory over Eastern Kentucky, Govs head coach Dave Loos said Saturday’s game against Jacksonville State would determine how the Govs performed the rest of this season.
If Saturday’s game is any indication, it could be one entertaining finish.
Looking for their first OVC win streak of the season, the Govs came out sluggish but finished with clutch plays then hung on for a 60-57 victory over the Gamecocks.After leading by 10 points with 5:01 to play, the Gamecocks had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Brian Williams’ contested 3-pointer fell harmlessly (and well short of the rim) to the floor.
“We are fortunate to get out of here with a win,” Loos said. “Because Jacksonville made us play their game. And they’re good at it.”
From the opening tip, the Govs (5-13, 2-3 OVC) struggled to get in a rhythm against a pesky Gamecocks (6-14, 1-6) defense that forced 12 Govs turnovers.
“We only had 12 turnovers but it seemed like we had 24,” Loos said. “We weren’t able to put the ball in positions that we were Thursday night. I thought they did a good job of denying us the ball and pushing us off the block.”
After heading into the halftime locker room tied 28-28, the Govs offense started clicking midway through the second half, opening up a 47-41 lead that eventually ballooned to 54-44 with just over five minutes remaining.
Already having lost late leads at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State, the Govs were on the verge of blowing another late lead as Williams hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds to play to trim the deficit to 58-57.
A quick inbounds pass found its way into the hands of a speeding Jerome Clyburn, however, who nearly converted an acrobatic 3-point play but had to settle for two made free throws.
Up three with eight seconds to play, Loos said the team did discuss fouling the Gamecocks rather than allow a last-second shot.
“We talked it about it but we were at home and we decided not to. We would consider fouling inside five seconds but there was eight so we decided we were lucky to be where we were and if they were going to take it to overtime they were.”
Melvin Baker led the charge offensively for the Govs, scoring 12 points while Josh Terry converted a perfect 6-of-6 free throw attempts to finish with 10 points of his own.
“They shut us down a bit but we just kept doing the same thing trying to get it down low,” Terry said. “The points are always going to be in the paint which opens things up for the guards.”
With the win, the Govs improved to 17-1 all-time against the Gamecocks, who dropped their 11th straight meeting in the series.
Much like Thursday, Loos said he’s not sure what Saturday’s win meant for determining how the rest of the season will go, but said the team can’t afford to do anything other than look at their next game.
“I’m not sure you can really call two wins a streak,” Loos said with a bit of a smile. “We’ve got ourselves in a situation where we’ve got a tough road ahead of us. The margin of error is really slim so the only important thing right now is Monday night.”
Tipoff in Monday night’s game against Tennessee State is set for 7:30pm in the Dunn Center.
Jacksonville State vs Austin Peay
1/14/12 – 7:30pm at Clarksville, TN. (Dunn Center)
Jacksonville State 57
Austin Peay 60
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||Total|
|Jacksonville St||28||29||57||Record: (6-14, 1-6 OVC)|
|Austin Peay||28||32||60||Record: (5-13, 2-3 OVC)|
|Points in the paint-JSU 22,APSU 22.
Points off turnovers-JSU 10,APSU 11.
|2nd chance points-JSU 10,APSU 11.
Fast break points-JSU 4,APSU 6.
|Bench points-JSU 26,APSU 14.
Score tied-8 times.
Lead changed-4 times.
|Last FG-JSU 2nd-00:14, APSU 2nd-00:22.|
|Largest lead-JSU by 5 1st-04:36, APSU by 10 2nd-05:01.|
|Officials: Rick Shoulders, Todd Austin, William Lenox
Technical fouls: Jacksonville St-None. Austin Peay-None.
Copies in a Flash Player of the Game: Melvin Baker