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Clarksville, TN – After a five-point loss to Southeast Missouri snapped Austin Peay’s five-game conference winning streak on Thursday, the Govs entered Saturday night’s matchup against Tennessee-Martin eager to return to the win column.
Matched up against the 3-19 Skyhawks, the Govs figured to bounce back rather easily.
And while the Govs bounced back with a 92-73 win – it was far from easy.
“No it didn’t (feel like a close game),” Govs head coach Dave Loos said. “It was a close game and that’s how Martin has been playing…they have been playing everybody pretty close. We were just fortunate enough to pull away at the end.”In a game that saw both teams shoot over 45 percent from the floor, the Govs were finally able to pull away down the stretch thanks, in large part, to big man John Fraley.
The senior turned in one of his most aggressive performances of the season, scoring 23 points and tracking down 13 rebounds.
And, with just over a minute to play, it was Fraley’s thunderous two-handed slam that sent the Dunn Center into a frenzy and closed out any chance of late Skyhawks rally.
“The coaches were talking all week about just playing strong and powering through people,” Fraley said. “They put a big emphasis on trying to dunk everything or at least put it through the rim.”
In addition, the Govs received another solid effort from TyShwan Edmondson, who finished with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting, marking the fourth time in the last five games the senior finished in double figures.
After a frenetic pace to start the game, the Govs managed to pull ahead 40-37 as the team’s entered the locker rooms at halftime.
And while the second half started out just as quickly, the pace slowed as the game grew longer.
Partly because of coaching from Loos and partly because the Skyhawks had a total of three players foul out – two of which were starters.
In the end, however, it was the Govs defense, Loos said, that allowed their offense to finish with a season-high regulation point total.
“Your defense creates offense,” Loos said. “And we’re just having a hard time getting that across. These guys have got to want to do it and they have got to want to do it on a consistent basis. It’s got to become a part of their nature.”
Josh Terry and Jerome Clyburn turned in solid games for the Govs as well, scoring 16 and nine points each.
Mike Liabo finished with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting to lead the Skyhawks.
With the win, the Govs pulled two games above .500 in the conference and kept pace with Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech for third place in the OVC.
With a win at TSU Monday, the Govs will have a chance to pull into sole possession of third place with just six conference games to play.
The Govs won the first meeting between the two teams 69-63 on Jan. 16, but struggled to guard Tigers big man Robert Covington, who scored 30 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.
“I hope we don’t let him have 30 or more,” Loos said. “It comes down to will power. Defense is about 85 percent effort and 15 percent technique. He’s going to get some but we’ve got to shut him down. He can’t get 30.”
UT Martin vs Austin Peay
UT Martin 73
Austin Peay 92
Wade Neely comes to Clarksville after beginning his sports media career in March 2010 as the Sports Director at WKSR AM-FM in Pulaski, Tenn. During his time at WKSR, Neely created, produced and hosted “The Wade Neely Morning Show”, Pulaski’s only live and local wakeup program on WKSR-AM. Neely also served as the “Voice of the Bobcats”, providing play-by-play for all Giles County football, basketball and select baseball contests.
Neely also served as Director of Broadcasting at Martin Methodist College beginning in January 2011, providing play-by-play for all RedHawks home contests as well as the team’s trip to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Originally from Pulaski, Neely earned his B.S. in Electronic Media Communication from Middle Tennessee State University’s famed College of Mass Communications. Neely also minored in Economics during undergraduate career.
Web Site: http://www.twitter.com/WadeNeely
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville Sports Network, Clarksville TN, Dave Loos, Dunn Center, Governors, Govs, Jerome Clyburn, John Fraley, Josh Terry, Mike Liabo, Robert Covington, Skyhawks, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee-Martin, Tigers, Tyshwan Edmondson, UT-Martin
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