APSU Sports: Austin Peay Men’s Basketball
Clarksville, TN – With his team mired in a four-game losing streak, Austin Peay State University head coach Dave Loos turned to his bench for a spark, giving reserve guards Herdie Lawrence and Alton Williams their fifth and first career starts.
Unfortunately for Loos and the Austin Peay Governors, the extra spark would not be enough to keep the Govs from squandering a 4-point lead over the game’s final three minutes as the Govs fell 52-48 to Morehead State Wednesday night.
“We found a new way to give (the game) away tonight,” Loos said after his team’s fifth straight defeat.
After a back-and-forth second half, Josh Terry’s layup put the Govs ahead 45-41 with 3:23 to play.
Less than a minute later, the Govs (9-19, 6-8 OVC) would commit two offensive fouls that ultimately swung the game.
After Terry’s layup, the Govs forced a turnover but were unable to run much time off of the clock or extend their lead due to a charge foul called against Lawrence.
On their ensuing offensive possession, Terry was whistled for a flagrant one foul after receiving the ball near midcourt.
“It was a flagrant one,” Loos said. “Contact above the shoulders.”
After Austin swished home both free throws, the Govs then allowed Eagles guard Marsell Holden to pop free for a corner 3-pointer that put the Eagles ahead 48-45 with 1:30 to play.
“That play was obviously huge for us,” Eagles head coach Donnie Tyndall said. “We knocked down two big shots and then drew up a 3-point play on our out of bounds play. We were fortunate to win. Every game between these two schools is intense.”
Down three points, the Govs still had three chances to tie things up in the game’s final 90 seconds.
“I know I sound like a broken record,” Loos said. “But we just keep finding ways to beat ourselves in ballgames.”
In addition to the additions of Lawrence and Williams to the starting lineup, Loos also switched his team’s defensive philosophy – employing a 2-3 zone look for much of the contest, forcing the Eagles into tough shots.
After the starters edged their way to an 8-7 lead, Loos put in Edmondson and Jerome Clyburn.
The move paid dividends almost immediately as Edmondson buried a corner 3-pointer in less than three seconds on the court.
With both teams employing a zone for much of the first half, the Govs managed to jump ahead 26-20 with just under two minutes remaining until halftime only to see the Eagles trim the deficit to just 26-25 at the break.
Just minutes into the second half, the Govs would open up another lead, this time 30-25 before the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to knot the game at 30-30 with 16 minutes to play.
The Govs would go on another scoring run of their own, creeping out to a 36-30 lead before the Eagles responded with a 7-0 run of their own to take a 37-36 lead with 9:09 left in regulation.
After an Edmondson fast-break jam was set up by an emphatic Lawrence layup rejection, the Govs appeared to be on their way to a victory only to see the Eagles come from behind again – this time for good.
“Their defense was giving us some problems down low,” Baker said. “We knocked down some shots but we just had too many mental mistakes to win the game.”
Edmondson finished with 15 points – his most since a 22-point night against UT-Martin on January 28th.
Drew Kelly’s 11 points led the way for the Eagles (15-13, 8-6). Knoxville native Deandre Mathieu added 10 points in the victory.
With the loss, the Govs dropped their fourth straight to the Eagles, who pulled ahead 52-50 in the all-time series.
The Govs will now step out of the OVC for Saturday’s Sears BracketBusters matchup against Youngstown State – a former conference foe of the Govs.
“We all keep saying it,” Baker said. “But we’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to figure out how to put it all together over these next three games.”
Morehead State Eagles vs Austin Peay Governors
2/15/12 -7:00pm at Clarksville, TN (Dunn Center)
Morehead State 52
Austin Peay 48
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||Total|
|Morehead State||25||27||52||Record: (15-13, 8-6 OVC)|
|Austin Peay||26||22||48||Record: (9-19, 6-8 OVC)|
|Points in the paint-MOR 12,APSU 14. Points off turnovers-MOR 13,APSU 7.|
|2nd chance points-MOR 13,APSU 7. Fast break points-MOR 0,APSU 4.|
|Bench points-MOR 17,APSU 20. Score tied-5 times. Lead changed-5 times.|
|Last FG-MOR 2nd-01:30, APSU 2nd-03:23.|
|Largest lead-MOR by 5 2nd-00:05, APSU by 6 1st-01:54.|
|Officials: Sean Casey (R), Bret Smith, Jeb Hartness
Technical fouls: Morehead State-AUSTIN, Lamont 2. Austin Peay-LAWRENCE, Herdie.
Copies in a Flash Player of the Game: Melvin Baker