APSU Sports: Austin Peay Men’s Basketball
Governors clinch 6th seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
Clarksville, TN – Entering Saturday night’s regular-season finale against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks, the situation for Austin Peay Men’s Basketball was simple.
Win, and the Governors would clinch the No. 6 seed in next week’s Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
Lose, however, and things would get a little bit quirky.Luckily for the folks in charge of tie breaking procedures at the OVC’s conference office in Brentwood, TN, the Govs received strong outings from seniors TyShwan Edmondson and Melvin Baker in a 68-59 win over the Redhawks on Senior Night.
“I thought all four of (the seniors) really contributed,” Austin Peay Govs head coach Dave Loos said. “We had two guys who had really big nights scoring in TyShwan and Melvin. But what I hope didn’t go unnoticed was the defensive job Josh Terry did tonight. And John Fraley had 10 boards.”
With SEMO still looking to capture the third seed in next week’s tournament, the Govs (12-19, 8-8 OVC) received one of their most physical tests of the season with neither team ever leading by more than eight points until the final minute of regulation.
After a lifeless opening three minutes, the Govs seemed to respond to a timeout from Dave Loos, erasing a 7-2 deficit and ultimately cutting the Redhawks lead to 25-24 at halftime.
“He always gets mad about (the slow starts),” He just told us to pick it up. We are always out there talking to one another. Coach can’t go out there and play for us. We have to help one another.”
As a result, the senior finished 5-of-9 from the floor in the game’s opening 20 minutes.
Baker would capitalize in the second half as well, adding 12 more points to finish with 22 for the contest.
“It was almost like with the defense that they were playing that he kept showing up open,” Loos said. “He was 5 for 9 at the half and I really thought he caught fire in the second half. He played a great game tonight.”
Baker’s corner 3-pointer gave the Govs a 57-52 lead with 2:33 to play and then Edmondson’s 3-pointer from NBA range 45 seconds later not only clinched the win, it clinched the sixth seed in next week’s tournament.
“I practice shooting shots from that deep all the time,” a smiling Edmondson said.
Ultimately, the Hopkinsville, KY native turned in one of his best shooting performances of the season, knocking down 6-of-7 3-pointers while pouring in 25 points.
“We really needed him to come alive and he has recently,” Loos said. “He has played pretty well.”
And while Terry and Fraley might not have had the most eye-popping numbers Saturday night, they also played a major role in the victory.
“Everybody contributed to this win,” Edmondson said. “I’m proud of everybody. Even though Josh fouled out he was playing hard. John did a good job down there rebounding down there for us and kicking it out when he had opportunities.”
Leon Powell scored 16 points in the win for the Redhawks, (14-15, 9-7) who entered the final day of the regular season in position to finish third, but ultimately were leapfrogged by both Morehead State and Tennessee Tech.
With the win, the Govs avenged a 65-60 loss to the Redhawks on January 26th, setting up a first-round matchup with Jacksonville State on Wednesday in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
The Govs won a tight 60-57 contest on January 14th in the only regular-season meeting between the two schools
“It should be a fun and exciting game,” Loos said. “But (tonight’s performance) was really encouraging. We have got to take things one game at a time from here on out.”
Southeast Missouri Redhawks vs Austin Peay Governors
2/25/12 – 7:30pm at Clarksville, TN (Dunn Center)
Southeast Missouri 59
Austin Peay 68
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||Total|
|Southeast Missouri||25||34||59||Record: (14-15, 9-7 OVC)|
|Austin Peay||24||44||68||Record: (12-19, 8-8 OVC)|
|Points in the paint-SEMO 30,APSU 16. Points off turnovers-SEMO 9,APSU 15.|
|2nd chance points-SEMO 11,APSU 12. Fast break points-SEMO 4,APSU 0.|
|Bench points-SEMO 14,APSU 9. Score tied-7 times. Lead changed-10 times.|
|Last FG-SEMO 2nd-00:43, APSU 2nd-01:48.|
|Largest lead-SEMO by 8 1st-10:44, APSU by 9 2nd-00:23.|
|Officials: Brett Miles (R), Darnell Spann, Tim Fitzgerald
Technical fouls: Southeast Missouri-None. Austin Peay-None.
Copies in a Flash Player of the Game: Melvin Baker & TyShwan Edmondson