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APSU Governors hold off stubborn Central Missouri Mules

Austin Peay State University Governors Sports - APSUClarksville, TN – Senior Travis Betran scored seven straight points to rally Austin Peay State University from a late four-point deficit as it held off Central Missouri, 78-75, in exhibition basketball action Monday night in Dave Aaron Arena.

It was APSU’s only exhibition contest before the regular-season opener at home against Oakland City, 7:00pm, Friday night.

APSU defeats Central Missouri 78-75(Michael Rios Clarksville Sports Network)

“It was a win but it didn’t feel like a win,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “When you miss as many free throws (19) as we did and give up that many offensive rebounds (21), it certainly was disappointing.

“We did some good things, but we certainly have some areas that we need to address.”

The Mules, who nearly stunned Southeastern Conference foe Missouri, Friday, came even closer against the Governors. Overcoming a nine-point second-half deficit, the Mules led 70-66, when Jon Gilliam hit a three pointer followed by a TJ White hit a layup with 3:11 left.

But Betran, the Ohio Valley Conference’s leading returning scorer, then came alive. He knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to two. Then after a Central Missouri turnover, Betran tied the game at 70 with a jumper.

But then Central Missouri made three free throws over its next two trips and led 73-70 with 1:42 left. After an Austin Peay timeout, the Governors worked the ball to the right wing to Betran, who let fly the long-range shot in front of teammates on the Govs bench. The three-pointer tied the game with 1:26 left.

But Central Missouri turned cold, missing its next three pointer, with point guard Zavion Williams grabbing the rebound. He was immediately fouled. His missed the first but made the second free throw to give APSU a one-point advantage with 1:08 left.

Brennen Hughes was unable to connect inside for Central Missouri and Chris Horton grabbed the rebound. He also was immediately fouled. After going just 2-of-7 at the line previously, Horton connected on both to give APSU a 76-73 with 44 seconds remaining.

Horton then blocked Daylen Robinson’s jumper with Damarius Smith grabbing the rebound. This time Williams was fouled again and he made one of two to give APSU a four-point 77-73 lead with 27 seconds left.

But the Mules would not go away. Ryan Donald was fouled on a drive inside. He made one of two, cutting the deficit to three with 18 seconds left.

Again the Governors were unable to put the game away at the line. Smith made one of two—the Governors were a disappointing 20 of 39 at the line—to give APSU a 78-74 lead with 13 seconds left.

Donald was fouled with nine seconds left. He made the first and missed the second. The Mules kept the ball alive, missing a trio of shots after grabbing the offensive rebounds. After the third miss, Jon Gilliam collected the ball outside the three-point line but time finally expired before the horn sounded…luckily for the Govs as his shot swished through the bucket.

The Governors placed four players in double figures, led by Betran, who had 19 points, while junior transfer Ed Dyson added 16. Dyson, however, left the game in the second half after a frightening spill left him with a lower back issue.

Williams added 13 points while Will Triggs added 11. However, the Govs’ senior forward was just 1-of-8 at the free-throw line. Combined with Horton, the Govs’ inside duo was a wayward 5-of-17 at the line on the night. Horton, however, did grab 13 rebounds to go with his four points and four blocks.

The balanced Mules were led by Robinson’s 11 points while Gilliam and Kyle Wolf each added 10.

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