Clarksville, TN – Chris Horton blocked an Austin Peay State University school record eight shots to go with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Governors to an 81-68 victory, Thursday night, against UT Martin in their Ohio Valley Conference opener.It was the Govs second straight victory, improving them to 7-8 on the season. UT Martin lost its fourth straight game, falling to 5-12 overall and 0-2 in the OVC.
Horton paced five Governors scoring in double figures but it was his defense that set the tone. He blocked four shots in each half, helping to initiate APSU’s transition offense that led to 51 percent shooting.
“The blocked shots are one thing but it is also his presence in there,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “It is the shots he alters and the ones they (opponent) don’t take (because he is in there).”
UT Martin jumped out to early 5-2 and but Cory Arentsen’s three pointer tied the game with 18:11 left. A free throw by Will Triggs put the Govs up 6-5 with 17:11 left. APSU would never trail again in the contest. They would build as much as a 13-point first-half lead before settling for 39-30 halftime advantage.
The Govs immediately pushed their lead to double digits in the second half as Travis Betran opened with a three pointer and Triggs knocked down a pair of free throws. The Govs eventually would extend the lead to 21, 63-42.
However, with 13:09 left in the game, Betran, APSU’s preseason All-OVC selection, was involved in a collision underneath the UT Martin basket, suffering an injured lower back. He would not return. The Skyhawks were able to take advantage of his absence by trimming the lead to 12 on two occasions but could never slice it into single digits.
In addition to Horton’s 16, Williams also added 16 off the bench along with seven assists for the Govs. Betran had 15 before he left as did senior forward Triggs. Demarius Smith chipped in 11 along with six assists while limiting Skyhawks perimeter player Mike Liabo to just eight points.
UT Martin, which shot just 38 percent (25 of 66) from the floor, was led by Myles Taylor’s 19 points and 14 rebounds. Justin Childs added 14.
UT Martin vs Austin Peay
January 2nd, 2014 | 7:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 81
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||Total|
|UT Martin||30||38||68||Record: (5-12 (0-2 OVC))|
|Austin Peay||39||42||81||Record: (7-8 (1-0 OVC))|
| Officials: Jeb Hartness, Barry Mathis, Jason SheltonTechnical fouls: UT Martin-None. Austin Peay-None.
APSU Player of the Game: Chris Horton
C. Horton set Dunn Center with 8 blocked shots