APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Redshirt freshman guard John Konchar scored a career-high 28 points while point guard Mo Evans added 20 and seven assists to lead IP-Fort Wayne to an 80-77 victory against Austin Peay State University, Wednesday night, in the Governors’ home-opening basketball game.
The loss leaves the Govs 0-3 overall while IPFW improved to 2-1, gaining its season’s first road victory.
In the first half, Konchar had 14 points, going 5-of-5 from the floor (3-3 three pointers) plus made his only free-throw attempt.
In the second half, Konchar scored 14 more, including 5-of-5 at the free throw line—Konchar’s previous high was 11 points in the opener against Valparaiso.
In fact, between he and Landis, the pair went 8-for-8 (Konchar was 4-of-4) at the line over the final 3:48 to hold off the Governors.
The door was slightly cracked in the final minute but the Govs could not take advantage of it. Trailing 75-74 after a Khalil Davis layup with 1:17 left, Landis missed a three pointer as the shot clock wound down. Josh Robinson grabbed the rebound.
After a timeout with 40 seconds remaining, Robinson drove left baseline for the potential go-ahead bucket but the ball caught the underside of the rim and IPFW grabbed the rebound. Mo Evans was fouled with 28 seconds left and he hit both free throws to extend the lead back to three, 77-74.
On the ensuing possession, IPFW fouled Robinson before he could launch a potential game-tying three. He made both free throws—Robinson 9-of-9 at the line for the night. Landis then was fouled and he hit two more free throw to push it back to three with 15 seconds remaining.
On APSU’s next possession the Governors moved the ball to Davis at the top of the circle and he was fouled as he took his three pointer with nine seconds left. But before the senior could even attempt to potentially tie the game at the free-throw line, the officials spent the next 6 ½ minutes reviewing replay to see if Davis was behind the arc.
Davis finally went to the line and made the first, but the second one clanked off the rim. He intentionally missed the third free throw as IPFW grabbed the rebound. Brent Calhoun snared the rebound for IPFW and was fouled. He again left the door open for the Govs, missing the first and sinking the second.
But the Govs could not knock down the door as John Murry missed a three with three seconds left.
“I think we played a poor first half defensively and believe that is where the game was lost,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “We just couldn’t stop the dribble penetration…they would penetrate, pitch it to a shooter and as a result went 8-of-16 from three in the first half. We go to the zone in the second half and they go 2-for-14.
“Bottom line, we just have to guard better than we did in the first half.”
Robinson led the Govs with a career-high 25 points in the loss while Davis added 23. Chris Horton battled foul trouble but ended with 16 points and nine rebounds…and seven turnovers.
“The problem we had tonight was that Chris put the ball on the floor too much,” Loos said. “The defense was sinking in on him and resulted in many of those turnovers.”
APSU shot a reasonable 49 percent (23 of 47) from the floor but only 8-of-20 in the final half. Robinson also had four of the Governors’ five three pointers as the remaining Govs were only 1-of-6 from three-point territory.
The Governors now must go back on the road this weekend to complete the Maui Jim Maui Invitational at Northern Colorado. They will play Cal Poly, 3:30pm, Saturday, before playing either host Northern Colorado or Maryland-Baltimore County, Sunday afternoon.
IP-Fort Wayne 80, Austin Peay 77
Austin Peay 77