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HomeSportsAPSU Basketball second half rally falls short at Western Kentucky

APSU Basketball second half rally falls short at Western Kentucky

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's Basketball - Austin Peay State UniversityBowling Green, KY – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team staged a furious second-half rally that came up just short in the waning moments against Western Kentucky, falling 97-92, Wednesday, at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball falls at Western Kentucky Wednesday night, 97-92. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball falls at Western Kentucky Wednesday night, 97-92. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors started strong and battled with former OVC foe Western Kentucky for much of the first half and holding a lead with six minutes to go.

The Hilltoppers closed out the first half on a 13-5 run and opened the second on a 20-5 run to put the Govs behind the proverbial eight-ball.   

Down by 22 with less than 15 minutes to go in the second half, Austin Peay took a rout and turned it into a ballgame thanks to a 34-point outburst in less than nine minutes, featuring 11 points from Bowling Green native Jared Savage and all nine of fellow Warren Central HS grad Chris Porter-Bunton‘s points on the night.

After a Josh Robinson three-pointer cut the Hilltopper lead to three with 4:57 to go, a 7-0 Western Kentucky run pushed the deficit back to 10 before a three from Robinson, three free-throws from sophomore Zach Glotta followed by another three from the O’Fallon, MO, native cut it back to four with 52 seconds to go. Western Kentucky’s Que Johnson hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to help the Hilltoppers preserve the win; he led Western Kentucky with 25 points.

The Difference

The Govs turned six Western Kentucky turnovers into 10 points, while the Hilltoppers were able to score 24 points on 14 Austin Peay miscues.

Notably

  • Robinson led all scorers with 26 points, his fifth straight 20-point night—a career-long streak.
  • The Govs hit 14-of-16 free-throw attempts (87.5 percent), the second straight game and third time this season Austin Peay has shot at least 80 percent from the charity stripe. He also had six assists, his best showing since a season-high seven against Spalding (November 26th).
  • Western Kentucky shot 55.9 percent (33-for-59) from the floor, the eighth consecutive Austin Peay opponent to hit at least half their shots from the floor.
  • Austin Peay’s 61.1 percent (33-for-54) shooting mark was its second-highest this season. It was the Governors best shooting percentage in a losing effort since shooting 58.0 percent (29-for-50) against Eastern Kentucky, February 22nd, 2014.
  • Savage had a sweet homecoming, equaling his career-high with 24 points in his first collegiate appearance in his hometown.
  • With 10 three-pointers, Western Kentucky became the eighth opponent to hit at least 10 three-pointers against the Govs in 2016-17.
  • The Governors hit 12 three-pointers and shot 12-for-26 (46.2 percent) from downtown, each the second-best mark by the team in 2016-17.

Coaching Quotables

Head Coach Dave Loos

On starting strong

“We played pretty well offensively, but we just give up too many points. It’s a lot of the same things I’ve been seeing.”

On the late comeback

“I told our players, I really liked what I saw in the second half. We could’ve cashed in but we fought back and got it down to three.”

Up Next for the APSU Govs

With the nonconference schedule behind them, the Govs can focus on the Ohio Valley Conference slate, which opens up Saturday with a 2:30pm. New Year’s Eve tip-off against Belmont.

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