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APSU Governors Basketball come up short at Tennessee Tech

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's Basketball - Austin Peay State UniversityCookeville, TN – Despite 21 points from Kenny Jones and John Murry, a late drought cost Austin Peay State University in a 76-67 decision in their Ohio Valley Conference road-opening loss at Tennessee Tech, Thursday.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball falls to Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 76-67 Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball falls to Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 76-67 Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

On an odd night for the Governor faithful—the first in 27 years without Dave Loos on the sideline—both Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech came out flat in the first half, with each squad struggling to make shots through the first 12 minutes.

Although the Golden Eagle lead would reach nine near the half’s midway point, Austin Peay would get it to within a bucket at the break thanks largely to Murry, who scored 15 first-half points.

The Governors came firing out of the halftime break to build a 12-point lead at the 14:37 mark, but chipped away at the lead thanks largely to Aleksa Jugovic, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half and hit three-pointers on back-to-back trips midway through the period to tie the game and subsequently take the lead in the midst of a 24-7 run.

The Golden Eagles would go up by seven with 5:31 to go on another Jugovic three-pointer, but a quick 10-4 run by the Govs would get Austin Peay back within a point after Jared Savage sank a pair of free-throws with 2:29 to go.

However, on the next Tennessee Tech possession, Stephaun Adams would knock down his only three of the game to give the Golden Eagles a four-point lead—the Governors would not get within a bucket for the game’s remainder.

The Difference

The Govs hit only two of their final 11 shots over the last 4:36 of regulation.

Notably

  • With Dave Loos on a leave of absence while he continues chemotherapy, it marked the first time since March 7th, 1990 that someone other than Loos acted as head coach for the Governors, with assistant head coach Jay Bowen filling the role.  
  • Jones scored 21 points, his fourth career 20-point outing and third this season. He finished one rebound short of a double-double, the fourth time this season one more rebound would’ve put over the threshold. He finished 8-for-12 from the floor, and has now shot better than 60 percent in 12 of 16 contests.
  • The Governors bench was outscored 17-4 by Tennessee Tech’s and is averaging 4.6 ppg since December 22nd.
  • Murry’s 21 points marked his third 20-point outing as a Governor and first since December 3rd (at Arkansas). He also set career-highs in assists (five) and steals (four).
  • As a team, the Governors hit 18-for-20 from the free-throw line, the second time this season they’ve reached 90 percent as a team from the stripe. The Govs are now hitting 74.3 percent from the free-throw line in defeats this season.

Coaching Quotables

Assistant head coach Jay Bowen

At the first half

“I liked our group the first half because we defended. We did a good job defensively, but we didn’t make the shots in the first half and that’s what we’re known for.”

On having the lead

“When they called the timeout (at 14:37), we wanted to get back to a normal level of excitement and be consistent until the next media, knowing a good team like Tennessee Tech would make a run. We wanted to do what we do and take care of the ball and defend, which is what got us the lead in the first place.”

Up Next for the APSU Govs

The second leg of this road trip takes Austin Peay to Jacksonville, AL, to take on a resurgent Jacksonville State squad that is 9-8 (2-1 OVC) under first-year head coach Ray Harper.

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