APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – The Govs defeated the School Up North.
That makes for a good opener to describe Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team’s 84-81 overtime win against archrival Murray State—its first in eight attempts in the Dunn Center and its first overtime win against the Racers since 2008.It would have been difficult to peg this as the night Austin Peay stopped a cavalcade of streaks against Murray State at the game’s outset, which featured a ghastly first half of shooting for Austin Peay.
The Governors hit just 26.5 percent in the first half, starting the game on a 6-for-27 stretch before hitting three of seven to close the half.
Despite being down by 10 at one point, Austin Peay was able to keep the contest close thanks to ballhawk defending—saw Murray State commit 11 first-half turnovers—and the will to drive the lane and absorb contact; the Govs were a perfect 9-for-9 at the line in the first half, capping the frame with a Josh Robinson three-point play to make it 32-28 Racers at the break.
In the second half, Austin Peay could not be stopped, hitting 17 of 27 (63.0 percent) from the floor to pull ahead by eight with just over a minute to go. But Murray State’s Jonathan Stark put on a John Murry-esque scoring display, scoring 10 points in 1:03, the last two a bucket with two seconds left to force overtime.
Reeling from the late Racer surge, the Governors rallied back in overtime, opening the extra frame with a three-point play from senior Kenny Jones and making it a two-possession game with 1:32 to go thanks to a Robinson three-pointer. A Stark layup with 56 seconds left would be as close as the Racers got the rest of the way, thanks to clutch free-throw shooting from Murry and Jared Savage, who recorded his first career double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds).
For the first time since December 15th, the Governors won the rebounding battle, outpacing the Racers 45-42 on the boards. Savage and Jones (11 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles, the first time since February 13th, 2016 that two Governors have posted double-doubles in the same game.
For the fifth time in six games, Austin Peay had at least 20 points off turnover, turning 16 Murray State miscues into 23 points. The Governors 10-point advantage in points off turnover (23-13) was their largest since November 26th (Spalding).
The win was career victory No. 499 for head coach Dave Loos.
With 22 points, Robinson passed Jermaine Savage, Adrian Henning and Anthony Campbell—with Savage and Campbell in the building as part of APSU’s basketball alumni reunion—to take over 12th all-time with 1,364 points.
The younger Savage, Jared, completed one of the best nights of his Austin Peay career with a career-high six steals, equaling Robinson’s effort against Northern Kentucky, November 18th, for the team season-high.
This win was Austin Peay’s third straight overtime victory, its longest overtime winning streak since the 2009-10 season.
This was just the second victory for Austin Peay when trailing at the half in 2016-17, joining the November 18th contest against Northern Kentucky.
The 45 rebounds procured by the Govs was easily their most in 2016-17 and the highest total by an APSU squad since March 2nd, 2016 against Tennessee Tech, with 45 in the opening round of the OVC Tournament.
Stark had the most attempts (26), three-point attempts (14) and turnovers (six) by an Austin Peay opponent this season.
In addition to hitting a clutch three-pointer with 90 seconds to go in regulation, Chris Porter-Bunton pulled down seven boards, his most since opening night at Dayton.
Austin Peay put up its most shot attempts (68) of the 2016-17 season, while the Racers 35 attempted three-pointers were the most by an APSU opponent this season.
Head Coach Dave Loos
“It was huge. Savage had seven offensive rebounds at the half and did a great job; he, Jones and CB (Porter-Bunton) really attacked.”
On the win
“It was big win for us and our program. We had a great crowd and I appreciate everybody who came out and made it a great game.”
Up Next for the APSU Govs
Austin Peay hosts UT Martin in an 8:00pm, Thursday contest that will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, the Governors second CBS appearance this season. It will be head coach Dave Loos‘ first attempt at career win No. 500.