APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – John Murry and Kenny Jones made the most of their final appearances on the hardwood at the Dunn Center, leading Austin Peay to a 92-84 victory against SIU Edwardsville to keep the Governors Ohio Valley Conference Tournament hopes alive.
Murry scored a game-high 25 points—his fourth 20-point night in the last five outings—while Jones contributed 20, including a timely 8-for-11 showing at the charity stripe, as Austin Peay had its most efficient shooting night of the season.The Governors blazed out of the gate, taking a 17-point lead into halftime on the strength of the inside play—Jones (15 points) and Dre’Kalo Clayton (10) played huge roles for the Govs in the early going.
But slowly, the Cougars chipped away at Austin Peay’s deficit in the second half—rather like the Governors two nights against Eastern Illinois. After struggling to crack 40 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, SIU Edwardsville hit 54.5 percent in the second half and seemed poised to push the Govs to the limit after an 18-7 run cut the lead to four with 4:54 to play.
True to form, Murry got hot at just the right moment to propel the Govs to victory. He scored 10 points over the final 4:38—the 10th time this season and third in two games he’s needed less than five minutes to score 10 points—including a back-breaking three with 1:54 to go after the Cougars had gotten within a bucket—they would not get within two possessions the rest of the way.
Austin Peay showed its proficiency in all facets on the offensive end, hitting 50.9 percent (29-for-57) form the floor, 50.0 percent (9-for-18) from three and 73.5 percent (25-for-34) at the free-throw line—the Governors first 50-50-70 game since February 6th, 2016 at Murray State.
Jones hit 6-of-9 from the floor, marking the 17th time he’s hit at least 60 percent of his shots in 2016-17. He extended his double-digit scoring streak to a career-long eight games, and the aforementioned 8-for-11 showing at the free-throw line—in addition to being a career-high in free-throws made—atoned for his 2-for-10 in the last game against Eastern Illinois.
The Governors 54 first-half points were their most in the first half in OVC play this season.
Junior Dre’Kalo Clayton had the best game of his Austin Peay career. The big man from Orlando had a career-high 12 points and chipped in eight boards while logging a career-high 27 minutes in his third career start.
The Govs equaled their season-high in free-throws made (25) and set a season-best with 34 attempts. Over the last five games, the Govs are averaging 26.4 free-throw attempts.
To that end, the 29 fouls committed by the Cougars were the most by an Austin Peay opponent this season.
Josh Robinson was happy to defer to his teammates on this night—he finished with 11 points but had a career high-tying seven assists to go with it. After going 4-for-4 at the line, he’s hitting 82.8 percent (72-for-87) from the line during OVC play.
For Murry, it was the 10th 20-point game of his Austin Peay career—all coming this season since November 30th (22 games). Over his last five games, the Indianapolis native is averaging 23.6 points and shooting 48.1 percent (37-for-77) from the floor, 80.5 percent (33-for-41) from the free-throw line and 40.7 percent (11-for-27) from beyond the arc, averaging 2.2 threes per game.
Jared Savage made two steals tonight; he’s had multiple steals in five of Austin Peay’s six OVC wins.
Tre Ivory equaled his career-high with six points.
Head Coach Dave Loos
“Really pleased with our team. We played really well in the first half on both ends I thought. One of the most pleasing things is looking and seeing we had 18 assists—great to see us sharing the basketball like that.”
On the fast start
“It’s always our design to play inside-out, but I think Kenny (Jones) was turned on with it being Senior Night; if you use that for the right motivation, it can really help you.”
On closing out the game
“I think there’s a tendency, not to relax, but play a little more cautious and just try to hang in there and get through the game. We probably suffered from some of that late.”
Up Next for the APSU Govs
One final road trip awaits as Austin Peay travels first to UT Martin to take on the Skyhawks in a 7:00pm, Thursday, affair at the Elam Center.