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UT Martin Skyhawks rally to beat APSU Basketball, 76-72

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's Basketball - Austin Peay State UniversityMartin, TN – A raucous crowd and a late UT Martin run served to trip up Austin Peay State University men’s basketball in their penultimate road contest for the 2016-17 season, despite a 21-point effort from Josh Robinson.

The loss leaves Austin Peay unable to qualify for the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament with one regular season game remaining.  

Austin Peay Men's Basketball falls at UT Martin Thursday night. Loss eliminates APSU for OVC Tournament. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball falls at UT Martin Thursday night. Loss eliminates APSU for OVC Tournament. (APSU Sports Information)

Similar to the first meeting between the two squads, UT Martin controlled the pace and the boards in the early going, building a six-point lead on the strength of early rebounding—at one point, the Skyhawks held a 15-6 rebounding advantage.

But Austin Peay clamped down defensively, limiting the Skyhawks to one field goal over the span of 6:09, and in the process went from points down to five points up on their hosts. Although UT Martin limited the looks for Robinson and Kenny Jones (seven combined shot attempts in the first half), Jared Savage (10 points) and John Murry (12) served as catalysts for Austin Peay in the opening stanza.

Austin Peay was able to fend off multiple UT Martin runs for much of the second half, but a late push by the Skyhawks proved to be the Governors undoing. UT Martin closed on an 18-8 run, aided by a 5:23 stretch that saw the Governors go without a bucket from the floor.

A late three from Josh Robinson closed the gap to four with under two seconds to go, but it was too late for the Govs to rally at that point. Jacolby Mobley, who scored 36 against the Govs in the previous meeting between the two squads, had a game-high 28 in this one, including 20 in the second half.

The Difference

As has been the case often in 2016-17, but perhaps most notably against UT Martin, Austin Peay simply could not gain traction on the glass. After pulling down 19 boards against the Govs the first time these teams played, Javier Martinez was again a beast underneath, gathering 15 rebounds to help UT Martin earn a 45-27 edge in rebounding.

Notably

Robinson finished with 21 points—his 30th career 20-point game—leaving him at 20.6 ppg with one game remaining. He needs just four points against the Redhawks to become the first Governor to average 20 for a season since Drake Reed (2008-09) and the fourth since the turn of the century. He’s also 20 points away from becoming the 12th player in Austin Peay history to score 1,500 career points.

UT Martin’s 24 second-chance points were the most the Govs have given up to an OVC opponent this season.

In holding the Skyhawks bench to just two points, the Govs were able to win the battle of the benches for the first time since December 20th (Evansville), outscoring UT Martin’s reserves 8-2.

The Govs free-throws attempted (12) and made (seven) were their fewest in OVC play this season.

Savage had six boards, leading the Govs on the glass for the first time in 2016-17.

Coaching Quotables

Head Coach Dave Loos

On the final possession

“We had a play set up designed to get a three, but I told them that we didn’t have to have a three yet, that we could get a two, foul and extend the game. We still had time for that. But they covered that guy (in the corner) and we tried to throw long, and you have to throw deep in that scenario.

On containing Mobley

“That’s just Mobley. We didn’t have anybody that could guard him.”

On rebounding

“They’re physical. They’re a lot like Morehead State in that way, and they’re going to chase the ball on the board. Rebounding has been an issue for us all year. A big issue.”

Up Next for APSU Govs

Austin Peay closes out the 2016-17 season with a 4:15pm contest at the Show Me Center against Southeast Missouri.


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