Jacksonville, FL – Trailing by nine with under 30 seconds to play the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team cut its deficit down to three with 10 seconds remaining before falling to North Florida, 91-84 on Saturday afternoon inside UNF Arena.
APSU had three scorers in double figures with junior Cameron Copeland and freshman Elijah Hutchins-Everett each notching 20-point performances. Copeland led the Govs with a season-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from long distance. Copeland also had six rebounds to go along with a career-high six assists.
Hutchins-Everett earned his second 20-point performance of the season with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field. The Orange, NJ, native also had four rebounds with one assist in 28 minutes. The duo became the first pair of Govs to register 20 or more points in a game since Terry Taylor and Mike Peake did so against SIU Edwardsville back on Feb. 18, 2021.
Rounding out the double-digit scoring was senior Tariq Silver with 17 points. Silver notched his sixth straight double-digit performance, shooting 6-of-12 from the field with five three-pointers. The Clarksville native also had three assists and three steals.
Junior Carlos Paez had a season-high seven assists against the Ospreys to go along with seven points, two rebounds, and one steal. Paez was 2-of-5 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. Off the bench, the Govs got a solid contribution from senior Corbin Merritt who posted a season-high seven points. Sophomore Noel Scott off the bench registered a career-high six rebounds with one assist and one steal in 18 minutes.
On their home court, the Ospreys got off to the fast start going 2-of-4 from long distance to take an 8-4 lead just three minutes into the game. The Govs were unphased, making four of their next five field goals to tie the game at eight with 16 minutes remaining. APSU ultimately embarked on a 13-3 run to grab a 17-11 lead at the 14-minute mark. The Govs run was highlighted by four points from Hutchins-Everett.
At the midway point of the first half, the Govs jumped out to a double-digit lead after Silver knocked down a straight-away three. Austin Peay State University led 27-17 at the midway point after holding North Florida scoreless for over three minutes. The Ospreys clawed their way back, knocking down back-to-back threes as part of a 13-2 run to earn a 30-29 advantage with 6:15 remaining.
To begin the second half the two teams traded baskets early before the Ospreys went 3-of-4 from the field to take a 59-52 lead with 12:34 remaining. After a pair of UNF free throws, the Ospreys had a nine-point lead before Silver knocked down his fourth three of the game to trim the lead down to 61-55. The three sparked the Govs offense as Silver knocked down a corner three moments later to trim the UNF lead down to two at the halfway point.
However, UNF responded in front of the raucous home crowd, embarking on an 8-0 run with back-to-back three-pointers to gain a double-digit lead with 7:28 left to play. Leading by double digits, Cameron Copeland looked to bring the Govs back, knocking down two clutch threes to trim the Govs deficit down to five. After a UNF three, Paez hit his lone three of the game to make the score 77-72 with 3:40 remaining.
It was a back and forth contest down the stretch as APSU and UNF traded baskets. With under 30 seconds to play the Ospreys led 87-78 as the Austin Peay offense went cold, going just 1-of-5 from the field. Despite trailing, the Govs can never be counted out as Copeland knocked down two deep three-pointers to trim the UNF deficit down to three with under 10 seconds to play.
In the final 10 seconds, the Govs looked to trap the Ospreys in the frontcourt and nearly forced the turnover before UNF broke the full-court press. North Florida iced the game at the free-throw line as the Govs fell 91-84 inside UNF Arena.
Redshirt senior Tariq Silver hit five three-pointers, one shy of his career-high
Silver became the first APSU since Jordyn Adams at Morehead State (2/6/2021) to have five or more three-pointers
Junior Cameron Copeland scored a season-high 25 points
Copeland hit a season-high five three-pointers, one shy of his career-high
Freshman Elijah Hutchins-Everett notched his second career 20-point game of the season
Hutchins-Everett and Copeland each scored over 20 points, becoming the first pair of teammates at APSU to score over 20 points since Terry Taylor and Mike Peak back on February 18th, 2021.
Austin Peay State University knocked down 11 three-pointers
APSU has had double-digit three’s in five of the last six games
The Govs outrebounded UNF, 29-24, and held a 10-2 advantage on the offensive glass
Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team continues to play in the Sunshine State, traveling to Tampa for a showdown with the Bulls of South Florida on Tuesday, December 14th.
Follow The APSU Govs
Austin Peay 84, North Florida 91