Martin, TN – The Austin Peay men’s basketball team captured its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season on Thursday night with a 72-57 road win over UT Martin.
The Govs had just five players score on Thursday night with four of the five players scoring in double figures. Austin Peay State University was led by redshirt senior Tariq Silver who matched his career-high with 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
Behind Silver was freshman Elijah Hutchins-Everett with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Hutchins-Everett scored all 16 of his points in the second half as the freshman center tallied four rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Leading the APSU Govs on the glass was senior Elton Walker with eight rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass. Walker also poured in 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe.
Rounding out the double-digit scoring was junior Alec Woodard with 11 points. Woodard was 4-of-6 from the field with one three-pointer and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. Woodard ranked second on the team with seven rebounds to go along with three assists and two steals.
Off the bench, fellow junior Cameron Copeland had nine points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field with five rebounds.
As a team, the APSU shot 50 percent from the field while going 5-of-21 from long distance. The Govs made the most of their opportunities at the free-throw line against the Skyhawks, going 15-of-20. Austin Peay State University registered 17 assists on 26 made field goals while outrebounding UT Martin, 41-33.
Defensively, Austin Peay State University forced 11 turnovers, scoring 15 points off of turnovers. The Govs held the Skyhawks to a .333 field goal percentage while registering four blocks and four steals.
Playing their first game in 12 days the Govs were sluggish to start, however, so was UT Martin as the two teams went a combined 0-of-6 from the field the first three minutes of the game. Both offenses slowly started to find their rhythm en route to being tied at four at the 15:49 mark of the first half. Silver was the catalyst for the Govs offense early, scoring five of the first seven APSU points, all of which came from the free-throw line.
Near the halfway point of the first half, the Skyhawks embarked on a 12-2 run to earn a 16-9 advantage with 10:31 remaining. From that point on it was all Austin Peay, rattling off 12 straight points to regain a 21-16 lead. The Govs made five straight field goals led by two three-pointers from Cameron Copeland. To end the first half, APSU made nine of its final 13 field goals to take a 33-28 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of the locker room, freshman Elijah Hutchins-Everett took over, scoring the first six points for the Govs en route to a 39-34 lead at the 17-minute mark. Austin Peay extended its lead to double-digit at the 15:35 mark after a corner three from Silver, his third three-pointer of the night. UT Martin clawed its way back later in the second half, knocking down back-to-back threes to trim the APSU lead down to 46-42 with 13:37 left to play.
Midway through the second half, it was Silver who provided the offensive firepower for the Govs, scoring seven straight points to propel Austin Peay State University’s lead back to double-digits.
APSU continued to stifle the Skyhawks late in the second half as UTM went 2-of-13 from the field while the Govs went 5-of-7 from the field. Down the stretch, the Govs continued to extend its lead, leading by as many as 18 before walking out of Martin, Tenn., with a 72-57 victory.
The victory snapped the Govs six-game losing streak.
It was the first win for the Govs since December 5th versus Milligan.
APSU has now won eight of the last 10 meetings against UT Martin.
Since the 2010-11 season, APSU has a record of 8-5 on the road at UT Martin.
Tariq Silver notched his 10th double-digit scoring performance of the season, 33rd of his career.
It’s the third game this season Silver has scored at least 20 points.
Junior Elton Walker scored a season-high 12 points.
Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team continues OVC road play with a trip to Nashville to square off with Tennessee State on Saturday, January 22nd. APSU then returns home for a pivotal showdown with Belmont on Thursday, January 27th inside the Winfield Dunn Center.
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Austin Peay 72, UT Martin 57
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