Austin Peay Basketball opens season with win over Oakland City 84-69
Clarksville, TN – Sophomore center Chris Horton snagged a career-high 17 rebounds to go with 10 points to spur Austin Peay State University’s late surge that paced a season-opening 84-69 victory against Oakland City, Friday night, in Dave Aaron Arena.
With the Governors leading the Mighty Oaks just 68-65 with less than 4 ½ minutes remaining, Horton took over, grabbing five rebounds, scoring three points and blocking a shot as the Govs ended on a 16-4 run. Horton’s rebound total bested his 13-rebound effort against Arkansas State, Dec. 8th, 2012. It was APSU’s most rebounds since John Fraley, who was in attendance for the season opener, had 17 versus Tennessee Tech, Jan. 2nd, 2012.
APSU defeats Oakland City in season opener(David Roach Clarksville Sports Network)
The 6-8 Horton got ample support down the stretch from senior forward Will Triggs, despite continuing free-throw shooting issues, had six points and three rebounds during that game-deciding stretch. Junior Ed Dyson, meanwhile, sealed it by knocking down a three pointer and following with a layup with close to a minute left. Dyson finished with a team-high 17 points in his first official Govs’ contest.
The Govs got off to a hot start in the contest, surging to a 14-5 lead. But APSU could not maintain the lead against the Mighty Oaks, who efficiently operated the offense to lead by as much as five points, 34-29, against the careless Govs with 5:10 left in the half when Jordan Simmons nailed a three pointer.
But the Govs went on a 8-0 run that ended only when Dyson was called for a technical for hanging on the rim after a dunk. The Governors took a 40-38 lead into intermission.
Matt Lucas hit a three pointer to open the second half to give Oakland City a 41-40 advantage, but that would prove to be the Mighty Oaks’ only second-half advantage, although they would not let the Govs shake them until the final five minutes.
Triggs, despite his 2-of-7 free-throw performance, joined Dyson and Horton in double figures with 10 points while also grabbing seven rebounds, five on the offensive glass. Damarius Smith added nine points, five assists and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench.
Sophomore Cory Arensten also added nine points—all on three pointers—while Zavion Williams added eight points.
Travis Betran, the Ohio Valley Conference’s leading returning scorer, had just five points but tied Smith for the assists lead with five.
The Governors finished 29 of 55 (52.7 percent) from the floor. It was barely worse than the free-throw shooting as APSU followed up Monday’s exhibition struggling night with just 20-of-36 (55.6 percent) at the line.
APSU dominated Oakland City on the boards, 46-27, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds in the final half. APSU also finished the night with 20 assists on their 29 field goals.
Kendall Wittmer led all scorers with 20 points for the Mighty Oaks, going 4-of-7 from three-point range. Oakland City stayed in the game with a 10-of-23 three-point effort.
Ryan Helfert and Lawrence Kinney each added 12 for Oakland City.