Memphis, TN – Ball-handling and perimeter defense conspired to doom Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team in its Thursday night tilt at Memphis. The Govs fell to Memphis, 95-69, in the road opener at FedExForum.
Austin Peay (1-1) was doomed by a Tiger squad that shot 53.6 percent (37-for-69) from the field and got plenty of second-chance points (11 on 16 offensive rebounds) when they did miss. Despite eight rebounds from sophomore Chris Horton, the Govs were pounded on the boards by Memphis, 50-27, in the loss.
APSU drops game to Memphis 96-69(APSU Sports Information)
The Govs got off to a slow start, committing four turnovers and falling behind 8-0 with the game barely two minutes old. However, a layup and three-pointer from senior guard Travis Betran gave the Govs a bit of life, getting Austin Peay to the first media timeout with a 10-7 deficit.
Memphis’ Chris Crawford sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around a Horton dunk before Ed Dyson scored his only five points of the first half in one quick burst, hitting a layup and a three on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to 20-16.
However, Memphis embarked on a 16-4 run spanning five minutes that put the Govs in a serious hole. Tigers guard Michael Dixon Jr. had seven of the Tigers points over that time. The Govs, who were shooting a respectable 6-for-11 before the Memphis run began, fell apart during the Tiger run, going 1-for-5 with three turnovers. At the end of Memphis’ run, the Govs trailed 36-20.
The deficit would grow to 51-29 by halftime. Foul problems plagued Austin Peay in the first half, with three starters – Dyson, Horton and Zavion Williams – picking up two fouls apiece. Austin Peay, which shot a woeful 55.6 percent from the free-throw line in the season-opener against Oakland City, were downright abysmal in the first-half against Memphis, making just 3-of-11 from the charity stripe in the first half. The Govs would finish a dreadful 36.8 percent (7-for-19) from the line.
Dyson came alive early in the second half, scoring the Govs first six points. He finished with a team-high 11 points, his second double-digit total in as many games for Austin Peay.
The Govs got out to a slow start Thursday night. Chris Freeman’s first-half tip-in was the only basket by a Govs reserve in the first half, but Austin Peay’s bench reeled off 11 straight at one point in the second half. The Govs bench finished with 25 points, led by Freeman with 10.
After torching the Tigers for a game-high 27 points in last year’s meeting, Betran finished with five points on just 2-of-9 shooting. Horton finished the evening with a solid stat line, posting nine points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots. Williams was the third Gov in double figures with 10 points.
Six Tigers would finish in double figures, led by seniors Joe Jackson (16 points) and Michael Dixon, Jr. (15 points).
The Govs have the weekend off before returning to the Dunn Center for a 7 p.m., Tuesday matchup with Missouri Valley Conference foe Southern Illinois.
SectionsAnnouncements, Austin Peay State University, Basketball (Men), Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Basketball, Chris Crawford, Chris Freeman, chris horton, Clarksville, Clarksville Tennessee, Dunn Center, Ed Dyson, FedExForum, Governors, Govs, Joe Jackson, Memphis, Memphis Tennessee, Memphis Tigers, Micael Dixon Jr., Michael Dixon Jr., Missouri Valley Conference, Oakland City, Southern Illinois, Tigers, Travis Betran, Zavion Williams