Red was the color of the night during Thursday’s Valentine’s Day game at Lantz Arena as Austin Peay jumped out to a quick lead and held off a late Eastern Illinois rally to win 71-64.
APSU improved to 6-20, 2-10 in the OVC. EIU fell to 7-19, 4-9 in the OVC. The Panthers will play Murray State at 6 p.m. on Saturday night. At halftime of that game EIU will retire the No. 44 jersey worn by all-time great Henry Domercant.
Eastern Illinois trailed by as many as 22 points in the second half and were down 16 points with 2:05 remaining as Anthony Campbell made one of two from the line to put APSU up 61-45. The Panthers then used a 10-0 run fueled by a pair of buckets by both Josh Piper and Morris Woods to cut the lead to 61-55 with 1:05 left.
APSU made three of four free throws on the next two possessions as EIU missed two offensive looks. Travis Betran sank a pair with 42 seconds left to put the Governors up nine. Betran, the OVC’s third leading scorer, was held to only five points on the night. Woods helped EIU get the lead back to seven with 33 seconds left as he led the Panthers with 24 points.
Alex Austin cut the deficit to five points with a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left but APSU sank four straight free throws in the final 13 seconds to hold on for the win. Austin had 20 points for EIU making 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
Austin Peay opened the game with an 8-0 run in the first half as Chris Horton scored six of the Governors first eight points. Horton would finish with a double-double at 14 point, 10 rebounds. APSU won the battle on the glass by a 36-31 margin after being out-rebounded by 11 boards in EIU’s mid-January win in Clarksville.
The Governors extended the lead to double figures with 9:19 to play in the first on a Jeremy Purvis three point play. Purvis had 11 points off the bench as APSU led 28-18 at the half.
Campbell led the Governors in scoring with 24 points making 5-of-7 from 3-point range. For the night APSU hit 9-of-17 from beyond the arc for 53 percent.
Release Provided by Eastern Illinois Athletics