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OVC Ball Statbox

1st 2nd OT Final
(8) Austin Peay 38 51 8 97
17-17 (7-9 OVC)
(1) Belmont 47 42 7 96
20-11 (12-4 OVC)

Team Statistics

APSU BELM
32/60 (53.3%) Field Goals 39/68 (57.4%)
8/19 (42.1%) 3-Point FG 9/30 (30.0%)
25/29 (86.2%) Free Throws 9/12 (75.0%)
34 (14/20) Rebounds (O/D) 28 (11/17)
21 2nd Chance Pts 11
11 Assists 23
16 Turnovers 15
11 Points off TO 19
36 Pts in the Paint 60
9 Fastbreak Pts 6
10 Bench Pts 14

Tempo Tracker (Possessions)

Four Factors

Learn more in our tempo-free stats primer

Top 3 Gamescore

What is Gamescore? Read our Gamescore Primer.

#1 Chris Horton 31.7
(APSU)
PTS: 30 OREB: 10 DREB: 6 FG: 8-11
#2 Evan Bradds 24.7
(BELM)
PTS: 32 FG: 15-16 AST: 3 TO: 6
#3 Josh Robinson 21.3
(APSU)
PTS: 25 AST: 5 FG: 9-16 STL: 2

(8) Austin Peay offense

(1) Belmont offense

What happened: Belmont needed two more tenths.

If there were two more tenths on the clock, Belmont’s second tip attempt (pictured below) would have counted. If there were two more tenths on the clock, the Bruins would be one game away from heading back to the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, Austin Peay has done something never before done in Ohio Valley Conference history.

They’ve become the first ever 8-seed to advance to the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

…and they did it by beating the most dominant team in the conference in the last four years, for the first time since they joined the OVC.

They’ve become the first ever 8-seed to advance to the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

The Bruins had chances to escape: Evan Bradds had a good look at a layup after Belmont went the length of the court in the final five seconds of regulation. Amanze Egekeze missed two-free throws with 1:03 left in overtime, and the Bruins down one. And Austin Luke had a great look at a three in the final seconds, before the final tips.

A video review would seal their fate — the shot was too late.

Before the tip, before the missed-free throws, and Bradds first miss of the entire game as the clock expired in regulation, Austin Peay found themselves in a familiar situation. A late first half Bruins run sent the Governors into the locker room down nine. Chris Horton had been held to just a pair of field goal attempts and five points.

Only this time, Austin Peay didn’t wait until the end of the came to mount a comeback. A Josh Robinson three-pointer with 16:12 left in the second half sparked a 13-4 run. By the 13 minute mark, the Governors had cut the lead to one.

50 seconds later, they had taken the lead.

Unlike the strech run against Tennessee State, Austin Peay and Belmont executed amazingly down the stretch. Horton and Bradds battled inside: Jared Savage (who finished with a career high 21 points, hitting 5-6 from three-point range) and Robinson dazzled from outside, while the Bruins drove to the basket with effectiveness.

In the end, the Bruins just needed more time.

Time, though, hasn’t run out on Cinderella just yet.

image

 

AUSTIN PEAY

What it means: How many more ways can I describe the undescribable? The run this team has made here in Nashville is special. Every night, they find a way to top the amazingness of the night before: A beatdown no one saw coming, a comeback no one though possible, and a victory no one predicted in a game that no one will forget.

Horton likely leave Nashville tomorrow night as the leading scoring in a single OVC Tournament in history, but without the play of Savage and Robinson, Austin Peay would have never made it this far. The trio combined for 76 of the Governors’ 97 points, and shot 24-36 (66.6%) from the field.

Belmont clearly wanted to make Austin Peay run, since the Governors were coming off two games in the previous two night — and Austin Peay had no problems doing just that. Other than poor shooting (1-7) in overtime, the Governors showed no signs of fatigue that your would expect for a team tested like they have been.

Do they have another 40 minutes in them? I’m not betting against them.

Player of the Night: I can’t pick one. Savage, Robinson, and Horton were all just too great.

What’s Next: One more game in Nashville. Austin Peay gets either Morehead State or UT Martin.

 


BELMONT

What happened: Belmont’s offense was on par with the best offenses the OVC has seen in the past decade.

It’s defense was not. That was never more apparent than tonight. When you shoot 57.4% for the game, and hit nine threes, you should feel pretty good about your chances. But the Bruins just couldn’t stop fouling. Austin Peay shot 17 more free-throws than the Bruins, and unlike the night before, the Governors drained most of them.

Bradds had a night for the ages: 15-16 shooting and 32 points, but he only pulled down four rebounds, playing against Horton all night. Horton had 16 in total, 10 on the offensive glass alone.

But, at the end of the day, Belmont had a shot. They had the ball with a chance to win. Head coach Rick Byrd says the play didn’t go as designed, so the Bruins improvised.

…and the play worked. Just not quite quickly enough.

After an 8-0 start, Belmont faded a bit down the stretch, but still won the regular season title. Byrd put it well: Belmont wasn’t any better or any worse than Austin Peay today.

They just didn’t get come away with the win. Sometimes, that happens in basketball.

Sometimes, it happens at the worst possible time.

Player of the Night: Bradds, hands down, but Egekeze had a good night as well, scoring 17 points in 6-9 shooting.

What’s next: By virtue of winning the regular season crown, Belmont heads back to the NIT, where they nearly made the semifinals two years ago.


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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