CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville claimed its first Ohio Valley Conference road win, Thursday night, by handing Austin Peay State University a 66-53 decision in Dave Aaron Arena.
It was the Govs second straight loss and ninth in their last 10 games. The decision dropped APSU to 5-14 overall and just 1-4 in the OVC.
SIUE, meanwhile, improved to 6-9 overall and 2-3 in the OVC..
Austin Peay led just twice in the game-scoring the game's first bucket and then hitting one of two free throws on its next possession before SIUE took command. The early missed free throw should have been an ominous sign for APSU-APSU finished the night just 11 of 21 from the line compared to 12 of 13 by SIUE.
In fact, seemingly anytime APSU had an opportunity to cut into the deficit, poor free throw shooting cropped up to end the threat. The Governors missed both free throws on three occasions and failed to convert on two three-point play opportunities.
SIUE led by as much as nine first-half points and took a 32-25 margin into halftime. That deficit immediately was increased to 11 points, 40-29, when APSU made a run. Layups by Will Triggs and Travis Betran followed by an Anthony Campbell three pointer-one of only two for the Govs, who enetered the game ranked 29th in the nation in treys made.
A dunk by Travis Betran cut APSU's deficit to two, 40-38, but the Govs could get no closer. SIUE's Tim Johnson hit a short jumper to make it a 42-38 game. APSU then missed a three and then committed a turnover before Michael Messer was fouled while shooting, ending in two made free throws.
Another missed Governors three and another turnover was turned into a SIUE double-digit lead, 48-38, with 10:13 remaining. APSU would get no closer than seven points the game's remainder.
Jerome Jones led all scorers for SIUE with 22 points while Kris Davis and Michael Messer, who went 8-of-8 at the free-throw line, added 10 points.
Betran led the Governors with 15 points while Triggs added 10.
Entering the game ranked fifth nationally in three-point percentage, the Govs finished 2-of-19 (10.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Betran, who was 13th in the nation in three-point percentage coming in, struggled with a 1-of-7 night from three while Campbell, who was shooting 41 percent from three entering Thursday, was just 1-of-5.
APSU shot only 38.5 percent (20 of 52) from the floor compared to 48.1 percent (25 of 52) by SIUE, including 12 of 23 in the final half.
For a fifth consecutive game the Governors were pounded on the boards, SIUE owning a 39-28 margin, leading to 15 second-chance points.