TORONTO, Ontario-For the first time in three Canadian exhibition games, Austin Peay State University's basketball got off to a strong start. In fact, the Govs trailed only briefly and rolled to an 85-52 victory, Monday night, against the ABC All-Stars in APSU's final north-of-border exhibition game.
The victory allowed the Governors to end the long weekend with a 2-1 mark.
After connecting on just two three pointers while struggling to a little better than 30 percent shooting against A-Hoops, Sunday, the Govs responded with 7-of-17 three-point shooting while shooting over 44.8 percent (35 of 78) versus the ABC All-Stars.
"We made progress along the way," APSU coach Dave Loos said. "We were better the second night than the first night and we were more improved tonight. We certainly shot the ball better tonight. I think we still had a few too many turnovers, but I thought we did a better job of taking care of the basketball."
The Governors trailed early in the first quarter on two occasions before finishing the period with an 8-0 run that allowed APSU to lead, 21-15 entering the second stanza-it was the only time in the three games the Govs led after the first period.
Austin Peay then kept that momentum heading into the second period. After the All-Stars cut the deficit to 22-19, the Govs went on an 11-0 run and were never headed, taking a 38-26 lead into intermission as senior point guard Jerome Clyburn led the way with 11 points.
ABC All-Stars scored the first two buckets of the second half, cutting their deficit to eight, but the Govs then scored the next seven points, including a three pointer by freshman Corey Arensten and two inside buckets by Will Triggs to push the lead well back into double digits.
In fact, the Govs outscored the All-Stars (also know as LTD Limited), 29-14, in the period to put the game out of reach.
Triggs, the 6-5 junior forward, again led the Govs in scoring with 13 points while Clyburn added 11 as did freshman Preston Herring, who had both a three pointer and an acrobatic slam dunk in his five field goals. Sophomore forward Chris Freeman, who battled both hand and knee issues on Sunday, bounced back with 10 points, all in the second half.
The ABC All-Stars were coached on an interim basis Monday night by Ken Murray, a Hall of Fame Canadian coach who has served as APSU's host during the trip.
APSU's own Hall of Fame coach, Loos, is leaving Canada believing the Governors got from this trip what they were seeking.
"I don't know how all this is going to wash out in the end, but to date this was a huge success for our basketball team," Loos said. "The players got a chance to bond with each other and the coaches. It was a great opportunity to evaluate players in game situations and it has been a great education experience for both the players and the coaches."