CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Justin Blake nailed a long three pointer with 10.9 seconds to play to lift Austin Peay State University to a 56-55 come-from-behind Ohio Valley Conference victory against Morehead State, Sunday afternoon, in Dave Aaron Arena.
Blake's shot capped a 16-point second-half Governors comeback-APSU trailed by 11 points with 6:00 remaining. Morehead State had two opportunities to win it in the final seconds but Demonte Harper missed a short lane jumper and Maze Stallworth couldn't get the follow to drop.
Blake finished with 14 points, his fifth straight double-figure scoring effort since moving into the starting lineup, Jan. 16. Wesley Channels was APSU's only other double-figure rebounder with a team-high 17 points.
The victory was APSU's third straight and improved the Govs to 13-10 overall, 7-4 in the OVC. Morehead State fell to 15-7 overall and 9-2 in the OVC. It snapped Morehead State's 11-game winning streak and also ended APSU's four-game losing streak in the series. The game originally was scheduled to be played Saturday but weather and road conditions forced postponement until Sunday.
Defense dominated the first half, more so by Morehead State. The Governors were limited to just 18 first-half points, connecting on just 6 of 21 (28.6 percent). APSU also committed 13 first-half turnovers, many coming against the Eagles full- and half-court pressure defenses.
Morehead State, meanwhile, shot only 37 percent in the first half but outscored the Govs 13-2 in the final 7:48 of the half. In fact, two free throws by APSU's Anthony Campbell with 38 seconds left in the half ended the Govs 7:10 scoring drought. But Kenneth Faried, the OVC preseason Player of the Year, grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup at the first-half buzzer to give the Eagles a 30-18 halftime advantage.
Morehead State opened the second half by outscoring the Govs 9-5, including back-to-back Stallworth buckets, one being a three pointer.
The Govs then went on a 12-0 run, capped by a Caleb Brown three pointer, to make it a 39-35 contest with 12:31 left. But Morehead State bounced back to push it back to double digits and led 51-41 with 5:23 remaining.
But Blake got the Govs going by nailing a three pointer to cut it to 51-44 with 5:00 left. He then made a free throw and Campbell a layup with 3:42 left to make it a four point game.
Harper connected on one of two free throws for a Morehead State five-point advantage before John Fraley spun inside and slammed it through to cut the deficit to 52-49 with 2:14 left.
After a Morehead State turnover, Channels drove the left side and, using his left hand, banked in a layup over Faried to make it a one-point game, 52-51.
Morehead State's Terrance Hill then was fouled and nailed both free throws to push it to a three-point Eagles advantage. But Blake also drove to the bucket and scored on a layup with 1:30, again making it a one-point game, 54-53.
On the ensuing possession, Fraley was called for a foul on Faried, who made the first free throw but missed the second.
That set up Blake's game winner as Caleby Brown drew the defense toward him allowing Blake to get his look, a shot that sailed over outstretched Eagles defenders.
Faried, Division I's leading rebounder, led the Eagles with 19 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots and four steals. Stallworth added 12 points and Harper 11.
Morehead State shot just 38 percent (19 of 50) for the game while APSU finished at 41.9 percent, shooting 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) in the second half.
Campbell led APSU rebounders with nine as the Govs, who were outrebounded 43-32 in the first encounter, kept it closer this time, only being outrebounded 35-31.