» By TRENT SINGER – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming off a conference home loss against Morehead State, the Govs bounced back to their winning ways on Saturday, Feb. 18, with a 71-68 victory over former conference rival Youngstown State.
The starting lineup combined for 35 points, but the key performer was senior guard TyShwan Edmondson, whose last 20-point game came three weeks ago in a win against UT Martin. Edmondson scored 23 points off the bench while logging more playing time than any other Govs player.
The Govs ended the night with 51 total rebounds, 26 coming from seniors Melvin Baker and John Fraley. Baker finished with seven points while Fraley finished with nine.
Josh Terry scored 14 points in the win while icing the game with his free throws, shooting a perfect 10-for-10.
“I thought our rebounding and our free-throw shooting really made a huge difference,” head coach Dave Loos said after the game. “We also had a few guys make some shots and that was big for us.”
After the game, Terry spoke about the team’s success from the free-throw line, where they shot 77.8 percent, finishing 21-for-27.
“We work on it everyday,” Terry said. “I think we were just concentrating. We didn’t want to beat ourselves.”
The Govs started rather slow, allowing the Penguins to score nine unanswered points in the game’s first three minutes.
Head coach Dave Loos responded by calling a timeout to allow his players to regroup.
“I was just trying to stop the bleeding, to be honest,” Loos said. “We just needed to stop their momentum.”
During the first half, it was Terry’s leaping block that turned heads and got the crowd back into the game. The Govs rallied back to tie the score at 24, eventually heading into the half down by five, 28-33.
In the second half, APSU outscored Youngstown State, 43-35, and in the middle of the second half, the Govs came alive by going on a 15-5 run to take a 57-52 lead.
Although the Penguins showed life by hitting key three-pointers late in the game, Jerome Clyburn forced a turnover with only a few seconds remaining to essentially seal the Govs’ victory.
Forwards Chris Freeman and Will Triggs, along with senior guard Jerome Clyburn, combined for 13 points from the bench.
Eight Govs players contributed points to the win, while Youngstown State finished with only two points from the bench.
The Penguins finished with four starters scoring in double-digits, led by guard Kendrick Perry and forward Damian Eargle.
The team will finish the regular season by playing UT Martin on the road this week before coming home for the season finale against Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The Ohio Valley Conference tournament will take place next week. As the showdown at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville approaches, Loos hopes his team is ready to continue to fight.
“We were desperate for a good game, and we really needed a win,” Loos said.
“I hope this game propels us into next week and we can get on a roll going into the tournament.” TAS