The APSU men’s basketball team overcame a slow start only to lose a nail-biter against Tennessee Tech 73-69 in their home finale.
The Govs established an early lead in the first half, only to see the Golden Eagles go on a 9-0 run and carry that momentum to a 16-point lead with under five minutes remaining in the half.
The Govs could not get anything to drop in the first half. Center Elijah Hutchins-Everett had a lot of bad bounces inside close range, shooting 1-7 from the field in the first half. Playing an aggressive game, Hutchins-Everett created many opportunities in the paint just to see the ball evade the hoop.
The Govs biggest enemy was frequent scoring droughts. The longest the Govs went without a bucket lasted close to five minutes in the second half. However, APSU had to patiently endure four significant scoring droughts that gave Tennessee Tech the ability to pad their lead.
Even with issues on offense, APSU did not relent. With 2:04 remaining in the game, the Govs tied the game and it looked like they would pull off another come-back win.
Tariq Silver had a game-high 15 points, shooting 4-11 from the field. Silver added three 3-pointers, along with a respectable 4-5 from the stripe to chip away at Tennessee Tech’s lead late.
Cameron Copeland and Caleb Stone-Carrawell both came off the bench to score 10 and 12 points respectively. The spark that kept the Govs in the game was DJ Peavy with his second-half points, four assists and 4-4 shooting from the free-throw line.
The Golden Eagles just proved too tough to manage a last-minute win. The Golden Eagle’s John Pettway kept Tennessee Tech ahead for most of the game with a game-high 22 points. Two other Eagles scored in double digits as well.
APSU did hold the lead briefly in the waning moments of the game when Hutchins-Everett dropped a basket with under a minute remaining. The Golden Eagle’s responded with four points to take the lead back, with 26.2 seconds to go.
APSU had a chance to tie the game with 18.7 seconds left but Calderon’s attempt fell short. With a quick foul on the defensive rebound by the Golden Eagles it became a two-possession game. APSU never had another chance to force overtime.
APSU’s lack-luster 33.3% shooting from the field was not enough to overcome Tennessee Tech’s 54.2% shooting. On the day, the Govs said goodbye to seniors Elton Walker, Corbin Merritt, and Tariq Silver.
The Govs will finish their season on the road, facing SIU Evansville and Eastern Illinois.