CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Lightning has struck twice in a row at the Dunn Center.
Junior Zac Swansey's 3-pointer with two seconds remaining broke a tie game and lifted Tennessee Tech to a 71-68 victory at Austin Peay Thursday night on the Governors' home floor.
It was nearly a mirror finish to Tech's Ohio Valley Conference tournament first-round win last March when a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Kevin Murphy gave the Golden Eagles an upset victory.
With this win in a seesaw affair, Tech (9-8/5-3 OVC) moves to within one game of the first-place Governors (12-8/6-2), who have dropped back-to-back games after starting 6-0.
The winning basket made a double-figure scorer out of Swansey, who finished with 12 points and five assists. He was one of four Golden Eagles in double digits, led by Zach Bailey with 16 and Murphy with 14. Alfred Jones added 10 points and five boards for the victorious visitors.
Sophomore posts Matt Marseille and Terrell Barnes were also factors for Tech. Marseille had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Barnes added nine points and five boards.
Tyshwan Edmondson topped the hosts with 25 points, hitting 4-for-8 from long range. John Fraley was the only other Governor player to reach twin digits, netting 10.
It was a flurry at the finish. Bailey missed a 3-pointer with 12 seconds to play as the shot clock was down to one second. Barnes controlled the rebound. With another chance to win, the Golden Eagles got the ball to Swansey, who pulled up from 22 feet directly in front of the basket and drained a fadeaway jumper.
The Govs had one last ditch try from mid-court that missed the mark.
Tech led 60-57 with on a basket by Barnes with 4:07 to play, but Caleb Brown's clutch 3-pointer knotted the game for the Govs. Another Barnes layup made it 62-60 in favor of Tech with 3:26 remaining, and again the Govs wouldn't surrender. They scored the next four points, including a three-point play by Will Triggs with 2:40 left for a 64-62 APSU lead.
The game was tied again at 64-all and 66, before APSU took a 68-66 lead with 1:27 to play on a basketball by Edmondson. Bailey tied the game for one final time with a basket with 1:07 remaining.
Tech got the ball on a turnover to set up the final 30 seconds of mayhem.
The Golden Eagles exploded out the starting gates to grab an early 8-0 lead, and held a six-point margin at 14-8 before Austin Peay went on a 9-0 run to slip ahead. Tyrone Caldwell hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the first one tying things at 14-14 and the second putting APSU ahead for the first time in the contest, 17-14, with 11:43 to play in the half.
Tech led again a couple of times, before the Govs used free throws and a jumper by Josh Terry for a 29-25 lead. Zac Swansey's 3-pointer with 44 second left made it a one-point game and was the final scoring in the first half.
Tech's four-game road trip continues with a visit to Tennessee State Saturday night. Tipoff in the Gentry Center in Nashville is at 7:30 p.m., in the second game of the evenings doubleheader.