By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – They had played each other 137 times through the years, and only one game separated Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay in one of the state's oldest and fiercest college basketball rivalries.
Pretty much dead-even.
And that's how Saturday's edition of the game went…at least for the first half.
Tennessee Tech (9-8/1-3 OVC) clamped down on defense in the second stanza, limiting the Austin Peay (5-11/0-2 OVC) to just 26 points on the way to running away with a 72-56 Ohio Valley Conference victory in Eblen Center.
It left Tech with a slim 70-68 edge in the series.
After a first half which saw the score tied seven times, the Golden Eagles held the Governors to 38 percent shooting after the break to claim their first conference win of the season. Tech improved to 7-1 at home this season.
Torrance Rowe scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half, and led the Golden Eagles in scoring, one of four TTU players in double digits. Josiah Moore finished with 13 points and eight rebounds while Charles Jackson grabbed his 12th double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He also blocked six shots and had two of Tech's 11 steals. Jordan Johnson added 12 points.
Khalil Davis was the top point-getter for APSU with 14 points, also notching a double-double with 10 rebounds. Ed Dyson and Josh Robinson scored 10 points. Chris Horton also nabbed 10 boards for the visitors along with scoring six points.
The Govs trimmed the difference to a single point, 39-38, on a 3-pointer by Dyson with 15:20 to play, and were within three points with nine minutes left after Horton hit two free throws.
Tech then slammed the door, reeling off a 15-1 run to build a 61-44 lead with 5:30 to play. Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap the run, and the Golden Eagles forced two missed shots and four turnovers during the three-and-a-half minute blitz.
Tech's largest lead of the night came with 3:19 remaining when Johnson's two free throws made it a 20-point bulge, 69-49.
The largest lead in the first half was seven points.
The early season, three-game homestand in Eblen Center wraps up next Thursday when the Golden Eagles host UT Martin for another OVC doubleheader. The women's contest gets the night underway with tipoff at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's game.
The games against UTM are Putnam County Night, with one dollar admission available to residents of Putnam County. The discount is available on game night at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center.