Tennessee State Dispels Austin Peay, 77-57
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Tennessee State Dispels Austin Peay, 77-57
Nashville, Tenn. - A strong shooting performance coupled by a balanced scoring attack gave Tennessee State a 77-57 blowout victory over rival Austin Peay on Monday evening at the Gentry Center.

The Tigers (14-10, 7-4 Ohio Valley) took over the lead midway through the first half and never looked back, giving Austin Peay (9-15, 6-5 OVC) their largest margin of defeat in an OVC game since the Tigers knocked off APSU 80-63 at the Gentry Center in 2001.

Monday evening's 14th victory matched Coach John Cooper's most wins in a season as TSU moved into sole possession of third place in the Ohio Valley Conference.  

TSU made 30-of-57 from the floor for 53 percent, out-rebounding the Govs 35-to-30. The Tigers dished out 16 assists compared to just three for APSU. Behind the arch, the Big Blue knocked down seven of 17 for 41 percent.

Kellen Thornton tied a season-high 15 points, corralling five rebounds in 23 minutes. Monday was Thornton's fourth consecutive double-digit performance.

Extending his double-figures streak to 23 games, Robert Covington had 13 points and eight rebounds. Covington swiped four balls, picking up a block. Wil Peters handed out the rock seven times, tying a season high, while notching 11 points and three boards.

Combinations of Kenny Moore and Jordan Cyphers added nine points each. Moore picked up four boards and two assists in 19 minutes. M.J. Rhett added eight points, six rebounds and a season-high three assists.

Guard Patrick Miller hit 4-of-7 from the field with eight points, four rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes.

The Tigers opened the game with a 7-2 lead, before Austin Peay tied the game at 12. A 13-to-4 advantage extended the Tiger's advantage to nine with 5:29 left on the clock.

TSU opened up to a 10 point advantage from a pair of Kenny Moore free throws. The Tigers closed the half with a 29-20 lead.

In the second half, TSU utilized a 21-to-11 run to build 48-31 advantage with 14:59. The Governors never could narrow the gap as TSU extended its' mark to 26 at 11:12. The Tigers closed out the game with a 20 point victory, the largest margin of defeat for Austin Peay to an OVC opponent since dropping an 83-60 contest to TSU in 2001.  

TSU outnumbered Austin Peay 40-to-24 in the paint and forced 12 Austin Peay turnovers. Center John Fraley led the Govs with 21 points and five rebounds.

On Saturday, the Tigers travel to face Southeast Missouri for a 7:30 p.m. contest in Cape Girardeau, Mo.