A good team is able to beat opponents with consistent play across 40 minutes to hold onto a victory.
Sometimes, the best test of a great team is to dig yourself out of a seemingly endless hole. It was clear early on Saturday that the Austin Peay State Governors would be facing that exact type of test.
After not getting on the board for more than seven minutes and trailing 16-0 in the first half, the Govs earned a signature 71-67 win over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
By the time Austin Peay scored its first bucket at the 12:51 mark in the first half, they had already shot 0-for-7 with three turnovers. The JSU lead ballooned to as high as 29-10 before the comeback ensued.
From that point, the Governors went on a 16-7 run to cut the halftime deficit to 10.
Then, the surreal second half started up.
Things were close for the entire final 20 minutes, but Austin Peay seemingly could not break the seal to even the score or take a lead. They got within one basket six different times without tying or going ahead until Terry Taylor hit a pair of free throws with 1:29 remaining to make it 63-63 game.
On the next Gamecock possession, a Carlos Paez steal led to a Pavle Djurisic layup. The Govs made their free throws from there to seal the victory.
That layup was one of only six points in the paint that APSU scored in the second half, part of just 16 they had all game. For a team that relies on their post presence, it was an unusual figure -- but it was backed by their season-high 11 three-point makes.
Paez shot 5-for-6 from long range, contributing to his team-high 16 points. Taylor and Jordyn Adams added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The win marks the second straight season in which the Governors started conference play at least 4-0.
Austin Peay remains on the road for their next two games, rematching the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (4-13, 0-4 OVC) on Thursday and the UT Martin Skyhawks (5-10, 1-3 OVC) on Saturday.
Austin Peay (71): Carlos Paez 16, Terry Taylor 14, Jordyn Adams 13, Pavle Djurisic 8, Alec Woodard 6, Sita Conteh 6, Evan Hinson 6, Antwuan Butler 2.
Jacksonville State (67): Elias Harden 15, De’Torrion Ware 13, Derrick Cook 11, Martin Roub 8, Marek Welsch 7, Kayne Henry 6, Ty Hudson 4, Jacara Cross 3.