Chris Horton scored 30 points, including a pair of free throws with a minute left in overtime and Austin Peay held on to upset top-seeded Belmont 97-96 on Friday night in an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinal.
Saturday’s victory marked the fourth upset in as many nights for an upstart Austin Peay squad (18-17) that needed to win its last two regular-season games just to qualify for the OVC tournament.
Not a bad 69th birthday present for Dave Loos, the Governors’ coach for the last 26 years.
Josh Robinson added 20 points, Khalil Davis 14 points, and John Murry 11 for the Governors.
The league’s Western Division champ, UT Martin (19-14) was looking for its first OVC tournament title.
Twymond Howard led UT Martin with 24 points, and Jacolby Mobley came off the bench to score 15.
Belmont’s Evan Bradds led all scorers with 32 points in an OT loss to Austin Peay in the Ohio Valley semis.
“It’s just all confidence”, Savage said.
Nine of the Govs’ 10 field goals were 3-pointers in one critical stretch late in the first half and early in the second. “Once you make the first one you start rolling”. The triumph was especially sweet for Loos after his 5-year-old granddaughter, Rhyan, had a cancerous tumor successfully removed during surgery Wednesday. Savage’s father, Jermaine, won an OVC title with Austin Peay in 1996. Rhyan is also the daughter of Missouri assistant coach Brad Loos.
UT Martin: Waiting and hoping for a postseason invitation.