Drone Pilot JobsNate James earns first win as Austin Peay State University defeats UT Southern

November 11, 2021by helo-10

CLARKSVILLE, TN – In the season opener on Tuesday night inside the Winfield Dunn Center, the Austin Peay men’s basketball team pulled away late to secure an 86-79 victory over UT Southern. The win marked the first career victory for first-year head coach Nate James.

“Always feels good to win,” James said. “Every win feels outstanding. When you play somebody, there’s always a chance they can beat you, so when you win, it’s always a celebration. This was my first and I’m very excited, and we are going to move on and try to get the next one.”

James becomes the first Austin Peay head coach to win his debut since Howard Jackson did so to kick-off the 1983-84 season. With the win the Govs begin the season 1-0 for the fourth straight year while also starting the season 1-0 at home for the sixth consecutive year.

Tariq Silver shoots during Austin Peay State University’s season opener on Nov. 9, 2021. (Robert Smith/APSU Sports Information)

In the 86-79 victory the Govs had four score in double figures led by redshirt senior Tariq Silver with 20 points. Silver was 6-of-7 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from long distance. The Clarksville native collected his fifth career 20-point game as Silver scored 16 points in the second half alone.

Behind Silver was junior Cameron Copeland with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field. Copeland also tallied six rebounds to go along with three assists and one block. The Douglasville, Ga., native was just 1-of-5 from long distance but a perfect 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.

Rounding out the double-digit scoring was freshman Elijah Hutchins-Everett with 17 points and junior Carlos Paez with 12. To go along with his career-high 17 points, Hutchins-Everett also led the Govs with eight rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass. Paez in 32 minutes of action was 3-of-8 from the field with all three field goals coming from long distance.

“Every game is going to be hard fought,” James said. “Our thing is we have to go out every night and play hard, play smart and play together. We faced an opponent today that was ready to play but I thought we did some good things and responded.”

As a team the Govs shot exactly 50 percent from the field while shooting 39.1 percent from long distance. Austin Peay was at the free-throw line early and often, going 19-of-26 (.731) from the charity stripe. APSU outrebounded UT Southern, 31-29 with the Govs holding a 10-7 advantage on the offensive glass.

Defensively the Govs forced 14 turnovers in the season opener, scoring 18 points off of UT Southern mistakes. Both teams scored 32 points in the paint while Austin Peay had 17 fast break points to UT Southern’s 14. The Firehawks as a team shot 54.4 percent from the field and knocked down a staggering 13 three-pointers.

Up next, the Govs begin a five-game road stretch beginning on Friday, Nov. 12, in Carbondale, Ill., against Southern Illinois. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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