King of the Court
Sunday afternoon Austin Peay defeated the Lipscomb Bisons, 92-84.
With 14:06 to play in the second half Chris Horton missed a free throw. The customary pre-shot shoulder shrugs finally resulted in a miss. Finally. Prior to that miss Horton made all 12 of his field goal attempts and all four free throw attempts.
Horton caught the ball on the blocks, twisted his hips and finished against a helpless defender. He did it again. As the second half opened, instead of taking challenged shots he screened and hunted offensive rebounds. When he collected the putbacks were easy for him. Horton played efficiently and pure, devoid of flaws.
In a word: Perfect.
Despite the unique miss, Horton collected his emotions and fundamentally buried the second free throw attempt of the trip. When he left the floor the game was tied 56-56. By that point Horton was responsible for 24 points.
“We just saw a mismatch, or what-not,” said Horton. “We knew they were going to have to either take away our outside shooting or inside scoring. We just had to make them choose. I guess they picked the outside scoring in the first half. Second half they chose inside scoring.”
Late in the game Savage missed a rebound dunk, but Horton caught the missed dunk attempt and flushed home his own.
The singular miss by Horton came on a block by the only walk-on on the floor, Cam Miller. Though the streak ended, Horton dunked on the next break. He finished with 37 (16-17 FG, 5-8 FT).
“Of course Horton was unbelievable and Robinson with 18 in the second half,” said Head Coach David Loos.
Early in the second half Head Coach Loos settled on a favored lineup. With Horton thriving he surrounded him with Khalil Davis, Josh Robinson, Jared Savage, and Zach Glotta.
Robinson was recruited for his volume scoring ways. Sunday he displayed that attribute, scoring 21 after a fouls limited his first half to three points.
Jared Savage is not a focal point of the offense, but that doesn’t matter. As a junk man, Savage impeccably contributes. He collects the garbage bounding off the rim. Against Lipscomb he pushed back a long miss from the weakside like a volleyball player blocking a spike.
Savage also cuts hard off the ball, showing he does not need shots to be invested.
The second half featured some of what an upperclassman Savage will offer. The long wing nailed two triples early in the second half.
“Some guys that don’t have real gaudy numbers, I thought Glotta played well in the second half,” said Coach Loos. “He made a couple three’s. His defense was better. Savage made a couple good shots.”
Austin Peay returns to action Tuesday against Wofford in Clarksville, Tennessee.