CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE couldn't overcome a slow start Thursday, falling on the road at Austin Peay 80-45.
The Cougars slipped to 8-15 overall and 4-7 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Austin Peay improved to 17-7 overall and retained a share of first place at 9-2 in the OVC.
"They came out and they set the tone," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "They are the top of the league and they played like it."
Austin Peay raced out to a 36-5 lead and carried a 42-18 advantage into the break. The Governors were 18 for 36 from the field in the first half, including going 6 of 15 from three-point range while SIUE managed just 6 of 25 shots from the field and missed all five three-point attempts.
The second half proved to be more competitive, as the Cougars connected on 10 of 15 field goals, including two three-pointers.
"We didn't quit and that's a positive," Harris said. "I thought we did some better things in the second half. The reality is they (Austin Peay) played harder from start to finish."
Terry Taylor scored 22 to lead five Austin Peay players in double figures. Steve Harris scored 12 points. Isaiah Hart and Jabari McGhee each scored 11 points and Chris Porter-Bunton scored 10.
The Governors forced SIUE into 18 turnovers and converted those into 19 points. Austin Peay finished with a 24-16 advantage in points in the paint.
"We did not do a good job handling their pressure," Harris added. "I imagine 18 turnovers is near a season-high and that's how they got their separation."
SIUE continues its road trip with a Saturday game at fellow league-leader Murray State.
"Murray is a good team," Harris said. "It's all about effort. We didn't have the effort tonight. We have to put this behind us and find a way to come out with the good energy we had last week."