Vandy holds off Austin Peay in low-scoring battle


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Kyle Fuller scored all 10 of his points in the final 6:22 including 5 of 6 free throws to help host Vanderbilt defeat neighboring Austin Peay 58-56 on Tuesday night.

Freshman Damian Jones scored 12 points, and Rod Odom added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Commodores (6-3).

Chris Horton’s 16 points and 10 rebounds led the Governors (5-6), while Will Triggs chipped in 11 points.

Fuller sank a pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds remaining for a 57-53 advantage. But Travis Betran hit a long 3-pointer to trim it to 58-56 before Fuller hit his final foul shot with 8.2 seconds left. Peay missed a chance at the buzzer.

Demarius Smith’s 3-pointer pulled Austin Peay even at 50-50, but Fuller made a steal and drove the lane for the go-ahead score. After a James Siakam block, Fuller’s first free throws gave the Commodores a 54-50 lead with 1:23 to play.

The Governors’ Zavion Williams had three straight baskets including two transition scores to push Peay ahead 43-41. Fuller’s 3-pointer ended the drought for a 44-43 cushion and Siakam scored Vanderbilt’s next six points for a 50-47 margin.

Siakam didn’t play the first 10 minutes for Vanderbilt, which was already down to eight scholarship players after losing redshirt junior Josh Henderson for the season. Henderson suffered a severe knee injury in the Commodores’ last outing, 12 days ago in a win over Marshall.

Austin Peay extended its 22-20 halftime lead to 24-20 on Triggs’ basket to open the second half. But Vanderbilt went on a 6-0 spurt to retake the lead on two straight baskets by Jones.

Peay’s Smith picked up back-to-back fouls for his third and fourth fouls with 13:37 to play, and Jones hit both free throws for a 33-30 lead.

Vanderbilt’s Eric McClellan opened the game by scoring the first four points on fast breaks including a dunk. Smith, however, hit a 3-pointer for Peay and Horton’s bucket gave the Govs a 5-4 lead.

Seven-foot freshman Luke Kornet, playing center, hit a pair of 3-pointers that put the Commodores back up 7-5 and ahead 14-11 after Horton’s baseline jumper tied it 11-11. The second trey started a 6-0 Commodores run for the biggest lead of the first half at 17-11.

Betran’s three-point play put the Govs on top 20-18 on a high layup that almost hit the top of the backboard. Jones charged on the other end for his second straight foul.

Jones’ basket tied it 20-20, however, to break a nearly 8-minute stretch without a field goal for Vanderbilt. But Horton’s inside bucket gave Austin Peay the halftime lead 22-20 to cap a 7-2 run.

The Governors have only won once in the 15-game series, back in 1939-40.

This is the last of three guarantee games for APSU, which help supplement the Govs program.