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EKU OVC Champions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Josh Taylor converted a layup with 2.9 seconds left and Eastern Kentucky beat regular-season champion Austin Peay 63-62 Saturday night for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship.

The Colonels (21-11) clinched their seventh NCAA tournament berth and first since 2005 against the team that had swept them in the regular season. They also beat Austin Peay in this game two years ago.

The Governors (21-11) struggled through a horrible shooting performance, going nearly 10 minutes without a point in the second half. They lost their brief lead in that stretch along with a sixth NCAA tournament berth and fourth OVC tournament title.

They made it very interesting in the final minutes, rallying from a 59-51 deficit in the final 2:37 after Adam Leonard hit back-to-back 3s for Eastern Kentucky.

Austin Peay whittled away at the Colonels' lead, and Wes Channels hit two free throws to put the Governors up 62-61 with 21.8 seconds left.

The Colonels lost the ball out of bounds under their own basket with 6.6 seconds left. But they got it back, and Taylor, a freshman from Pittsburgh, drove the lane and scored.

Derek Wright missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Colonels swarmed Taylor on the court.

Mike Rose led Eastern Kentucky with 19 points. Leonard finished with 17, and Darnell Dialls had 12.

Drake Reed, the OVC player of the year, had 15 points despite going 3-of-8 at the free-throw line for Austin Peay. Channels finished with 14, Fernandez Lockett had 11 and Wright 10.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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