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APSU Basketball drops road game at Tennessee Tech 86-74

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's BasketballCookeville, TN – A streak was going to come to an end Thursday night for Austin Peay men’s basketball team in its contest at Tennessee Tech, one way or another.

Either the Governors would bump up their season-long winning streak to five games or continue their season-long search for a road victory.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball loses to Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Thursday night at the Eblen Center. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball loses to Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Thursday night at the Eblen Center. (APSU Sports Information)

Alas, Austin Peay’s search for a road win continues as the Governors fell to Tennessee Tech at the Eblen Center, 86-74, despite a career-high 23 points from junior Chris Porter-Bunton.

Two Tennessee Tech runs conspired to put the Govs behind at halftime. To kick off the contest, the Golden Eagles went on a 9-2 run, and close the half on a 14-2 run over the final 4:47 of regulation. In between, the Govs soundly dominated, outscoring their hosts 26-13 led largely by Porter-Bunton, who broke into double figures for the fourth straight game with 10 first-half points, but found themselves trailing 36-30 at the break.

Midway through the second half, Tennessee Tech would lead by as many as 14 points, but those pesky Governors proved tough to put away. An aggressive press brought Austin Peay back from the brink and put the Govs within six at the 5:45 mark. But another half-ending run from Tennessee Tech, this one of the 18-10 variety, put the game out of reach for Austin Peay.

The Difference

Two of the Ohio Valley Conference’s stingiest defenses were pretty evenly matched on the turnover battle, with Tennessee Tech holding a narrow advantage, 15-11. But it was what the Golden Eagles did with those turnovers that counted, as they outscored the Govs 24-10 in points off turnover.

Notably

Porter-Bunton has now made a three in six consecutive games after making one total in the season’s first 11 games.

In a matchup of the reigning OVC co-Newcomer’s of the Week, Austin Peay’s Averyl Ugba emerged victorious. He finished with 16 points, including a career- and team season-best 8-of-8 at the line, and six boards, while Shaq Calhoun, the player Ugba shared this week’s honor with, mustered just six points on 2-of-9 shooting.

One streak that did remain for the Govs was consecutive games with double-digit offensive rebounds, a streak that stands at 11 after Austin Peay posted 13 against the Golden Eagles.

Austin Peay halted Tennessee Tech’s Aleksa Jugovic’s consecutive games with a made three-pointer streak at 24 games.

Freshman Terry Taylor marked a ninth consecutive night in double figures, finishing with 10 points. He was one rebound shy of his season’s seventh double-double.

Tennessee Tech has now won six straight between the two in Cookeville, their longest home winning streak in the series since a seven-game streak from 1951-56.

The Govs doubled-up Tennessee Tech in second chance points, 14-7, the fifth straight game Austin Peay has put up more second chance points than its opponent.

Austin Peay has won the battle of the boards in seven straight games, averaging plus-nine over that span. This is just the Governors second loss this season when winning the rebounding battle.

Austin Peay garnered one lone steal, a season-low.

The Govs tied a season-high with 27 fouls, enabling Tennessee Tech to set opponent season highs in free-throws made (28) and attempted (37).  

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger

Overall Thoughts
“I felt like we got out-physicaled, out-toughed and out-played. We came out both halves in a lackadaisical mode. In the second half, we let (Curtis) Phillips and Jugovic take the ball wherever they wanted it to go. I think that’s the difference. We got outplayed at almost every spot on the floor. They set the tone with the toughness and we didn’t react.”

On Porter-Bunton
“He played. He’s a dude. He’s the one guy, when things get hard, that I can depend on to bring a level of toughness and competitiveness on both ends.”

On Tennessee Tech
“I felt like they did a good job denying passes to where we wanted to throw it. I’ve got to figure out why we have lethargic starts to halves, why we don’t have a sense of urgency.”

Next Up for APSU Men’s Basketball

A date with defending OVC Tournament champion Jacksonville State awaits the Govs, 4:30pm, Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at Pete Mathews Coliseum.


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