APSU Men’s Basketball
Nashville, TN – If Austin Peay’s 6-0 Ohio Valley Conference start is the No. 1 league story so far in 2010-11 season. The second-best story undoubtedly is Tennessee State.
Picked to finish seventh in the OVC preseason poll, the Tigers are off to an impressive 4-2 start, their only losses on the road at Eastern Illinois and Murray State, and they sit in a third-place tie. The Tigers, however, have an overtime decision against Morehead State on their resume this season.
The Tigers will play host to the Governors, 3:00pm, Saturday, in the Gentry Center for an ESPNU audience. Second-year coach John Cooper has his young Tigers rapidly moving forward.
Sophomore Robert Covington (13.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg), a 6-9 forward, is one of the OVC’s finest young players. Junior point guard Wil Peters (10.8 ppg, 4.1 apg), a former walk-on, directs the club.
A key addition has been 6-7 forward Kenny Moore (14.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg), a Midland CC teammate of the Govs TyShwan Edmondson. The other two starters are talented freshmen. Guard Patrick Miller (11.2 ppg) is the OVC’s leading freshman scorer while 6-9 forward Michael Green is second in the OVC for blocked shots.
The Governors, meanwhile, passed the one-third pole of the OVC race at 6-0 after escaping UT Martin, 71-61, Monday. It was a game that saw the Governors trail 34-25 at halftime. The Governors shot 61.3 percent (19 of 31) in the second half to outscore the Skyhawks, 46-27 in the final 20 minutes as Josh Terry scored 25 of his game-high 27 points in the final half.
Not only did Monday’s win push the Govs to 6-0 in the OVC race, but it was their sixth-straight victory as well.
It was the second straight victory the Govs were able to achieve with Edmondson incurring an off shooting night. After being held to six points at Murray State, he scored 12 against the Skyhawks. However, his late-game three pointer gave APSU a 10-point lead with 2:37 left, putting the contest out of reach.
Center John Fraley finished with 10 points, eight coming in the first half as the center kept the Governors in the contest. Meanwhile, point guard Caleb Brown made it five straight games with at least seven assists with seven against the Skyhawks.
What You Should Know
The Series: This is the 66th meeting between the two Ohio Valley Conference rivals, Austin Peay and Tennessee State, with the Governors leading the series 41-24. The two teams split last season’s meetings, with the Govs eking out a 79-77 victory in Clarksville, January 16th, 2010, before losing February 13th, 76-67, in Nashville.
What A Win Would Mean: The Govs would rise seven games above the .500 mark at 13-6 before playing host to Tennessee Tech, 6:00pm, Thursday. It would extend the Govs season-best winning streak to seven games, the most consecutive wins by the Governors since 2006-07 club won 11 straight. It would make the Govs 7-0 in the OVC, their best start since the 2003-04 team finished 16-0 in league play. It would give the Govs a 4-0 record in January. It would give the Govs a 7-4 road record. It would give the Govs a 5-0 OVC road record. It also would be Loos’ 426th career college coaching win and 344th APSU victory.
What A Loss Would Mean: The Govs would drop back to five games above the .500 mark at 12-7. It would snap the Govs winning streak at six games. It would be the Govs’ first OVC road defeat. It would be the Govs second-straight loss in the series. It would drop APSU to 41-25 all-time in the series. It would be Loos’ 336th all-time loss and 282nd APSU defeat. It would drop Dave Loos to 28-15 all-time against Tennessee State. It would be Dave Loos’ second loss in three games against Tennessee State coach John Cooper.
Thursday, January 20th at 6:00pm, ESPNU
Dave Aaron Arena, Clarksville, TN – The last time APSU saw Tennessee Tech the Governors watched the Golden Eagles celebrate a 68-65 last second shot victory in Dave Aaron Arena in first-round OVC tourney play. The player who hit that shot, junior forward Kevin Murphy, leads the 2010-11 Eagles in scoring (12.6 ppg) while Georgia transfer Zac Swansey leads the OVC in assists (6.9 apg).
Tech head coach Mike Sutton is sitting out an undetermined period of time due to a flair up of his Guillain-Barre syndrome. Associate head coach Steve Payne is directing the Golden Eagles in the interim.