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Austin Peay vs. Belmont | December 21st, 2011 | 7:30pm
Clarksville, TN – A year from now, Belmont will be a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, a yearly foe for Austin Peay’s basketball team.
After running roughshod over the Atlantic Sun a year ago in going 15-1 in league play and 30-5 overall, the Bruins again are the overwhelming favorite to capture the league title in their final year in that conference. The Bruins return four starters from last season’s storied campaign.In fact, Belmont already is 2-0 in the 2011-12 A-Sun campaign and has a win against OVC foe Tennessee State earlier this month.
Belmont, with all the deserved platitudes regarding its club, already has as many losses in 2011-12 as it had all last season. Belmont will enter Wednesday’s 7:30pm contest with a 7-5 record, Granted two of the losses came out of the chute at Duke and Memphis. But the Bruins also are coming off consecutive losses at Miami (Ohio,) 65-61, Saturday and Marshall, 87-86, Monday.
In other words, the Bruins will enter Dave Aaron Arena wanting to make sure they don’t enter the Christmas break amidst a three-game losing streak. Belmont is a deep club, with nine players playing at least 10 minutes per game.
They also are balanced, with six players averaging more than 8.0 ppg. Guard Kerron Johnson leads the way, averaging 14.9 ppg while dishing out an impressive 5.3 apg. Fellow guard Ian Clark is at 11.7 ppg while guard/forward JJ Mann is at 11.8 ppg off the bench.
The Bruins also own size as 6-10 Scott Saunders (9.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and 6-9 Mick Hedgepeth (8.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg) pose problems underneath.
The Bruins rely heavily on the three-point basket, ranking 12th in the country with 9.0 makes per game.
Austin Peay, meanwhile, is coming off its third straight victory as it defeated Rochester, 72-50, in a game that saw APSU struggle in the first half. The Govs cannot afford that type lapse against the veteran Bruins. TyShwan Edmondson’s 28-point effort helped bail out the Governors in the final half.
What You Should Know..
The Series: This is the 39th meeting between Austin Peay, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, and Belmont, a current member of the Atlantic Sun that will join the OVC next season. The Governors hold a 30-8 lead in the series and have won four of the last five times in the series. However, the two teams have not played since the 2008-09 campaign, when the two teams split decision, the Govs winning 86-84 in Nashville and Belmont capturing a 72-62 verdict in Clarksville.
What A Win Would Mean: The Govs would gain their fourth 2011-12 victory. They would win their fourth straight game. They would improve to 4-9. It would make the Govs 4-1 in December. It would be APSU’s third home victory. It would improve the Govs to 31-8 all-time against Belmont. It would make Dave Loos 17-9 all-time against Belmont. It would make Loos 10-4 all-time against Rick Byrd. It would be Loos’ 437th career coaching victory and his 354th APSU win.
What A Loss Would Mean: The Govs would fall to 3-10 on the season. It would snap the Govs’ three-game winning streak. The Govs would fall to 30-9 in the series with the Bruins. The Govs would fall to 2-2 at home on the season. It would be Loos’ 10th loss all-time to Belmont and fifth to Rick Byrd.
Austin Peay outrebounded Rochester, 35-33, Saturday, making it the first time the Govs had outrebounded an opponent since the opener against Middle Tennessee. Forward Melvin Baker (11) and center John Fraley (9) combined for 20 of the rebounds.
When the Governors held Rochester to 17 of 53 from the floor, the 32.1 percent represented a season-low defensive field-goal percentage.
Edmondson finished the game 10-of-16 from the floor, making it the second straight game he shot better than 50 percent from the floor.
The Governors’ 8-for-15 three-point shooting effort was the second straight game where they shot better than 50 percent from three-point range. The eight three pointers represented a season best for the Governors.
Point Of View
The 50 points permitted by the Govs against Rochester was the fewest they have allowed this season.
APSU’s eight steals against Rochester marked the eighth time this season they have eight or more steals. It also was TyShwan Edmondson’s eighth game this season with at least two steals.
Like a diesel engine, the Governors have started slow but finished strong in the last two games. After gaining their first lead against Rochester with 14:56 left in the game, the Govs closed out the contest on a 32-11 run. This came on the heels of trailing Tennessee, by 11 in the second half but finised the game on a 21-6 run.
He has scored double figures in both games (12 vs. Tennessee, 11 vs. Rochester) while grabbing 14 rebounds, nine against Rochester.
After shooting less than 40 percent in seven of their first nine games, the Governors are firing at a 52 percent clip over the last three games. The Govs shot 50.9 percent (29 of 57) against Arkansas State only to follow up with a season-best 59.1 percent (26 of 44) at Tennessee, including 72.7 percent (16 of 22) from the floor in the second half. Against Rochester, the Govs shot 47.1 percent (24 of 51) after shooting 15 of 23 (65.2 percent) in the second half.
With John Fraley back from his concussion, he was reinserted into the starting lineup with fellow seniors Melvin Baker and Josh Terry up front alongside junior point guard Jerome Clyburn and freshman guard Herdie Lawrence against Tennessee. APSU used the same lineup against Rochester.
It is the seventh different starting lineup used by the Governors in 11 games this season. APSU used seven different lineups for the entire 2010-11 season.
Bake And Shake
After shooting 59.4 percent from the free-throw line in the first six games, the Govs have knocked down 73.7 percent of their free throws over the last five games. The Govs shot 76.2 percent (16 of 21) against Rochester. As a result, the Govs have improved their overall freethrow percentage to 66.8 percent.
He also missed the Rochester game, but is expected back for the Belmont contest.
Terry Earns Honors
Josh Terry, who played a major role in two APSU victories with late-game heroics, was named OVC Player of the Week along with College Sports Madness Mid-Major Player of the Week, December 12th. Terry played a significant role in Austin Peay wins against Arkansas State, an 86-82 overtime victory, December 5th, and Tennessee, a 74-70 comefrom-behind verdict, December 10th. He was APSU’s scoring leader in both contests, tossing in 22 points against Arkansas State and 20 versus the Volunteers.
Against Arkansas State, he finished 9-of-15 from the floor, but really surfaced in overtime, scoring the period’s first two buckets before sealing the win with a free throw with 2.3 seconds left. He scored six points in the extra session. Then in the Governors’ first-ever win against Tennessee, Terry was 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Again, Terry emerged down the stretch. He scored nine of his second-half 14 points in the final 6:27 as Austin Peay ended the game on a 21-6 run. Terry tallied a team-high five assists and four steals.
Long Time Waiting
Austin Peay’s 74-70 win against Tennessee was the first in nine attempts against the Volunteers. It also was only the third APSU win against an SEC team and the first since the Govs defeated Mississippi State in 1991-92.
The Govs ended the Tennessee game on 21-6 run, including the final eight points. All 21 points were scored by seniors Josh Terry (9 points), TyShwan Edmondson (7), Melvin Baker (3) and John Fraley (2).
That came on the heels of the senior guard making a huge three pointer in overtime against Arkansas State.
No Joshin’ Around
After scoring in double figures in Austin Peay’s first six games this season, senior forward Josh Terry struggled through a scoring slump over the next three games, being held to single digits in all three.
He snapped that slump against Arkansas State in the overtime win, December 5th, scoring a season best 22 points on 9-of-15 field goal shooting. He also scored six overtime points, the first four and the last one to seal the verdict.
Govs to open OVC play at Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky was picked to finish seventh in the preseason OVC standings, but the Colonels are off to a 1-0 league start after going on the road to defeat Jacksonville State, last Saturday. A pair of Jones, Jaron (13.3 ppg) and Joshua (10 ppg) are leading the backcourt while 6-8 forward Eric Stutz is averaging 10.8 ppg.
The Colonels rely heavily on the three, taking an average of 22 per game in the season’s first month. Heading into its game at Arkansas, the Colonels were off to a 7-5 early-season start.
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Atlantic Sun Conference, Austin Peay State University, Belmont, Bruins, Christmas, Clarksville TN, Colonels, Dave Aaron Arena, Dave Loos, Dave Loos Court, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Eric Stutz, Governors, Govs, herdie Lawrence, Ian Clark, Jacksonville State, Jaron Jones, Jerome Clyburn, John Fraley, Josh Terry, Joshua Jones, Kerron Johnson, Marshall, Melvin Baker, Memphis, Miami Ohio, Middle Tennessee, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Rick Byrd, Rochester, Scott Saunders, SEC, Southeastern Conference, Tennessee, Tennessee State, Tennessee Vols, Tyshwan Edmondson, Volunteers, Will Triggs
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