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Austin Peay (6-13/1-4) vs. Eastern Illinois (12-7/6-1)
Saturday, January 24th, 2015 | 3:15pm CT
Charleston, IL – Despite a 77-62 loss to Murray State, Thursday night, Eastern Illinois is without question the surprise of the Ohio Valley Conference this season.
The Panthers are 6-1 in the OVC and 12-7 overall, watching a nine-game winning streak snapped against the Racers. As a result, the Panthers slipped behind the unbeaten Racers in the OVC West Standings.The previous weekend EIU swept “Death Valley” with road victories against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.
It will be those Panthers Austin Peay will attempt to solve, 3:15pm, Saturday, when the two meet in Lantz Arena.
The Governors come in amidst a two-game losing streak still seeking this season’s first road victory—they are 0-10 on the road this season. The Govs are coming off a disappointing 69-65 loss at SIU Edwardsville, a contest that saw them go 1-of-9 from the floor down the stretch.
In fact, during a crucial 7 ½-minute second-half key span APSU could manage just six points out of 10 possessions. It was enough to allow the host Cougars to rally from a one-point deficit and take a seven-point advantage.
APSU’s late-game plunge could have resulted from fatigue. APSU’s bench produced just one point on 0-of-7 in 18 combined first-half minutes and failed to grab a rebound—reserve guard Zavion Williams scored the only point and dished out two assists.
As a result, head coach Dave Loos watched an eight-point lead evaporate as the Govs trailed 40-37 at half. As a result, he was forced to almost ignore the bench in the second half.
Josh Robinson made it three straight starts and four straight games with double-figure scoring with a team-high 17 points. Chris Horton collected his 10th double-double this season with 15 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Ed Dyson broke out of a recent shooting slump to score 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Like SIUE, Eastern Illinois is deep—10 players average at least 10 minutes played per game. In fact, reserves Chris Olivier (12.1 PPG), a 6-8 forward, and 6-4 forward/guard Trae Anderson (11.4 ppg) are the team’s leading scorers.
Defense has been Eastern Illinois’ trademark under third-year coach Jay Spoonhour. The Panthers have permitted fewer than 15 times this season, allowing just 61.5 ppg and 40 percent from the field.
The two teams split last season’s two contests, with Eastern Illinois claiming a 67-64 decision, January 18th, 2014 in Charleston before the Govs recorded an 88-83 decision in Clarksville, TN February 13th.
The More You Know
What A Win Would Mean: The Govs would improve to 7-13…they would gain their second OVC victory…they would improve to 2-4 in league play…they would capture their first road win… it would snap a two-game losing streak…it would be APSU’s second win of 2015…they would go to 2-5 in January…they would improve to 26-15 all-time against Eastern Illinois…it would make Dave Loos 26-15 all-time against Eastern Illinois…it would make Loos 3-2 all-time against current EIU coach Jay Spoonhour
What A Loss Would Mean: The Govs would fall to 6-14 overall…it would drop the Govs to 0-4 in OVC road games…the Govs would fall to 1-4 in the OVC…the Govs would slip to 0-11 on the road…APSU would fall to 0-2 against the OVC West…Loos would drop to 471-418 overall and 389-365 as the Governors head coach.
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TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Brad Kirtley, Charleston IL, Chris Horton, Clarksville TN, Cougars, Dave Loos, David Loos, Death Valley, Eastern Illinois, Ed Dyson, EIU, Governors, Governors Sports Network, Govs, Jay Spoonhour, Josh Robinson, Lantz Arena, Morehead State, Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Digital Network, OVC West, Panthers, Racers, SIU Edwardsville, SIUE, Trae Anderson, Zavion Williams
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