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APSU Governors Basketball opens OVC against Eastern Kentucky Colonels, Saturday

 

Austin Peay (7-8) vs. Eastern Kentucky (9-6)

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 | 7:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – It’s officially time to get down to business.

After nearly two months of pre-conference preparation—15 games to set to determine the team’s weakness and strengths and set the appropriate player rotations—Ohio Valley Conference play opens, 7:00pm, Saturday, when Austin Peay State University plays host to Eastern Kentucky in Dave Aaron Arena.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball kicks off OVC Season taking on Eastern Kentucky Saturday at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball kicks off OVC Season taking on Eastern Kentucky Saturday at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

The OVC opener also will serve as a “Black Out” as APSU fans are encouraged to wear black APSU gear.

The Govs will enter league play after a 7-8 non-league mark, skewed by a 0-4 mark out of the gate and the fact APSU played nine true road games in November and December. The Govs, who were selected to finish fifth in the OVC preseason poll, have heightened their expectations by improving offensively and defensively from a year ago.

APSU Chris HortonA year ago, the Govs averaged just 65 points per game and shot below 40 percent from the floor. In addition, only one Governor (Chris Horton) averaged double-digits. A year later, the Governors are averaging 75.3 percent from the floor, shooting 45 percent. The Govs have shot nearly 60 percent in three of the last four games.

Senior Chris Horton, who averaged 13.1 points per game as a junior, has elevated his game in all aspects. The Govs post player is averaging 18.2 points, shooting 60 percent from the floor, and 12.6 rebounds per game—to rank fourth nationally. He earned national recognition before Christmas when he made 16-of-17 shots in the Govs’ come-from-behind win at Lipscomb.

APSU Khalil DavisBut Horton has been able to gain more inside freedom because of forward Khalil Davis‘ and guard Josh Robinson‘s improvement. Davis is averaging 13.7 points per game while Robinson is at 14.9 ppg. That offensive balance has been noteworthy as the Govs began to gain footing in late November.

The Governors open OVC play against an Eastern Kentucky team that has found much early season success, despite replacing not only lost two All-OVC players (Corey Walden and Eric Stulz) but their coach (Jeff Neubauer) as well after tying for the OVC East crown a year ago.

But with former Louisville assistant Dan McHale taking over as Colonels head coach and the additions of fifth-year graduation transfer Jarelle Reischel, South Florida transfer Javontae Hawkins and freshman Nick Mayo, the Colonels have not missed a beat.

The Colonels carved out an impressive 9-6 pre-league slate and put themselves in position to again threaten for the East crown.

And the offense centers on the surprising Reischel. Never averaging more than 5.7 points per game in stops at Rice and Rhode Island, the 6-7 Reischel is averaging 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per outing. He is shooting 53 percent from the floor and nearly 50 percent from behind the arc. An 85 percent free-throw shooter, Reischel already has attempted an astounding 119 free throws, making 101—both figures are fifth nationally.

APSU Josh RobinsonAs a team, EKU is ranked 10th nationally in three-point field-goal percentage (41.5 percent). They also are 13th in steals (116) and 24th in turnovers forced (16.27).

In other words, the Colonels and McHale have borrowed the Rick Pitino style of full-court defensive pressure along with a high volume of three-point attempts.

This is the fourth of a six-game homestand. In addition to facing the Colonels, he Governors also will play OVC home contests against Jacksonville State (January 7th) and Tennessee Tech (January 9th).

Broadcast Information

Radio • Governors Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Scott Chase
Analyst: David Loos

Gov TV • OVC Digital Network
Play-by-Play: Barry Gresham
Analyst: Eric Foister
Sideline: Kimberly Traylor

Govs on the Web

Live Statistics: www.LetsGoPeay.com
Live Audio: www.LetsGoPeay.com


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