Austin Peay (4-3) at Arkansas (5-1)
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016| 7:00pm CT
Fayetteville, AR | Bud Walton Arena
Clarksville, TN – For the first time in 2016-17, Austin Peay State University men’s basketball will take a road trip somewhere other than Ohio, venturing west to Fayetteville to take on SEC foe Arkansas 7:00pm, Saturday, at one of the SEC’s toughest venues—Bud Walton Arena.
The Governors (4-3) are venturing into one the nation’s most hostile environments; Arkansas (5-1) is 51-1 at home against unranked non-conference opponents in the Mike Anderson era and are already 5-0 in Fayetteville this season.
Texas transfer Dusty Hannahs has scored in double figures in all six games, including 23 points in the season-opener against recent Austin Peay foe Fort Wayne.
Junior guard Josh Robinson (league-high 23.3 points) and senior Kenny Jones (15.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg) have continually performed at a high level for the Govs, but John Murry‘s recent ascension has pushed the offense to new heights. Murry is averaging 15.2 points on 50.9 percent shooting since the season opener, including a career-high 25 points against Fort Wayne, Wednesday.
Scouting the Razorbacks
Although Hannahs (16.7 ppg) leads a quartet of Razorbacks scoring in double figures, Moses Kingsley is the man to watch for Arkansas. Voted SEC Preseason Player of the Year by the media, Kingsley is averaging 10.0 points and 8.0 boards to go with an SEC-leading 3.3 blocks per game; he opened the regular season with a nine-point, nine-board, seven-block performance against Fort Wayne.
The Razorbacks are among the nation’s best in transition, outscoring their opponents in fast break points in all six games to date and tallying a 98-27 advantage in transition points this season, which is important to keep an eye on because…
Summing Up Fort Wayne
The Mastodons ran and ran and ran against the Govs, piling up an 18-2 advantage in transition points and putting a quarter of their first 64 points on the board via fast break en route to a 19-point lead.
However, the Govs stormed back led by Josh Robinson (33 points) and John Murry (career-high 25), each of whom scored more than 20 points in the second half; the Govs got within four late but were unable to get closer, falling 103-99.
Last Time Out Against Arkansas
The Govs have not journeyed to Fayetteville since the 2008 Jim Thorpe Classic, where they fell 89-80 to the Razorbacks despite 24 points from Drake Reed and 17 from Wesley Channels. The Govs were within a bucket late but Arkansas held off the final push.
Keep An Eye On
Loos needs four wins for 500 as a collegiate head coach, while Robinson is three made three-pointers from breaking into APSU’s top-10 all-time.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood
One Ohio Valley Conference Player is ranked in the top-five in the conference in scoring, assists, steals and three-point field goals, and that player is Josh Robinson. The junior guard leads the conference with 23.3 ppg and is in the top-five with 4.6 apg, (4th), 1.7 spg (t-5th) and 3.3 3-point field goals per game (3rd). He ranks ninth nationally in points per game.
Knocking Off Goliath
Austin Peay has four wins against SEC foes over the years, with the last coming against Tennessee in 2011. A Governor victory would be the first in an OVC vs. SEC match-up since November 15th, 2012 (Murray State 79, Auburn 59).
Jones ranks second in the OVC in shooting (68.3 percent), a mark that ranks 14th nationally. His efficiency in the post has helped Austin Peay shoot an OVC-best 49.4 percent through seven contests.
Playing the Percentages
Of players with a minimum 50 made field goals as a Gov, Jones ranks eighth (56.2 percent, 164-for-292) all-time and is the only Gov among the top-10 to also rank in the top-10 in defensive rebounds per game (4.2, 10th).
The Governors reserves are averaging 29.5 points per contest in wins and 6.0 ppg in losses through seven games.
Strange But True
In Austin Peay’s four wins in 2016-17, the Govs are shooting 60.9 percent from the free-throw line; in their three losses, Austin Peay is now at 75.0 percent from the charity stripe.
APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB). Live stats will be available during the game at www.LetsGoPeay.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).