Austin Peay (7-16/2-6 OVC) at Eastern Kentucky (10-14/3-6 OVC)
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 | 7:00pm CT
Richmond, KY | Allumni Coliseum
Clarksville, TN – After the season’s longest homestand, Austin Peay State University men’s basketball returns to the road with a quick trip to Richmond, KY, to face Eastern Kentucky in the Govs penultimate Ohio Valley Conference East Division showdown in 2016-17.With both squads at 3-6 in the OVC, this game could have a ripple effect on who’s in and who’s out of the OVC Tournament come March—both squads are looking to this contest as a needed victory in the race to the tournament, especially after Austin Peay became the first No. 8 seed to win the OVC Tournament just last season.
The Governors will need to harass a young Eastern Kentucky squad—featuring four freshmen playing heavy minutes—into making mistakes. The Colonels are committing 14.5 turnovers per game and have a minus-0.67 turnover margin, both in the bottom half of the OVC.
About the Eastern Kentucky Colonels
Although not a lights-out team from beyond the arc overall (30.4 percent shooting from three-point territory in 2016-17), Eastern Kentucky’s long-distance shooting has cratered to a 22.5 percent clip in league play, worst in the OVC.
However, the Colonels won two straight road games last week against OVC East Division foes Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech to get back in the postseason conversation, thanks largely to the work of Nick Mayo (20.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 55.2 percent shooting) and Zach Charles (15.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 61.5 percent) along the front line.
Summing up Southeast Missouri
A second-half drought (32.0 percent) belied five Govs in double figures against the Redhawks in an 82-71 defeat, Saturday, in front of a raucous crowd on Military Appreciation Night. Kenny Jones, John Murry and Jared Savage each scored 15 points for the Govs, but Austin Peay went nearly seven minutes late in the second half with just one made field goal and Southeast Missouri hit 8-of-10 at the free-throw line over the final 1:24 to preserve the lead.
Last Time Out Against Eastern Kentucky
Five Governors scored in double figures but foul trouble ‘limited’ Chris Horton to 15 points and 13 rebounds in 28 minutes as the Govs fell to the Colonels, 79-70, to open OVC play last season, January 2nd, 2016.
A 38.5 percent mark from the floor in the first half put the Governors at a decided deficit, and while they recovered for a respectable 46.4 percent clip over the final 20 minutes, Austin Peay’s 6-for-20 showing from beyond the arc did not allow them to make up the ground required for a second-half comeback.
Keep An Eye On
A win would snap a four-game losing streak overall (dating back to 2013) and a three-game road losing streak (dating back to 2011) against the Colonels.
Since OVC play started, Murry is averaging 18.2 ppg and 1.3 steals per contest, while maintaining one of the conference’s best free-throw shooting marks (47-for-58, 81.0 percent).
Murry has needed less than five minutes to accrue 10 points on five occasions in 2016-17, most recently against Morehead State (10 points in 3:51 of play).
The Govs have three players ranked in the league’s top-10 in steals since OVC play began: Savage (third, 1.7 spg), Murry (eighth, 1.3) and and Chris Porter-Bunton (eighth, 1.3). No other team has more than two players in the top-10.
A victory would be head coach Dave Loos‘ 499th career collegiate victory.
Up Next for the APSU Govs
A quick return home is in order for Austin Peay as the Govs close the OVC East portion of the schedule with a 6:30pm, Saturday contest against Tennessee State on Coming Home 2017.