APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball hosted a UNC Asheville squad picked to win the Big South and nearly took down the Bulldogs in an 82-79 overtime affair, Sunday afternoon.
With preseason All-Big South choices MaCio Teague and Ahmad Thomas on the court, it’s reasonable to suspect the Bulldogs fancied themselves the favorites heading into the matinee meeting with the Govs.
But Terry Taylor and Dayton Gumm, the freshman duo from Bowling Green, continue lighting up opponents and Austin Peay got a well-timed breakout performance from Steve Harris as they pushed the Bulldogs to an extra period.
Harris’ hot start got the Governors on solid footing in the first half. He scored 10 of his 14 points in the opening session, including a three-point play at the 13:16 mark to put the Govs up eight early on. The lead would climb as high as 11 points after Taylor’s jumper with 9:01 to go, but the Bulldogs closed the half on a 25-9 run to take a 41-36 lead into the break.
Under different circumstances, with a different coach, a young team might fold after seeing a double-digit lead erased so thoroughly. The Govs are coached by Matt Figger, which means even after four games they’ve adopted a toughness that won’t allow them to be discarded so easily. The teams traded buckets and stops for much of the second half, with the Bulldogs lead reaching 10 points before the Govs mounted a rally with 6:13 to go.
First, Harris sank a lay-up. The Govs started getting stops, Taylor hit a free-throw and junior Zach Glotta knocked down a jumper. The Bulldog lead was halved with just over a minute off the clock.
Over the final 4:13 of regulation, Austin Peay’s freshmen started taking over. Taylor got a bucket, followed by a Richard Henderson jumper and a Gumm layup after a Glotta steal. Junior Chris Porter-Bunton‘s steal and subsequent jumper made it a one-possesion game with 90 seconds to go.
With 38 seconds left, UNC Asheville’s Kevin Vannatta hit one of two free-throws to make it a two point game. With six seconds to go, senior Tre’ Ivory found Taylor on the left block, and the southpaw eased in a layup to send the game into overtime.
Although the Govs were able to match possessions with UNC Asheville through the first part of overtime, even leading by a point with 2:03 to go after a Taylor three-point play, the Bulldogs scored seven of the game’s final 10 points. Teague, who led the Bulldogs with 26 points, sank two free-throws with five seconds left to clinch it; the Govs were unable to get a shot off on the final possession.
After limiting the Bulldogs to 40 percent shooting in the second half and storming back from a double-digit deficit, the Govs may have run out of steam by the time overtime rolled around. Austin Peay hit 4-of-10 from the floor in the extra period, while UNC Asheville was 5-of-7.
Overall, the shooting stats were the only spot the Bulldogs truly outpaced the Govs, shooting 52.8 percent (28-of-53), compared to 39.7 percent (29-of-73) for Austin Peay.
- After Gumm became the first Gov since 2011 with a 25-point night, his standing in that regard lasted all of four days thanks to Taylor’s 29 points.
- Twenty-one UNC Asheville turnovers turned into 26 points for the Governors.
- Junior Zach Glotta‘s four steals were a career-high.
- The loss is Austin Peay’s first to a Big South squad since December 29th, 2012 against High Point.
- Harris went off for career-highs in points (14), field goals (five), rebounds (six) and minutes (34). He was ready to step in as soon as needed, score his first 10 points in just under his first four minutes on the court in the first half.
- With 13 points, Gumm is the first APSU freshman with three straight double-digit outings since 2016 (J. Savage).
- The Governors bench is averaging 38.0 ppg over the last three contests after picking up 35 points from reserves against UNC Asheville.
- Four games into his APSU career, freshman Richard Henderson is shooting 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the floor.
- The Govs posted back-to-back outings with a turnover differential of plus-10 or more and now have back-to-back games with 25 or more points off turnover; at no point did that happen during the 2016-17 season.
- The Govs outscored UNC Asheville 17-0 in points off turnover in the second half.
- Taylor is the first Austin Peay freshman since at least the turn of the century, when electronic records began being kept, to record back-to-back double-doubles.
Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger
On the difference between the two teams:
“They are a veteran team that is picked to win their league. We are a little immature and we didn’t do some things from an execution standpoint that they did. That was probably the difference in the game.”
On Harris and the bench:
“I am really happy with the way the bench is playing right now. They were in the game down the stretch, during the meaningful minutes. We were playing three or four freshman the majority of the second half.”
On how this game relates to conference play:
“This was like an OVC game. It’s a game we can learn from and understand that we are not overmatched. We just have got to get more mature.”
Up Next for APSU Men’s Basketball
In a unique event, Austin Peay will host Bethel at Shaw Fitness Center on the Fort Campbell Military Installation, Wednesday. Tipoff is 3:00pm and the event is free and open to the public.