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APSU Basketball late rally comes up short at Oklahoma State

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's BasketballStillwater, OK – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team weathered an impressive start by Oklahoma State before mounting a second-half comeback that brought the Governors to within eight points late in the second half before ultimately 79-63 at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Wednesday.

Oklahoma State (6-1) came out hot from beyond the arc, hitting nine first-half threes, including five in the first eight minutes.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball falls 79-63 to Oklahoma State Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball falls 79-63 to Oklahoma State Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. (APSU Sports Information)

That allowed the Cowboys to seize control heading into the break, despite a solid first-half effort from Terry Taylor (nine points).

The second half, the Governors ramped up the defense, to impressive dividends. Pressing off made baskets, Austin Peay hassled the Cowboys into 13 second-half turnovers, curbing Oklahoma State’s three-point shooting (2-of-6) and creating chances for easy buckets.

After Oklahoma State’s first bucket of the second half pushed the deficit to 22 points, the Govs reeled off a 25-11 run over the ensuing 9:27 to get back in the game in a true team effort—five Govs scored at least four points during this stretch, with junior Steve Harris netting all six of his to help the Govs get back in the contest.

The deficit would remain largely in single digits until the last four minutes, when a 10-5 Oklahoma State run put the game out of reach for Austin Peay.

The Difference

Coming into the contest, the Governors were averaging 41.8 ppg from their reserves over the previous four games but it was the Oklahoma State bench that broke out Wednesday night. The Cowboys outscored Austin Peay’s reserves 43-6, with Jeffrey Carroll (17 points) and Thomas Dziagwa (11) in double figures.

Notably

Austin Peay led for 44 seconds in this contest. Not impressed? In Oklahoma State’s first four home games—against Pepperdine, Charlotte, Oral Roberts and Houston Baptist—the Cowboys trailed for 1:39 total.

With 19 points, Dayton Gumm is averaging 21.0 ppg since joining the starting lineup. He now has three of the four best scoring marks for the Govs this season.

Oklahoma State came out firing, hitting nine first-half threes—the Govs had only given up nine threes in a single game once in 2017-18, at Vanderbilt in the season opener. The Cowboys finished with 11 makes from beyond the arc.

Senior Tre’ Ivory finished with a game-high six assists—he’s averaging 4.4 helpers over the last five games. He also pulled in a career-best five rebounds and added a team-high two steals to fill the stat sheet.  

Austin Peay’s 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) mark from the free-throw line was a season-best.

Averyl Ugba narrowly missed his second double-double in an Austin Peay uniform, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. He’s averaging 13.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg in the last three contests, hitting 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the floor.

Oklahoma State’s five steals were the fewest by an Austin Peay opponent in 2017-18.

Taylor recorded Austin Peay’s first double-double against a high-major opponent since Chris Horton had 14 points, 10 boards against Kansas in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. His eight offensive boards equaled a team season-high.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger

On full court pressure
“We’ve been able to turn teams over. That’s the one strength of our team. Right now, the (opponent’s) field goal percentage is too high. When you turn the ball over, it kind of deflates you a little bit. When the game was right there for us, they were only shooting like 34 percent in the second half. We’ve got to take care of our business.”

On the fight his team showed
“Coming into the game (OSU) was beating teams by like 25 or 30 points per game, if I’m not mistaken. People are going to pick up the box score that didn’t watch the game or didn’t follow the game and say ‘Oh, (Austin Peay) lost by 16.’ Well, the game was a lot closer than that. There’s no moral victories, but our kids fought. We’re going to keep fighting. I designed this schedule for a reason. Obviously, not to lose, but to prepare our guys for when we get into conference play to understand that we’ve played a lot of good teams.”

On outscoring OSU in the second half
“We never had any quit in us. I watched other films of the teams they played and (OSU) jumped on (its opponents) quick and those teams kind of caved into it because Oklahoma State is big and quick and athletic. We didn’t quit. I didn’t say enough about our kids that didn’t quit. We’re going to keep fighting.”

Next Up for APSU Men’s Basketball

Back to the Dunn go the Govs as they get set to host Alabama A&M in a contest that tips at 3:30pm, Saturday, November 2nd.


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