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HomeSportsAPSU Basketball unable to contain Western Kentucky Late

APSU Basketball unable to contain Western Kentucky Late

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball simply found the iron unkind in Friday’s non-conference finale against Western Kentucky, falling 72-55 to the Hilltoppers, who made their first visit to Clarksville since 2004.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball loses to Western Kentucky 72-55 Friday night at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball loses to Western Kentucky 72-55 Friday night at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

The black-clad Governors shook off a rough start that saw Western Kentucky take a 13-2 lead in the opening minutes and ripped off a quick 9-0 run in less than two minutes to jump back into the contest.

A trio of three-pointers—including the first two of Ed Stephens‘ Austin Peay career—jump-started the Govs and plugged the Dunn Center crowd back into the game.

The Govs closed the first half on an 11-4 run and seemed poised to build on it early in the second half, stretching the lead to seven (39-32) at the 18:08 mark after an Averyl Ugba three-pointer. But the Hilltoppers immediately countered with a 17-3 run of their own to retake the lead.

Back came the Govs, thanks to another Stephens three-pointer and three free-throws from freshman Terry Taylor to cut the Western Kentucky lead to a point with 12:23 to go in the contest. But a game-ending 23-7 run over the final 11:54 ultimately proved to be the Governors undoing in their final pre-Christmas contest.

The Difference

To be certain, Western Kentucky outshot the Govs by a healthy margin (58.8 percent from the floor, compared to a season-low 34.5 for the Govs). It helped the Hilltoppers that many of those shots were from close range; Western Kentucky doubled up Austin Peay (46-23) on points in the paint.


The Governors bench outscored Western Kentucky’s 24-1. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Govs at home, longest since the 2014-15 season.

The loss was Austin Peay’s first this season when outrebounding an opponent; led by Ugba (nine boards), the Govs outrebounded Western Kentucky 34-31.

Ugba just missed a double-double, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds. He’s averaging 12.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg over the last six games.  

For the first time in his brief Austin Peay career, Stephens led the Govs in scoring with 13 points, his first double-digit scoring effort as a Gov.

Austin Peay committed a season-low 16 fouls as a team, leading to season-lows in free-throws attempted (15) and made (eight) by an APSU opponent.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger

Overall Thoughts
“Give Western Kentucky a lot of credit; we got the ball into the high post and we just didn’t make any shots. I felt like we got passive, non-aggressive and disjointed as a team. They got more united as a team when we took that seven-point lead, and we got more disjointed.”

On defensive changes
“It’s been the only thing that saved us the last three games, playing that (zone), because teams are coming right at us and we’re not keeping the ball out of the paint at all.”

On halftime adjustments
“I told the guys, we’ve got to come out and keep attacking the high post against the zone. Throw the ball inside if they go man-to-man, which we did. We got off to some good success and built a seven-point lead in the second half. But once we had to go to the bench for the foul situation, before we could stop the bleeding, instead of being up seven we were down seven.”

Next Up for APSU Men’s Basketball

Austin Peay returns from a brief holiday break with the start of conference play, hosting SIU Edwardsville in a 7:00pm contest, December 28th.


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