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APSU Basketball opens OVC Season with 78-58 home win against SIU Edwardsville

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – Thanks to dynamite post performances from senior Averyl Ugba and freshman Terry Taylor, Austin Peay State University men’s basketball opened its Ohio Valley Conference schedule with a dominant 78-58 win against SIU Edwardsville, Thursday, in the Dunn Center.

The victory gives Austin Peay (6-7, 1-0 OVC) a win in the league opener for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign, while SIUE (4-8, 0-1) missed the presence of Jalen Henry, the league’s sixth-leading scorer, who missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball defeats SIU Edwardsville Cougars at the Dunn Center 78-58 Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball defeats SIU Edwardsville Cougars at the Dunn Center 78-58 Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Although the two teams traded buckets and stops early on, Austin Peay’s inside presence paved the way for a first-half ending 28-9 run that changed the course of the contest. Ugba scored 13 of his 15 first-half points during this stretch, opening the game-changing run with eight straight points.

Taylor, his low-post counterpart, started the game with a pair of threes and scored 14 points in the first half to help the Govs take a commanding 42-26 lead into halftime.

Another huge Austin Peay run—this one of the 23-8 variety—took a 14-point lead and more than doubled it to 29 points with five minutes to go in the second half. Seven different Governors scored during the run, with Ugba (six points) yet again leading the charge as the Govs made a statement to open league play.

The Difference

Although SIU Edwardsville proved to be near Austin Peay’s equal in forcing turnovers, the Cougars couldn’t match the Govs in capitalizing on those miscues. While 10 Austin Peay turnovers yielded just five points for SIUE, Austin Peay turned 13 Cougar mistakes into 17 points.

Notably

The win was Austin Peay’s sixth straight against SIU Edwardsville, and first by the Govs in the league opener since the 2013-14 season.

For the second time this season, Ugba and Taylor recorded double-doubles in the same game; the dynamic duo previously did so against Oakland City, November 15th. In doing so, Taylor ticked off his 10th career game in double figures, while Ugba broke the 20-point barrier for the first time as a Governor.

Led largely by Taylor and Ugba, the Govs controlled the interior, outscoring SIUE 48-27 in the paint. The point total was Austin Peay’s highest since putting 50 points in the paint up against Bethel (November 22nd), and second-highest point differential this season (+21), behind only a 70-22 advantage (+48) against Oakland City, November 15th.

Redshirt junior Chris Porter-Bunton scored his 400th career point as a Governor.

The Govs 22 second-chance points were their second-highest total of the 2017-18 campaign (25, vs. Oakland City, November 15th).

Austin Peay’s bench is averaging 22.3 ppg over the last three contests.

Ugba is now averaging 13.6 ppg and 7.7 rpg over the last seven games.

Austin Peay’s plus-eight rebounding advantage was its largest against a Division I opponent this season.

Taylor, who already was eighth nationally and led the OVC with 3.9 offensive rebounds per game, added seven to that tally against the Cougars.

The Govs committed a season-low 10 turnovers, and committed a season-low 15 fouls.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger

On the start
“This is the second game in a row we didn’t start well, and I addressed it with the guys at the first media timeout. I told them we’ve got to do what we do, and we’ve got to run the things that we’ve designed for them to run properly, not just go through the motions of doing them, but executing them properly. And for the most part, from that moment on, I thought our execution was really good.”

On controlling the paint
“I felt like our non-conference schedule was going to prepare us to see a different animal; from a positive standpoint, I’ve got two horses down low in Terry and Averyl and I’m going to ride those guys.”

On playing the score vs. playing the game
“We play to play the right way. I don’t care what the score is. If there’s a charge to take, we need to take it. If there’s a boxout to be made, we need to make it. If there’s an extra pass to be made, we need to make it. We don’t try to play individualistic basketball.”

Next Up for APSU Men’s Basketball

Now at the midway point of a six-game homestand, the Govs look to guarantee a .500 record during this stint at the Dunn Center—and secure not only a winning record in December for the first time since 2010-11, but a 2-0 start to OVC play for the first time since 2013-14—when they host Eastern Illinois, 7:00pm, Saturday, December 30th.

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