Austin Peay vs. Eastern Illinois
Saturday, December 30th, 2017 | 7:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – Much is on the line for Austin Peay State University men’s basketball as it takes on Eastern Illinois, 7:00pm, Saturday at the Dunn Center.
After winning its league opener for the first time since 2013-14, the Govs can move to 2-0 in league play against an Eastern Illinois squad that Austin Peay owns a three-game winning streak against.
They’ll ride the steadily spectacular play of senior Averyl Ugba and freshman Terry Taylor as far as they can; the duo is averaging 34.2 ppg and 15.6 rpg over the last five games, culminating in both players posting double-double performances against SIU Edwardsville in the league opener, Thursday.
Saturday’s game is presented by Clarksville YMCA; the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive an APSU fidget spinner.
About the Eastern Illinois Panthers
Without point guard Terrell Lewis, who has missed the last four games, Eastern Illinois hit a road block in their conference opener, an 80-52 shellacking at the hands of Murray State, Thursday. That loss belies another solid Jay Spoonhour squad that spreads the scoring burden (six players averaging 6.5 ppg or more) and playing better than their 4-8 mark implies.
Included in those eight losses are a two-point loss on the road at Western Illinois (later avenged in Charleston), a four-point loss to Big 10 Nebraska and a last-second defeat at Green Bay. Not included: a 13-point stomping of Big 10 foe Illinois during exhibition play. Ball control will be paramount in this matchup, which pits the league-leader in turnover margin (Austin Peay, at +3.15) against the No. 3 team in the league in EIU (+1.42).
Last Time Out Against Eastern Illinois
The Govs erased a 19-point first-half deficit to give former head coach Dave Loos his 500th career win in an 85-80 barnburner at the Dunn Center. John Murry scored 18 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, twice needing less than five minutes to pour in 10 or more points. Kenny Jones (12 points, 11 boards) tallied his third double-double in four career contests against the Panthers.
Keep An Eye On
A win would make the Govs 2-0 to start the OVC schedule for the first time since the 2013-14 season, and would be Austin Peay’s fourth straight against the Panthers.
A win would make head coach Matt Figger the first APSU coach to win his first two conference games since George Fisher’s Govs started the 1962-63 campaign 5-0 in VSAC play.
Austin Peay’s bench is averaging 22.3 ppg over the last three contests.
Taylor, who leads the OVC and the nation’s freshman at 4.15 offensive rebounds per game, had seven in his OVC debut against SIU Edwardsville.
A 20-point or higher margin of victory would be the sixth such win for the Govs in 2017-18; the last time Austin Peay had six or more wins by 20 or more points was 1988-89 (seven of the Governors 18 wins were by 20 or more points).
Ugba is now averaging 13.6 ppg and 7.7 rpg over the last seven games.
APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB). Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com.
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).