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UIC last second shot ends APSU Basketball’s CIT Run

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – In as heartbreaking a loss as you can have to end a season, UIC’s Godwin Boahen hit a go-ahead jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining to knock Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team out of the 2018 CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals, Wednesday at the Dunn Center, 83-81.

The Govs finish their first season under head coach Matt Figger at 19-15, while UIC moves on to the semifinals with a 19-15 mark as well.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball lose to UIC 83-81 in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday night at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball lose to UIC 83-81 in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday night at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

The loss also finishes the collegiate careers of Averyl Ugba, Tre’ Ivory and Ed Stephens.

Much of the Flames first-half offense came at the charity stripe, where the visitors hit nine of 10 attempts; away from the free-throw line, UIC’s shooting was more chaotic (38 percent from the field, 22 percent from three). And that was when they could get shots off—the Govs hassled their visitors into a dozen first-half turnovers.

On the other end, Austin Peay pounded it down low to Ugba, freshman Terry Taylor and junior Chris Porter-Bunton; with Tai Odiase, the nation’s second-leading shot blocker, beset by two first-half fouls, that trio of Govs found more room to maneuver around the paint, combining for 26 of Austin Peay’s 36 first-half points on 12-of-21 shooting.

The Govs entered halftime with a five-point lead, which quickly reached 14 points early in the second period, but the visitors were by no means finished. A 14-2 UIC run trimmed the Austin Peay lead to a single bucket by the 12-minute mark.

The tied turned in the Governors favor with single sequence by freshman Richard Henderson. On the defensive end, he swatted an attempt at the rim by UIC’s Marcus Ottey, secured the rebound and ran the floor for a twisting layup off a good look from Porter-Bunton. UIC called timeout; Henderson’s play was the pinnacle of a 6-0 APSU run to put the Govs back up by eight.

The Flames quickly erased the eight-point advantage and tied the game up with a pair of Clint Robinson free-throws at the 6:19 mark. The ensuing three-plus minutes saw a back-and-forth battle that ended in a 9-0 UIC run that saw the Flames take their first lead since the 17:41 mark in the first period on a Boahen three with 3:28 to play.

The Flames maintained the lead for the next two minutes, with a Taylor jumper bringing the Govs within a point with 16 seconds to go. On the ensuing inbounds play, Ivory tied up Ottey, stripping him of the ball and finding freshman Dayton Gumm, who was hacked on a shot attempt that would’ve put the Govs ahead. Gumm made one of two at the line to tie the game before Boahen’s last-second jumper on the following possession.

The Difference

The Governors dominated the box score in almost every statistical category except two—free throws and three-pointers. UIC hit 82.6 percent from the line (19-of-23) and 43.5 percent from deep (10-of-23) compared to 62.5 percent (15-of-24) and 12.5 percent (2-of-16), respectively, by the Governors. And when the chips were down, UIC found the range from the floor, hitting eight of their final 10 shot attempts.

Notably

With his first point of the night, Taylor became the second Governor with 500 points in his freshman season; he finished with a career-high 31 points on the night—the first OVC player to get halfway to the 1,000-point club in his first season since Cam Payne (Murray State, 2013-14). Meanwhile, his 12 rebounds gives him 291 for the season, breaking Bob Bradley’s 1959-60 freshman record by a single board and places him seventh on the single-season list.

Austin Peay completely dominated in the paint, more than doubling up UIC’s scoring total (50-24), the second-highest point differential in the paint this season.

With five offensive boards, Taylor moves to sixth among freshmen since 2009-10 with 133 offensive rebounds in his first season.

In other milestone news, Porter-Bunton scored the 600th point of his Austin Peay career and will have a shot at the 1,000-point club next season.

Over the final four games of the 2017-18 campaign, the Govs averaged 18.8 second-chance points.

The Governors plus-11 rebounding advantage (46-35) is Austin Peay’s largest in a loss since February 12th, 2015 against Eastern Illinois (plus-12 in a 66-55 defeat).

Ten times, Ugba picked up a double-digit rebounding total this season and 10 times he turned in a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 boards. With 273 rebounds, he equaled Otis Howard (1975-76) for 13th all-time in single-season boards. And he concluded his Austin Peay career with a 14-game streak of scoring in double figures, averaging 18.7 points over that span.

In their final appearance together, Ugba and Taylor both finished with a double-double in the same contest for the fourth time this season.

This was just the Governors second loss of the season when scoring 80 or more points; the previous was the Feb. 15 game against Tennessee Tech which was also the only contest other than tonight’s that Austin Peay lost when outshooting its opponent.

Coaching Quotables with head coach Matt Figger

On the game
“For 35 minutes of the game, we played as hard and as well as we had all year. The last five minutes was a microcosm of the season—can’t make free throws and can’t get a stop in transition off turnovers. I don’t know what their field goal percentage was at the eight minute media, but from that point on it was bucket, bucket, bucket.”

On the locker room
“I’m a competitor. It wasn’t a hug-and-kiss moment in there for a while. We lost the game; that’s no disrespect to (UIC), but we lost that game. But I can’t say enough about what Averyl Ugba and Tre’ Ivory did for our program. Ed Stephens was hurting. There was some growth from guys who the minutes weren’t there for them early in their careers. I have really good kids; that’s a tight locker room in there.”

On the future
“We’ll get this out of our system, we’ll rest our bodies and then we’re going to come back and work. I don’t want to go to the CIT again; I want to go to the NCAA Tournament. There’s only one mindset, and that’s that we’ve got unfinished business and that’s to get to the NCAA Tournament.”


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