APSU Sports Information
Tampa, FL – In a physical, back-and-forth affair that saw both squads grab the upper hand on numerous occasions, Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team unfortunately came out on the short end of a 74-70 decision against USF at the Yuengling Center, Monday.
Austin Peay (1-2) fought through myriad foul troubles and the limitation of two key members of the roster for much of the contest due to injury yet still pushed American Athletic Conference foe USF (2-0) to an extra session, on the road no less.
The Govs got out to a big start; in fact, Austin Peay was threatening to run away with the contest at one point, needing less than seven minutes to build a nine-point lead and maintaining a healthy advantage through the under-eight media timeout.
However, a combination of foul trouble to key components—sophomores Dayton Gumm and Terry Taylor both spent large parts of the first half on the bench with two fouls—and cold shooting gave the hosts time to chip away at the Governor lead, ultimately tying the game at 29 just before halftime.
If the Govs cooled to end the first half, they were downright frigid to start the second. The Govs missed their first seven shots from the floor in the second half, which allowed the hosts to take a tie game and build a 10-point lead.
Austin Peay would be down by as many as 11 points but a rally was soon at hand. From the 11-minute mark until Taylor’s game-tying free-throw with 3:48 to go, the Govs outscored the Bulls 20-9. Taylor scored eight of those points, and he and senior Zach Glotta hit threes on back-to-back possessions to swing the momentum back in the Governors favor.
The teams traded (metaphorical) punches down the stretch. Glotta hit another big three-pointer to put the Govs ahead for the first time since late in the first half. After USF clawed back into the lead, Jarrett Givens drilled a three with eight seconds left to put the Govs up two points.
It appeared that victory was at hand when Taylor swatted a Laquincy Rideau offering with two seconds left, but in the loose ball scrum a foul was whistled on the Governors. With 0.4 seconds left, USF’s Justin Brown hit two free-throws to force overtime.
Despite three players fouling out and two more forced to the bench with injury concerns, the Govs valiantly battled throughout the extra session. After a David Collins three, Taylor sank a layup, the last of his game-high 21 points. When USF went up five, Glotta was fouled on a three and sank all three of his free-throw attempts with 11 seconds left to give the Govs life. However, Rideau—who was an abysmal 4-for-10 at the charity stripe for the game—sank both free-throws with two seconds left to put the game away.
With the three-ball not doing them any favors (5-for-21 from deep), USF resorted to pounding the ball down low, with great results. The Bulls outscored the Govs 38-16 on points in the paint.
With 15 points—11 in the second half—Glotta reached double figures for the 20th time in his Austin Peay career. His seven made free-throws also were a career-high.
Taylor’s 21-point performance was his 10th 20-point game of his Austin Peay career. It also marked his 14th career double-double. His 21 points and 12 rebounds are both single-game highs for a Governor so far in 2018-19.
In his first career start, sophomore Ivan Cucak scored four points and picked up three rebounds in 28 minutes.
The loss is Austin Peay’s third straight to USF and fifth straight in the state of Florida.
Up Next for APSU Govs
Jamaica, that’s what. Austin Peay’s next competition finds it on international soil for the first time since 2012 when the Govs face Central Connecticut, 11:30am (CT), Friday, November 16th in Montego Bay in the second of four Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic contests.