APSU Sports Information
Athens, OH – Five Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball players scored in double figures and the Govs limited Ohio to an atrocious shooting mark in the second half, displaying the fight, grit and tenacity that has become a hallmark of head coach Matt Figger‘s program.
However, when the chips were down the Bobcats willed themselves to the line and the Govs’ last-gasp attempt on the road came up short at the Convocation Center in an 85-82 overtime loss.
Ohio (3-2) started the contest absolutely red-hot, hitting 11 of their first 14 shots from the floor to stake a commanding lead. The Bobcats shooting prowess, coupled with an uncharacteristically sloppy half in terms of ball control (nine turnovers) and shooting (11-of-33, 33.3 percent) saw the Govs down by as much as 18 points and the halftime deficit at 14 (42-28).
But the beginning of the second half saw new life seep into Austin Peay’s (2-4) playing style, and the Govs quickly set about erasing the deficit before them. The Govs embarked on a 21-7 run over the first eight-plus minutes of the half to completely eradicate Ohio’s lead, with senior Steve Harris scoring nine of his 13 points during this stretch and Zach Glotta nailing two pivotal three-pointers to aid the Austin Peay run.
It should be noted that while Austin Peay’s shooting coming alive certainly helped erase the deficit, the Govs clamped down defensively to limit what Ohio was able to do on the other end of the court. After Ohio started on that torrid 11-of-14 pace to begin the contest, Austin Peay allowed the Bobcats to hit just 20 of their final 57 shots, a 35.1 percent clip that extended throughout the second half and overtime.
At this point, the two teams engaged in a frantic, physical affair that saw neither truly grab the upper hand. The Govs would lead by as many as three, the Bobcats by four at two different points but neither could truly put the other team away. When Teyvion Kirk hit two free-throws with 33 seconds left to put the Bobcats up four, however, it looked to be dire for the Governors.
Glotta stepped up once again with a three in the corner in front of the Governors bench, but still Austin Peay needed a break. They got in the form of Gavin Block, who went 1-for-2 at the line to make it a two-point game, followed by two bricks at the stripe by Kirk with 11 seconds to go. Sophomore Dayton Gumm will his way into the paint and got a lay-up to drop and sophomore Terry Taylor stole the subsequent inbounds pass to force the extra session.
However, Kirk hit two free-throws and Jason Carter a lay-up to cut it to a one-point lead, and Block and Kirk both made free-throws down the stretch to help ice the game for Ohio, who hit just once from the floor but were 6-of-6 at the line in the extra session. After hitting their first two shots in the extra session, the Govs missed their final seven shots from the floor.
For once, Austin Peay wasn’t able to impose its will on the glass, getting outrebounded 50-41, including a 14-9 difference on the offensive glass, which led to a 16-9 Ohio advantage in second-chance points.
The 50 boards allowed by the Govs were the most given up to a single opponent since Vanderbilt had 51, November 13th, 2015.
The Govs drop to 1-3 all-time against Ohio.
Austin Peay’s 42 points in the paint were the Govs most against a Division I opponent since putting up 50 in the CIT quarterfinal against UIC, March 21st, 2018.
For the fourth time in his career, Porter-Bunton led the Govs in scoring with 16 points. It also marked his 25th career double-figure scoring night as a Gov. His services were indispensable, as the Govs were minus-18 in the 13 minutes he was not on the court.
The Governors bench accounted for 37 points, and is now averaging 27.3 points over the last four contests.
After hitting 90.0 percent at the free-throw line the previous three games, the Governors 65.0 percent (13-of-20) mark was a season-low. Gumm was 8-of-10 at the stripe (a team season-high in makes) but the rest of the Govs were just 5-of-10 at the line.
Ohio’s 23.1 percent (6-of-26) mark beyond the arc was a season-low for an Austin Peay opponent.
Taylor’s streak of double-doubles was snapped at four games; he finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Glotta tied his career-high with five made three-pointers.
At plus-two (14-16), the Govs had a positive turnover margin for the first time since the season opener.
Five Govs scored in double figures against a Division I foe for the first time since February 22nd, 2018 against SIU Edwardsville.
Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger
On the deficit
“We talked about fight, about not being front-runners when things are going good. When things are going bad, your true identity comes out. We were disinterested, unenthused and lethargic in the first half.”
On the second half
“I played the six guys in the second half that I thought would give us the chance to win. Those guys fought to put us in a position to have a chance to win the game in regulation. They played with a lot of courage and played the way we should be playing instead of the way we have been playing. They didn’t take anything for granted.”
Up Next for the APSU Govs
A two-game sojourn to Alabama wraps up a month-long road odyssey for the Govs, beginning with a 7:15pm (CT) contest at Troy, November 29th.