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Austin Peay (8-4) at Arkansas (8-3)
Friday, December 28th, 2018 | 7:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) looks to close out the nonconference schedule with a bang when the Govs take on Arkansas in a 7:00pm, December 28th contest at Bud Walton Arena.
The Govs head into the contest riding as high as they have in many years, winners of six in a row, with the last victory–a 75-66 win against Liberty–helping the Govs claim the 2018 St. Pete Shootout title, Austin Peay’s first in-season tournament crown since 2000.
They’ll compete against a Razorback squad which retains plenty of youth—half of the 16 players listed are freshmen, with no seniors and only three juniors—but has done wonders with it.
Isaiah Joe (15.9 ppg on 44.0 percent shooting) has stepped in as a day-one starter to complement Daniel Gafford, one of the nation’s best big men and a preseason All-SEC selection.
About the Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson still deploys the ‘Fastest 40 minutes in basketball’ philosophy to great success; his Razorbacks have won at least 20 games four times in the last five seasons, winning NCAA Tournament games in 2015 and 2017.
Where Liberty secured no steals or blocked shots against the Govs, that figures not to be the case against the Razorbacks; Arkansas blocks 6.3 shots per game as a team (fifth nationally); in addition to averaging nearly a double-double (17.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg) per game, Gafford’s 26 blocked shots has him tied for third in the SEC; meanwhile, the Razorbacks also rank fourth in the SEC in steals (8.3/game), third in turnover margin (plus-3.2) and tied for second in turnovers forced (16.73/game).
Whoever draws the defensive assignment against Jalen Harris–likely senior Steve Harris–will have their hands full. Arkansas’ Harris, a New Mexico transfer, ranks third nationally with a 5.62-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and is among the nation’s most capable floor generals, despite sitting out last season as part of the NCAA’s transfer regulations; he went from 4.5 ppg and 2.3 apg as a freshman for the Lobos to 9.2 ppg and 6.6 apg for the Razorbacks.
Last Time Out Against Arkansas
John Murry scored a game-high 23 points, but that’s where the positives start and end from Austin Peay’s 99-62 loss to the Razorbacks, December 3rd, 2016 in Fayetteville. Zach Glotta, Steve Harris and Chris Porter-Bunton–the only remaining Governors from the 2016-17 team–combined for just 25 minutes against the Razorbacks that night, with Porter-Bunton using the opportunity to secure his 100th career rebound.
Keep An Eye On
A win would give the Govs their first unbeaten December in recorded program history and their first unbeaten month since January 2007.
The Govs are shooting 52.8 percent (149-of-279) over their last five games.
Austin Peay’s plus-4.6 turnover margin ranks 21st nationally, aided by a plus-52 margin over the last five games.
A victory would be Austin Peay’s first against an SEC foe since 2011 (Tennessee).
Senior Zach Glotta needs seven three-pointers to break into the top-10 all-time at Austin Peay.
The Govs are unbeaten when leading at the half or holding their opponents below 70 points this season.
A win would run the Governors winning streak to seven games, their longest since an 11-game streak from December 20th, 2006 to February 1st, 2007.
After dispatching Liberty, the Govs received 15 points in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.
The Governor bench is averaging 30.2 points per game since the start of December.
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 (which return January 3rd) can be viewed on the ESPN+ app; this contest, as part of the SEC Network’s digital offerings, will be available via the Watch ESPN platform.
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Arizona, Austin Peay State University, Bud Walton Arena, Chris Porter-Bunton, Clarksville TN, Fayetteville AR, Governors, Govs, John Murry, Liberty, Mike Anderson, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Razorbacks, St. Pete Shootout, Steve Harris, Zach Glotta
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