APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – For its final 2018-19 regular-season appearance in the Dunn Center, Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team put on a show.
After a first half back-and-forth against a UT Martin team fighting for its life among the Ohio Valley Conference’s swollen middle-class, the Govs blew away the Skyhawks in the second half to remain in the hunt for a two-day bye into the upcoming OVC Tournament semifinals after a 92-78 win on Senior Night.
UT Martin (10-17, 5-11 OVC) hit its first six shots from the floor.
That’s a pretty unsustainable pace, but the worrisome part was that Craig Randall II—who had not yet been cleared when these teams met on January 12th—hit four of those and had 11 points by the 15-minute mark as the Govs worked to contain the Duquesne transfer.
Eventually the Govs found the remedy for Randall—he missed his next three shots and scored just two more points in the half—but the Austin Peay (21-8, 13-3) offense was not the high-efficiency machine it has been for much of the year.
Except for Zach Glotta—the O’Fallon, Missouri native put together a Senior Night performance he’ll look back fondly on, hitting five threes in the opening half alone.
But otherwise the first half was a famine for the Govs, who hit just 37.0 percent when anyone but Glotta put up a shot. Austin Peay was fortunate to enter the half down by just two points thanks to—who else?—Glotta, whose final three of the half swished home with eight seconds remaining to send the game into the break at 42-40 in favor of the visitors.
The teams traded buckets over the opening three minutes of the second half before the Govs took off on a 15-6 run featuring a pair of threes from Glotta and another from freshman Antwuan Butler, his first since January 24th.
The Skyhawks pulled to within a possession but senior Chris Porter-Bunton scored five straight points and Glotta nailed yet another three, his career-high seventh, to give Austin Peay its first double-digit lead of the evening.
From there, the Govs rolled; Austin Peay outscored UT Martin 30-19 over the last 10 minutes of play, with sophomore Terry Taylor scoring 12 of his 25 points during the game-clinching stretch. Glotta finished with a career-high 26 points and eight three-pointers, one short of the Austin Peay single-game record.
The 14-6 discrepancy in three-point shooting seems like low-hanging fruit to pick here, so let’s look instead to the glass, where Austin Peay enjoyed a 41-30 advantage, their second straight double-digit differential on the positive side. Of those, 17 were offensive rebounds, which led to a 17-9 advantage in second-chance points. The Govs grabbed 37 offensive boards in two games this week, the most over a two-game span since the Calvary-Purdue Fort Wayne contests back in December.
Austin Peay has now won 10 home games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009-10 and 2010-11.
The Govs finished the home slate with some eye-popping numbers in the Dunn Center. The Govs averaged 91.7 points in 12 games in the Dunn—going 10-2—and hit 50.8 percent (404-of-796) from the floor, 42.6 percent (115-of-270) from three and 71.7 percent (177-of-247) at the line. They’ve enjoyed a plus-8.1 rebounding average and plus-7.3 turnover margin while outscoring opponents by 23.5 points in those contests this season.
Glotta set career highs in points (26), field goals (eight), three-pointers made (eight) and three-pointers attempted (14).
The win is just the third this season when Austin Peay found itself trailing at halftime.
Porter-Bunton reached double figures for the sixth consecutive game, finishing with 18 points. He stands at 967 career points, 33 away from the 1,000-point club with two regular season games plus whatever tournament run the Govs make remaining. Over the last five games, he’s averaging 2.8 threes per contest, hitting 53.9 percent (14-of-26) during that span.
The 52 points scored by the Govs equaled their season second-half high.
Austin Peay’s 13 OVC wins are its most since the 2010-11 season.
Both Butler (six rebounds) and senior Steve Harris (eight) set career rebounding highs.
As a team, the Govs are hitting 44.4 percent (32-of-72) from three over the last three games. Opponents, meanwhile, are struggling to a 32.5 percent (26-of-80) over the last four games.
The Govs four-game win streak against the Skyhawks is their longest in the series since a six-game streak from 2010-12.
Fourteen three-pointers were most this season by the Govs and one short of the Austin Peay record in the Dunn Center. The Govs have now reached double-digits from beyond the arc in eight games this season, most in a single season since the turn of the century.
His 25-point, 12-rebound performance marked his season’s 10th double-double and the 20th 20-point night of his Austin Peay career. Since January 31st, he’s hitting 80.4 percent (41-of-51) from the charity stripe and 54.7 percent (82-of-150) from the field.
Austin Peay’s 6-1 February is its best since 2007-08.
Austin Peay’s turnover margin over the last 12 games is plus-70, an average of plus-5.8 per game.
In addition to nearly toppling the single-game school three-pointer record, Glotta passed Donald Tivis (1988-91) for eighth all-time in career three-pointers; he’s now 177 for his career, five away from passing Anthony Campbell (2008-12) for seventh.
With the win, the Govs are:
- 16-3 when shooting better than 45 percent
- 13-1 when attempting more free-throws than their opponent
- 15-2 when outrebounding their opponent
- 13-1 when scoring more points in the paint
- 16-0 when scoring more points off turnover
Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger
“God rewards people who are committed in everything they do, and Zach exemplifies that. He exemplifies everything that is good in college athletics. He’s had his ups and downs, but tonight was his night. All those guys, those seniors, their belief in what we’ve put together has been incredible.”
On the second half
“Isaiah Hart’s defensive performance down the stretch totally disrupted the game. I’ve seen it all year; that dude has unbelievable hands and anticipation. I challenged Terry at halftime and boy what a response he had.”
On the coaching staff
“When I got this job I thought the most important thing I had to put together was a great, mature staff. I didn’t need to be coaching the coaches. Dalonte Hill and I have been in the trenches together. Rick (Cabrera) I coached. Sergio (Rouco) and I have been friends for 20-plus years and he’s been a head coach. I knew we would have to do this with coaching and teaching and this staff has just been huge.”
Up Next for APSU Govs
One final road swing ahead OVC Tournament finds the APSU Govs in Richmond, Kentucky, next Thursday to take on Eastern Kentucky; that contest is scheduled for a 6:30pm (CT) tip-off.