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Austin Peay State University Basketball defeats Lees-McRae, 106-67

 

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – That’s a little more like what you might expect in exhibition season. A more polished, more defensively sound Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team took to the court Saturday, looking far more like a squad seeking a third straight Ohio Valley Conference semifinals appearance—or better—as the Govs systematically took apart Lees-McRae in a 106-67 win in the Dunn Center, Saturday.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball rolls over Lees-McRae 106-67 at the Dunn Center Saturday night in final exhibition game of the season. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball rolls over Lees-McRae 106-67 at the Dunn Center Saturday night in final exhibition game of the season. (APSU Sports Information)

Early on it was clear that the Govs entered this one with no intention of repeating the defensive performance that saw Union score 95 in the first exhibition contest. Passing lanes were jumped. Second-chance opportunities never materialized for the Bobcats. After giving up 16 threes in the last contest, the Govs made it a point to close out on the perimeter.

As has long been head coach Matt Figger‘s modus operandi, the stifling defense led to buckets on the other end of the court. Terry Taylor got his, because Terry Taylor always gets his; the junior had 13 at the break, including a rainbow three from the logo, to help the Govs build a comfortable lead; he would finish with a game-high 21 points in 21 minutes. He is, it would seem, ready for the regular season to start.

Even more encouraging were the complimentary roles assumed by grad transfer Reginald Gee and freshman Jordyn Adams. Gee spent much of the contest raining in three-pointers; he hit two on Austin Peay’s first two possessions and five for the game en route to 18 points.

After getting going late against Union, scoring all eight of his points over the final 2:26 of play, Adams needed little time to get hot in this one, scoring 13 in the first half and 19 for the game, slicing into the lane time and again on aggressive forays to the hoop.

A 58-35 lead at halftime grew to over 40 points for much of the second half. Five Govs would ultimately find their way into double figures, with Sam DeVault (15 points) and Matheus Silveira (10) needing just 15 minutes apiece to hit double-digits as every player on the roster saw action and eight played between 10 and 25 minutes.

The Difference

The turnover difference wasn’t stark—the Govs enjoyed a plus-nine advantage (30-21) but ball-control still was not in mid-season form. However, while Austin Peay State University turned Lees-McRae’s miscues into 26 points, the Bobcats scored just two points on Austin Peay State University’s turnovers.

APSU Notably

Freshman Alec Woodard secured four steals.

Antwuan Butler (13 minutes) and freshman Codey Bates (four minutes) made their exhibition debuts for the Govs.

More than a third of Lees-McRae’s 67 points came at the free-throw line (23).

After the Govs surrendered 16 threes to Union, Lees-McRae hit just four on Saturday.

The Govs averaged 103.5 points during exhibition play.

Coaching Quotables from APSU Head Coach Matt Figger

Overall Thought
“The approach was 100 percent different tonight. We’re still trying to find our identity, but that—the effort—that’s got to be our identity. We track what we call our kills, which is three consecutive stops. The first game we had two; this game, we had 10. That’s 30 possessions they didn’t score. Now in order for us to play that way, we fouled too much, but I’m not mad about it because we played with a more aggressive edge.”

On getting extended looks at more players
“Having Antwuan back set the tone for us. I only played him 13 minutes but it just set an overall tone. I thought Reggie gave us a better glimpse of who he’s going to be. Jordyn Adams gave us a better glimpse of who I think he can become, so we don’t have to hang our hat, night in and night out, on No. 21 (Taylor). That was my biggest takeaway.”

Up Next for APSU Men’s Basketball

Things tip-off for real Tuesday night. That’s when Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball hosts Oakland City in the regular season opener, which follows the women’s opener set to tip at 5:30pm. Oakland City will be APSU’s home opener for the fourth straight season and fifth time since 2013-14.


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