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APSU Men’s Basketball come up short at Tulsa

APSU Women's BasketballTulsa, OK – On the road, close and late, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team nearly toppled Tulsa in an exhilarating contest at the Reynolds Center, ultimately succumbing to the Golden Hurricane in a 72-65 affair.

The Govs (1-2) fell behind early, trailing 10-2 less than three minutes into the game and by 10 after Brandon Rachal scored the Golden Hurricane’s (3-1) first 14 points to stake a 14-4 lead.

 Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball lead at half, but fall late to Tulsa Sunday night. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball lead at half, but fall late to Tulsa Sunday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Eight points from Terry Taylor eventually shook Austin Peay from its early malaise; the junior from Bowling Green keyed a 13-4 run to bring the Govs within a point.

Taylor would eventually tie the game, rebounding a missed free-throw by Jordyn Adams and putting it back up for a score; on the next possession, Antwuan Butler would find Adams for a bucket to give the Govs their first lead of the night.

At that point, the Govs seized the upper hand. Another 13-2 run, with seven supplied by junior Eli Abaev, gave the Govs their largest lead of the day at nine points with just over two minutes to play in the half.

Unfortunately, the final two minutes belonged to the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa closed the half on a 7-0 run, erasing much of Austin Peay’s advantage and sending the Govs into the break with a 36-34 lead.

The teams traded buckets and the lead early in the second half, with Tulsa ultimately taking an eight-point lead at the halfway point. But as quickly as the lead was built, the Govs erased it on huge three-pointers from Evan Hinson and Adams, and an old-fashioned three-point play by Taylor that allowed Austin Peay to retake the lead with just over seven minutes remaining.  

The teams resumed trading buckets for most of the next four minutes; with 3:19 to play, a pair of Taylor free-throws tied the game up once more. On Tulsa’s next possession, Martins Igbanu muscled up a bucket, then Darion Jackson stole an errant pass and zoomed in for a layup to make it a two-possession game.

With 1:10 remaining, Reginald Gee would cut the deficit to three with a pair of free-throws, but Lawson Korital’s lone bucket of the day, a jumper in the lane, would push the Golden Hurricane lead back to five; the Govs would get no closer the rest of the way.

The Difference

In the second half, both teams attempted 26 shots from the floor. The difference was that APSU hit just eight, while Tulsa sank 14.

APSU Notably

Taylor made his 70th consecutive start; he also passed LaMonte Ware for 16th all-time in scoring. He’s scored 20 points in three straight games to start the season; he’s the first Gov in at least a decade to score 20-plus in three straight games to start a season. He finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for both his and Austin Peay State University’s first double-double in 2019-20, and the 25th of his Austin Peay State University career.

Both Adams and Hinson made their first start as Governors.

For just the second time in calendar year 2019, the Govs failed to score 70 points.

Butler remains perfect at the free-throw line this season, now 10-for-10 after hitting both attempts against Tulsa. He also pulled down a career-high seven rebounds and snagged four steals, most by a Gov in 2019-20.

Abaev recorded three blocked shots for the first time in his Austin Peay State University career.

APSU put up a respectable 22 points in the paint against Tulsa, but only four came in the second half.

The Govs were plus-10 as a team when freshman Carlos Paez was on the court.

The Govs dropped to 0-2 on the road for the ninth straight season.

Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger

On the lineup change
“I was looking for some leadership and veteran drive from our team. For the most part, they supplied that. We rebounded the ball better, which was a good start.”

On young players rising to the situation
“It was a good lesson for them, but I thought they froze, got a little hesitant and didn’t execute well in the last couple of minutes.”

Up Next for APSU Men’s Basketball

Another road test awaits the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team when the Govs travel to Vanderbilt to square off against the Commodores. That Wednesday night contest is scheduled to tip at 7:00pm at Memorial Gym.


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