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Nashville, TN – The final score won’t tell the full tale of Wednesday’s contest between Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team and Vanderbilt. The final line was 90-72 but the Govs gave the Commodores all they could handle at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Govs controlled much of the first half; despite foul trouble limiting Evan Hinson to just two first-half minutes, a litany of Govs stepped up in his stead.
Freshman Jordyn Adams was the first-half catalyst with 11 points, but the court vision of sophomore Antwuan Butler might’ve been the most pivotal asset for the APSU Govs; he handed out six first-half assists, consistently finding the open man.
It took nearly four minutes for the Govs to knock down a shot from the floor, but once Butler nailed a three from the corner Austin Peay State University’s offense locked in. An Adams jumper at the 13-minute mark tied the game, then two Eli Abaev free-throws capped the 12-5 Austin Peay run to put the Govs up 13-11.
APSU spent much of the first half looking every bit the Commodores equal. At the 6:44 mark, an Adams three-pointer stretched the lead to nine, but Vanderbilt closed out with a torrid stretch of play to end the half, outscoring the Govs 18-8 the rest of the way to take a one-point advantage into the break.
The Govs would retake the lead on an Abaev layup early in the second half and lead for the first two minutes of the frame before a Scotty Pippen Jr. three put the Commodores back ahead, followed immediately by an Aaron Nesmith three on the next possession.
Fouls continued to plague Austin Peay State University into the second half. Hinson quickly picked up No. 4 early in the half, and soon was joined on the precipice of fouling out by Butler and Reginald Gee before the halfway point. With the wing and backcourt rotations in dire foul trouble, APSU head coach Matt Figger was forced to turn to different combinations when key rotational pieces needed to be protected.
The Commodores would never trail again, but it was still a one-possession game as late as the 10:44 mark following another Abaev layup to make the game 57-54 in favor of the hosts. Unfortunately, the Govs would go cold down the stretch, missing 10 of their final 14 shots and committing six turnovers following the Abaev bucket.
As a Power Five program could be expected to do, Vanderbilt allowed its size to dictate the flow of the game in the paint, to great success. The Commodores outscored the Governors 44-12 on points in the paint, although the teams each scored seven on second-chance opportunities.
Adams led the Govs with 25 points in his fourth collegiate game; no Governor freshman has scored 25 or more against a Power Five opponent in at least a decade. He’s the first Austin Peay State University freshman with a 25-point game of any kind since Terry Taylor poured in 31 in the 2018 CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals against UIC.
Junior Terry Taylor scored in double figures for the 60th time in his 71-game Austin Peay State University career.
The Govs are now 0-3 to start the road schedule for the fourth year in a row.
Butler finished with a season-high seven assists.
Abaev just missed his first career double-double, pulling down nine rebounds to go with nine points.
Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger
On the first half
“I don’t know what else he could do. He stepped to the forefront and showed he was ready.”
On focus ahead of Saturday
Up Next for APSU Men’s Baskeball
At long last, the Govs return to the friendly confines of the Dunn Center for the next two contests, with Southeastern Louisiana up first at 7:00pm, Saturday. Hopefully, the party from the football regular season finale can spill into the Dunn Center that night.
TopicsAntwuan Butler, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Dunn Center, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Chris Porter-Bunton, Commodores, Eli Abaev, Evan Hinson, Governors, Govs, Jordyn Adams, Lamonte Ware, Louisiana, Matt Figger, Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Nashville TN, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Reginald Gee, Scotty Pippen Jr., SEC, Southeastern Conference, Terry Taylor, Tulsa, Vanderbilt, Will Triggs
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