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APSU Men’s Basketball falls to Vanderbilt, 90-72

 

APSU Men's BasketballNashville, 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.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball loses ground down the stretch in 80-72 loss to Vanderbilt, Wednesday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball loses ground down the stretch in 80-72 loss to Vanderbilt, Wednesday night. (APSU Sports Information)

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.

The Difference

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.

 

APSU Notably

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.

Milestone Watch
Taylor passed Lamonte Ware for 23rd all-time in field goal attempts, Howard Jackson for 13th in rebounds, Will Triggs for 11th in blocked shots and Chris Porter-Bunton for 25th in made three-pointers.

Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger

On the first half
“I felt like we came in ready to play. We gave good fight in the first half and we built a nine-point lead. But the last media [timeout] of the half mirrored the last media at Tulsa. We couldn’t finish and we couldn’t sustain over the last three minutes. It’s a lack of experience for some, but it’s a lack of maturity and knowing how to win [for others].”

On Adams
“I don’t know what else he could do. He stepped to the forefront and showed he was ready.”

On focus ahead of Saturday
“We’ve got to learn how to keep competing, especially in the second half. Our defense in the second half hasn’t been very good. A little of that has to do with opponents figuring us out, and a little of that has to do with the bench not quite being where I want it to be yet. So guys are playing too many minutes and we start wearing down and can’t get stops when we need them.”

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.


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