Austin Peay (4-4, 0-0) at West Virginia (7-1, 0-0)
Thursday, December 12th, 2019 | 6:00pm
Morgantown, WV | WVU Coliseum
Clarksville, TN – Another high-major foe awaits Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team in Morgantown, West Virginia when the Govs battle the Mountaineers of West Virginia in a 6:00pm, Thursday, December 12th contest.
A daunting gauntlet of road opponents gets no easier as the APSU Govs roll into Morgantown to take on a Mountaineer outfit which just suffered its first loss to St. John’s last week at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to that, West Virginia had rolled through the early part of the schedule, handing Wichita State and Northern Iowa what remains their season’s lone losses. The Mountaineers have been stout at home, winning all four games by an average of 12 points.
With points sure to be at a premium against the habitually defensive-minded Mountaineers, the Govs will need someone to step up alongside Terry Taylor and Jordyn Adams, the two most consistent scoring threats in the Austin Peay State University lineup. Eli Abaev, Antwuan Butler, Sita Conteh, Sam DeVault and Carlos Paez have all scored in double figures at points in the season, with Paez in particular heating up the last couple of weeks; a repeat performance, along with matching West Virginia’s defensive intensity, will be key if the Govs wish to upset the Mountaineers.
About the West Virginia Mountaineers
By this point in the Bob Huggins Experience, everyone knows what they’re getting from a Huggins-led team. The 38-year veteran, who has spent the bulk of his career at Cincinnati and West Virginia, has led his program’s to nine Sweet Sixteens and two Final Fours, winning 21 conference regular season and tournament titles on the strength of lock-down, frenetic defending and aggressive rebounding.
Check (63.9 ppg allowed, 36.4 percent opposing field goal percentage) and check (plus-7.6 rebounding margin in 2019-20) for this season’s Mountaineers.
While four Mountaineers boast double-figure scoring averages, it’s the Twin Tower approach with 6-10 Derek Culver and 6-9 Oscar Tshiebwe that the Govs will need to solve first. That duo is one of only seven sets of teammates nationwide each averaging better than 9.0 rebounds per game.
They’re set up with good looks by the steady ballhandling of Miles McBrdie, whose 3.25-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks 17th nationally; he also averages a block and a steal per contest.
Last Time Against West Virginia
This is the first meeting between the Govs and Mountaineers in program history; Austin Peay State University hasn’t played a Big 12 foe since Oklahoma State, November 29th, 2017 in Stillwater.
Keep An Eye On
The Govs will see an old face on Thursday night in Ryan McIntyre, who served as Austin Peay State University’s Director of Basketball Operations for two seasons before returning to his alma mater as a video coordinator.
A win would be Austin Peay State University’s first road win in 2019-20.
The APSU Govs look to snap a seven-game road losing streak which dates back to last season.
Taylor leads all NCAA Division I juniors in career field goals (540) and is second in points, scoring average, total rebounds, rebound average and double-doubles. He is the Ohio Valley Conference’s active leader in all six categories.
Paez was perfect from the floor (6-for-6) and from three (4-for-4) against North Florida, finishing with 16 points and leading the Govs with seven assists, a career-best. According to CollegeBasketballReference.com’s Play Index, he’s the first Division I player this season to post 100 percent showings from the floor (minimum six attempts) and from deep (minimum four attempts), and the first player to have those percentages in a game with seven or more assists since Eastern Illinois’ Terrell Lewis (February 12th, 2015 against the Govs). In their four wins, the Govs are hitting 53.5 percent (137-for-256) from the floor; in losses, the Govs are hitting just 40.2 percent from the floor.
Taylor needs two blocked shots to pass Zac Schlader for ninth, four rebounds to pass Adrian Henning for 12th, 13 shot attempts to pass Jim Beshears for 18th and four free-throws to pass Lenny Manning for 29th. He also needs one three-pointer to become the 23rd player in APSU history with 100 threes in his Austin Peay State University career.
Governors Courtside Seating returns for the 2019-20 season. Fans can contact the APSU Athletics Ticket Office for courtside seating availability and pricing. The VIPeay Hoops Experience, available to Black Tie Monocle Society members and above, also returns for 2019-20 after a successful debut last season.
For more information on joining the Governors in the Dunn Center this winter, to secure season tickets or to become involved with the Monocle Society, call 931.221.PEAY.
APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay State University’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB). Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on the ESPN+ app; the West Virginia game will be available for free on wvusports.com.