Austin Peay (12-7 | 6-0 OVC) vs. Tennessee State (12-7 | 4-2 OVC)
Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 | 8:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – It’s been awhile, but the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team is finally back in its rightful place–atop the Ohio Valley Conference and back at home to take on Tennessee State in Thursday night contest at the Dunn Center following the women’s game as the second half of a doubleheader against the Tigers.
This weekend will be Austin Peay’s greatest challenge to date in OVC play; with Tennessee State and Belmont visiting, it will mark the first time the Govs have played back-to-back opponents above .500 during league play and the first time they’ve done so at all since December 3rd-18th.
Fortunately, the Govs have the consensus best player in the league in Terry Taylor and the top two freshmen by nearly any conceivable metric in Jordyn Adams and Carlos Paez; the first-year duo have earned eight of 11 Freshman of the Week honors handed out by the league office this season, with Adams picking up his sixth after a 31-point outburst at UT Martin last Saturday.
Thursday’s game will feature a Governor bobblehead and College of Business Monocles Up sweatshirt giveaway. It’s also Throwback Thursday; tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount and to guarantee your bobblehead by visiting www.letsgopeay.com/buytickets and entering the promo code TBT at checkout.
About the Tennessee State Tigers
Second-year coach Brian Collins has Tennessee State playing some of its best ball in recent seasons thanks to the development of a deep unit capable of scoring with anyone. Tennessee State ranks among the nation’s top-100 in scoring offense (75.8, 80th), field goal percentage (48.1 percent, 16th) and three-point field goal percentage (35.7, 72nd), ranking second in the Ohio Valley Conference in the latter two categories.
Paired with robust shot-blocking (4.5 bpg, tied for the league lead) and rebounding (plus-6.5 rebounding margin, 32nd-nationally), the Tigers have the tools to be a problem for anyone, the Govs included.
Tennessee State has two distinct weaknesses: ball control and foul trouble. While the latter can be chalked up to a physical style sure to result in lots of whistles on occasion, the former can’t be explained away through outside sources. Yet even those weaknesses haven’t always spelled doom for Tennessee State; the Tigers are 4-4 when committing 18 or more turnovers this season, and have averaged just 12.7 over the last three games.
However, if Tennessee State is losing the turnover battle, its in trouble; the Tigers are at a minus-4.6 turnover margin in their seven losses this season.
The sum of Tennessee State’s talent is greater than its parts, so even if the Tigers are without Wesley Harris, who has missed two games due to a finger injury, there’s plenty of talent on hand to pick up the slack. Keep an eye on Michael Littlejohn, a sharpshooter among the nation’s top-40 in threes per game (2.9, 34th) and three-point percentage (43.7 percent, 18th); he’ll no doubt try to exploit an Austin Peay State University defense surrendering threes at a 37.7 percent mark in 2019-20.
APSU Govs Last Game Against Tennessee State
All five starters reached double figures when the APSU Govs cruised to an 89-74 win in the Dunn Center, January 24th, 2019. A foul-plagued event that saw Tennessee State whistled for 25 fouls, the Govs relied on the perimeter prowess of Zach Glotta and Jarrett Givens and the midrange game of Chris Porter-Bunton–the trio led the Govs with 15 points apiece, combining to hit 14-of-26 from the floor and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Austin Peay State University earned the win despite surrendering 50 percent shooting marks from the floor and from three to the Tigers; it marked the Govs first win against an opponent who hit at least half their shots from the floor and from beyond the arc in nearly a decade.
Keep An Eye On
A win would give Austin Peay State University an 11-game home winning streak, its longest since an 11-gamer in 2007-08
Taylor is the only Division I player in the nation currently leading his league in scoring and rebounding, at 22.7 points and 9.2 boards, respectively.
The APSU Govs are averaging 17.0 assists over the last six games.
At a combined 39.0 points per game, Taylor and Jordyn Adams are the nation’s No. 3 scoring duo.
A win would make the Govs 7-0 in league play for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Paez (seventh, 3.27) and Antwuan Butler (96th, 1.94) are the only OVC teammates among the nation’s top-100 in assist-to-turnover ratio. Paez is at a remarkable 4.0-to-1 since joining the starting lineup nine games ago.
A win would be Austin Peay State University’s first seven-game winning streak since an 11-gamer from Dec. 20, 2006-Jan. 29, 2007.
Freshman Alec Woodard has hit 9-for-14 from beyond the arc over the last five games.
Since league play began, Austin Peay State University is averaging a robust plus-6.0 rebounding margin and a plus-3.3 turnover margin.
Taylor needs nine points to pass Anthony Davis (2001-05) for ninth all-time in scoring. He needs seven field goals to pass James Williams for eighth, and seven rebounds to pass both Tommy Brown (1988-91) and John Fraley (2008-11) for sixth all-time.
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. You can also purchase tickets online at www.LetsGoPeay.com/buytickets; be sure to access the new 360-degree view of the Dunn Center when purchasing tickets.
APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’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.