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HomeSportsAustin Peay State University Men's Basketball travels to SIU Edwardsville, Thursday

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball travels to SIU Edwardsville, Thursday

Austin Peay (18-9 | 12-2 OVC) at SIU Edwardsville (7-20 | 4-10 OVC)

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 | 8:00pm CT
Edwardsville, IL | Vadalabene Center

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – In control of its own destiny, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team will take to the road for three of its last four games, beginning with a trip to Edwardsville to take on SIU Edwardsville in a 7:00pm, Thursday, contest at the Vadalabene Center.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball begins final road trips Thursday at SIU Edwardsville. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball begins final road trips Thursday at SIU Edwardsville. (APSU Sports Information)

The Govs handled SIUE with ease in their last meeting, but the Cougars are in a fight for the last two seeds in the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference Tournament field and will be a formidable opponent with their backs pressed against the wall.

There’s a lot of NBA pedigree in Edwardsville; in addition to APSU Hall of Famer Bubba Wells’ time in the NBA, head coach Brian Barone is the son of former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Tony Barone, while Lamar and Shamar Wright are the twin sons of the late Lorenzen Wright, a longtime NBA veteran who played for the elder Barone in his native Memphis.

About the SIU Edwardsville Cougars

Since toppling Belmont on the opening night of league play in Nashville, it’s been feast or famine for SIU Edwardsville. The Cougars come in with four wins in the OVC, three against teams firmly in the league tournament field. They’ve also lost three of four against UT Martin, Tennessee Tech and Southeast Missouri–the teams SIU Edwardsville is battling at the bottom of the league.

SIUE’s successes come based largely on its willingness to defend. First-year head coach Brian Barone has the Cougars among the top half of the league in field goal percentage defense (43.7 percent) and trending upward in turnovers forced.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that offensively, the Cougars haven’t been able to put together anything on a consistent basis. They don’t score poorly, per se; 67.1 points is by no means the worst in the league. It just comes in fits and starts. Two games below 70 against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State, followed by an 84-point night against Southeast Missouri.

Three straight games below 60 to end January and start February before administering an 83-75 win against Eastern Kentucky. Zeke Moore and Cam Williams, who both scored in double figures the first time these teams met and are the only Cougars averaging double-figure scoring, can use a reliable third option.

Sometimes it’s Shamar Wright, who had 11 before fouling out against the Govs; sometimes it’s Tyresse Williford, who was held to two points in the first meeting. Sometimes it’s no one, and that’s when SIUE is in real trouble.


APSU Men’s Basketball’s Last Game Against SIUE

The Govs took care of business when the Cougars visited Clarksville, January 30th, crushing SIU Edwardsville in a wire-to-wire 82-58 affair. Five Govs scored in double figures, with Jordyn Adams leading the way at 17 points . Eli Abaev posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and the Govs collectively held the Cougars to a sparse 41.8 percent shooting from the floor.

Keep An Eye On

A win would be Austin Peay State University’s 11th straight against the Cougars, the Govs longest active streak against an Ohio Valley Conference opponent.

Taylor is now the nation’s ninth-leading scorer at 22.0 points per game; no Gov has averaged better than 22 points per game for a season since Nick Stapleton (23.1 ppg) in 2001-02, which was the last season a Gov finished top-10 in Division I in scoring; Stapleton finished seventh nationally.

Since the start of league play, Austin Peay State University is controlling the glass and maintaining possession–two keys to league success. The Govs are at plus-5.8 in average rebound margin and plus-3.6 in turnover margin since OVC play began, January 2nd.

Taylor is one of six active Division I players who has shot better than 50 percent from the floor (54.2), 35 percent from three (35.4) and 70 percent at the line (71.9) for his career.

Since the Georgia contest, Austin Peay State University’s first with Carlos Paez and Antwuan Butler manning backcourt duties as dual-threat ball-handlers and distributors, Austin Peay State University’s ball-possession has taken off, coinciding with a 12-3 record. The duo is posting a 3.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio when in the starting lineup together, committing a paltry 2.2 turnovers per game in a combined 54 minutes per game.

A win would be the APSU Govs fifth straight on the road against SIU Edwardsville and give Austin Peay State University five road wins for the third consecutive season.

Taylor is the only Division I player in the nation currently leading his league in scoring and rebounding, at 22.0 points and 10.6 boards, respectively. He’s also one of four qualified Division I players averaging better than 20 points and 10 rebounds per contest this season.

When Paez has been the third wheel, the Govs have been tough to beat. In Austin Peay State University’s 18 wins, Paez is averaging 9.1 points on 44.9 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from three, handing out 4.3 assists to just 1.2 turnovers. In losses, Paez is at 4.3 points on 21.9 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three, with an assist-to-turnover ratio barely above 2-to-1.

Milestone Watch
Terry Taylor needs two points to become the second player in program history with 1800 points and 800 rebounds for his career, joining Tom Morgan. He needs a dozen field goals to become the sixth player in program history to reach 700 career field goals. With seven points, he would become the third junior to reach 600 points in a season, while Adams needs just 17 points to become the third-highest scoring freshman in program history; with 36 points, he could become the third freshman in program history with 500 points in his first season.

APSU Tickets

Governors Courtside Seating is winding down 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 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. All-session packages for the 2020 OVC Basketball Tournament are now available through the Austin Peay ticket office for $80.00.


Austin Peay State University 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 APSU 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.


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