Estero, FL – Over the final 26 minutes of play in Friday’s contest against Abilene Christian, Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team outscored the Wildcats 61-48.
Unfortunately, the first 14 minutes did not go quite as smoothly.
A tough start on both ends of the floor saw Austin Peay State University dig a hole too deep to get out of in an 80-72 defeat to close the Governors stay at the #BeachBubble Gulf Coast Showcase.
The APSU Govs concluded their stay in the Sunshine State with a 2-1 start to the 2020-21 season.
It simply could not have gone more disastrously to start for Austin Peay. Abilene Christian hit 13 of its first 20 shots; after a 3-for-5 start to the game, the Govs missed their next eight shots while also committing five turnovers. The Wildcats led by double-digits at the 12-minute mark in the first half; with just over six minutes to go in the half, the Austin Peay deficit was 21 points.
It was by no means beautiful. But it also meant the Govs had nowhere to go but up. After going into halftime trailing by 17, the APSU Govs emerged from the locker room with a renewed intensity and slowly began chipping away at the Abilene Christian lead. Get a bucket, get a stop. After a Mike Peake jumper with 9:23 to play—a jumper that made the Govs 13-of-16 from the floor to start the second half—the deficit had been cut to 11.
It would largely stay there the rest of the way. A Terry Taylor three with 16 seconds left cut the Wildcat lead back to single-digits for the first time since early in the first half, but that would be as close to a comeback as the Govs were able to get.
The turnover margin itself was not particularly stark; the APSU Govs committed 20 and the Wildcats were on the hook for 15. But Abilene Christian posted a dozen steals compared to just two for the Govs and turned their turnovers into 22 points, compared to just 15 for Austin Peay State University.
The loss is the first for Austin Peay State University against Abilene Christian since 1959; the Govs fall to 0-2 all-time against the Wildcats. It also marked Austin Peay State University’s first loss to a Southland foe since December 28th, 2015 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
For the tournament, Taylor averaged 22.7 points and 12.7 rebounds on 61.2 percent (30-for-49) shooting. He now has five straight games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds dating back to the end of last season, with Friday’s game his 50th with double-digit rebounds in his APSU career—in 103 games.
The Govs struggled from beyond the arc this week; through three games, Austin Peay State University’s three-point shooting stands at 28.6 percent (14-for-49) after a 5-for-17 outing Friday.
Peake and Paez both reached double figures in scoring for the first time this season.
Milestone Watch: Terry Taylor passed Drake Reed for third all-time in scoring at 1,995 points; he’s just five away from becoming the third player in school history with 2,000 career points. He also moved into the all-time top-10 with 456 free-throw attempts.
Coaching Quotables with APSU Head Coach Matt Figger
On the second half
“I was pleased we didn’t quit. I’m not pleased with how we executed, I’m not pleased with how lackadaisical we were with the ball at times. We had 54 turnovers here in three days.”
On the start of the game
“I didn’t feel like we had dead legs; I feel like they came out and just punched us in the mouth.”
On lessons moving forward
“We have to learn how to be humble. We have to learn to take a different mindset into practice, because we could have been having this same conversation last night.”
Up Next for APSU Men’s Basketball
On the schedule it says a December 5th contest with Transylvania is on deck for Austin Peay State University men’s basketball, in the time of COVID-19 Coronavirus, there is always a chance that will not come to fruition or something else will pop up first. Be sure to monitor LetsGoPeay.com and follow @AustinPeayMBB on Twitter for the latest updates.