Austin Peay (6-4 | 2-2 OVC) at Eastern Illinois (5-5 | 2-1 OVC)
Saturday, January 9th, 2021 | 4:00pm CT
Charleston, IL | Lantz Arena
Clarksville, TN – An always-dangerous Eastern Illinois side will welcome the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team to Charleston for a Saturday, January 9th, 2021 contest at Lantz Arena. The tip-off is at 4:00pm CT.
The Govs visit Charleston aiming to move above .500 in the league; standing in their way is a tough Panthers team coached by Jay Spoonhour who, in his ninth season, is now the longest-tenured coach in the Ohio Valley Conference and leading a stacked veteran team whose main rotation is comprised of six seniors, a graduate transfer and a junior.
About the Eastern Illinois Panthers
This matchup will feature the top scorers in the Ohio Valley Conference, with Terry Taylor (19.5 ppg) and Josiah Wallace (17.9 ppg) both set to light up the scoreboard.
But the Panthers and Govs are more than just the talents of their dynamic scorers; both lineups feature plenty of complementary pieces who can affect a game.
The Panthers 36.6 percent shooting mark from three ranks second in the OVC and feature the talents of KaShawn Charles (41.0 percent on 39 attempts) and Marvin Johnson (38.5 percent on 26 attempts) in addition to NCAA record-holder Mack Smith and his 90 straight games with a three.
In three games last season, the Panthers averaged 5.3 threes per game; keeping them at that number rather than the 6.7 threes they’ve averaged over their last five games will be a key to victory.
Johnson’s ascent to the starting lineup has coincided with some of Eastern Illinois’ best ball of the season; in his six games, the Panthers are 4-2 with a positive turnover margin and a 39.8 percent mark from beyond the arc, with Johnson averaging 14.8 points on 46.2 percent shooting, with 6.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals per night.
While Terry Taylor has enjoyed great success on the glass against the Panthers in the past (11.4 rpg in eight career games against Eastern Illinois), George Dixon remains in place in Charleston after averaging 8.8 boards per game in his All-Newcomer season a year ago and has been buffered by the addition of Siena graduate transfer Sammy Friday IV and his 4.7 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game.
APSU’s Last Game Against Eastern Illinois
Austin Peay raced out to a 17-0 lead to leave no doubt in a 76-65 win against Eastern Illinois, March 5th, 2020, in the quarterfinal round of the Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. The win avenged an earlier loss in Charleston to the Panthers and was paced by outstanding ball-movement, with a season-high 22 assists from the APSU Govs and a 27-point, 12-rebound day from recently-minted OVC Player of the Year Terry Taylor to earn the win.
Austin Peay State University chased the Panthers off the three-point arc; despite their status as one of the nation’s premier three-point teams, Eastern Illinois finished 4-for-22 from deep to end its 2019-20 campaign.
Keep An Eye On
A win would be Austin Peay State University’s first in Charleston since 2018.
A loss would give the APSU Govs a three-game losing streak in Charleston for the first time since 1997-2003.
Reginald Gee is averaging 12.2 points over his last five outings.
Taylor’s next double-double will give him 50 in his Austin Peay State University career, making him one of 16 Division I players in the last decade with 50 career double-doubles.
The last time Austin Peay State University put two players in double figures on the glass was in the March 5th OVC Quarterfinal matchup against the Panthers, with Taylor (12) and Eli Abaev (10) controlling the glass.
The last time three Govs reached double figures in rebounds was against… Eastern Illinois in 2011 (Tyshwan Edmondson 11, Will Triggs 11, and John Fraley 10).
Milestone Watch—Career: Terry Taylor’s next start would give him 111 in his Austin Peay State University career, tying him for fourth all-time with Chris Horton (2012-16). He also needs four free-throws to pass Trenton Hassell (1998-01) for ninth all-time.
APSU Govs in the time of COVID-19
For the 2020-21 season, Austin Peay State University athletics will allow approximately 35 percent capacity in the Dunn Center for home basketball events. There will be no lower bowl seating for fans during the season. The lower level will be limited to players, coaches, and game-day support staff only.
Seats will be assigned to create a buffer between groups to ensure social distancing is maintained. Students seating will be located in sections AA-BB for both men’s and women’s games. Masks or facial coverings are required to enter the Dunn Center. They must remain in place at all times unless eating or drinking. Failure to comply with any of these measures, by fans or media, could result in immediate expulsion from the arena.
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.