Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team made a huge early lead stand up in a 71-56 victory against Tennessee State to close out a four-game homestand on a high note Saturday night.
Austin Peay State University (9-6, 5-4 Ohio Valley Conference) moved back above .500 in league play, while visiting Tennessee State (3-12, 2-10) dropped its seventh straight road contest.
This game opened with a fairly common theme—the Govs scored, then Tennessee State didn’t, and then the Govs went back down and scored again. Over the first 11 minutes, Austin Peay State University built a 21-5 lead, with six points coming from Jordyn Adams and five from Terry Taylor.
For a moment, the Tigers looked like they were mounting a challenge midway through the half, cutting the deficit to 12 and forcing an Austin Peay State University timeout at the 6:43 mark. But out of the timeout, the APSU Govs scored 16 of the half’s final 18 points to take a 42-16 lead into the break.
Such a lead might make other teams let up ever-so-slightly, but after late-game scoreless swoons against Jacksonville State and Belmont, the Govs needed to make a point and close this one out strong. Tennessee State had other ideas; deploying a devastating press, the Tigers coerced the Govs into 17 second-half turnovers. And when the Governors got a shot up, for the first 12 minutes it was likely to be a miss, as Austin Peay State University started the second half at a less-than-robust 3-for-14 from the floor.
By the six-minute mark, the Tigers had cut the deficit to 10 and the Govs were in, if not real danger, then certainly in need of a spark. When Ravel Moody swished home a three and forced a timeout at the 5:32 mark, the alarm bells began to sound.
When Mark Freeman fouled out for Tennessee State with 4:49 to go, a large part of the Tiger attack, offensively and defensively, went with him. Without their floor general, the Tigers got tight and the Governor offense finally got some second-half rhythm.
The Govs closed the game on a 6-0 run, hitting four of their final five shots from the floor. Four Govs finished in double figures, led by Taylor with 18.
The Govs crushed the Tigers, 46-26, in rebounding. Taylor (10 boards) and Elton Walker (career-high 12) became the first Austin Peay duo since Taylor and Eli Abaev (March 5th, 2020) to record double-digit boards in the same game. The Govs also crushed Tennessee State 15-2 in second-chance points.
Austin Peay State University has now won three straight home games against Tennessee State for the first time since 2010-12.
The APSU Govs have now hit a three in 600 consecutive games dating back to 2002.
Austin Peay State University’s 17 fast-break points were its most against a Division I opponent this season.
Walker led the Govs in rebounding for the first time in his Austin Peay career.
The APSU Govs are 6-0 this season when outshooting their opponent and 6-0 when holding their opponent below 45 percent shooting from the floor.
Over the last seven games, the Govs are plus-41 in rebounding margin (average plus-5.9).
The APSU Govs committed 10 more turnovers than Tennessee State (22-12) but outscored the Tigers 22-19 in points off turnover.
Taylor finished with a season-high three blocked shots, his 10th appearance as a Gov with three or more blocks.
Austin Peay State University has won 50 games all-time against Tennessee State.
After a 15-point performance against Tennessee State, Adams is averaging 13.8 points over his last four games.
[320eft]The APSU Govs have swept the season series against the Tigers for the first time since 2007.
Milestone Watch—Career: Terry Taylor tied Anthony Davis (2001-05) for second all-time with 115 career starts. He also passed Howard Wright (1967-70) for fourth all-time in field goal attempts at 1,601.
Milestone Watch—OVC: Taylor passed Marcus Brown (Murray State, 1992-96) and Jim McDaniels (Western Kentucky, 1968-71) for eighth all-time in league history with 2,240 points.
Coaching Quotables with APSU head coach Matt Figger
On the half disparity
“We played great in the first half; maybe the best first half we played the entire year. In the second half, everything I said in the locker room went in one ear and out the other. I said they were going to press the whole half; our mental focus, our discipline, went completely out the window.”
On letting the Govs play through it early in the half
“I wasn’t going to bail them out. I let them sit there and take their medicine. If you put yourselves in that situation, deal with it.”
“That’s my frustration. We’ve got to have some leadership and I have to let those guys figure it out.”
Tennessee State 56, Austin Peay 71
Next Up Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball
Monday heralds a four-game road trip for the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team, beginning with a visit to SIU Edwardsville to make up an earlier postponement. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00pm CT from Edwardsville.