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APSU Men’s Basketball defeats Eastern Kentucky on the road, 94-79

 

APSU Men's BasketballRichmond, KY – At the 4:13 mark in the first half, Terry Taylor entered history. That was the moment when Taylor, as he so often has during the course of a storied Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball career, collected an offensive rebound, gathered himself, and rose up for a dunk. He’s done it a hundred times as a Gov, but this one was different.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball senior Terry Taylor had 30 points and 14 rebounds in win at Eastern Kentucky Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball senior Terry Taylor had 30 points and 14 rebounds in win at Eastern Kentucky Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

This was the one that immortalized him, the moment he passed Charles “Bubba” Wells and took sole possession of the Austin Peay career scoring record with 2,268 points.

And it came as part of one of the most complete efforts the Govs have put forth as a team this season, in a 94-79 victory from McBrayer Arena to hand Eastern Kentucky just its second league loss this season.

Remember early in the season when the Govs weren’t hitting at a particularly robust clip from beyond the arc?

APSU Men's Basketball - Jordyn Adams. (APSU Sports Information)That ended about six games ago, and the opening 10 or so minutes against the Colonels proved to be no different for the Govs, who hit six treys in the first 10:17 of the contest, with Jordyn Adams knocking down all three of his early attempts.

Another early three-point barrage helped Austin Peay State University set the tone offensively, but it was a solid defensive effort against Eastern Kentucky’s constant ball movement which began to help the Govs pull away; the Colonels also were pretty adroit from beyond the arc, hitting six threes of their own at a 40 percent clip in the first half.

2020-2021 APSU Men's Basketball - Tai'Reon Joseph. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)But the APSU Govs could not be denied, and Taylor’s milestone seemed to push them over the top late in the half, helping Austin Peay end on an 18-11 run to take a 53-38 lead into the locker room.

Seems safe, right?

Not so fast. As the Colonels proved in the first half of the January 2nd meeting between these two teams, their stifling defense can lead to opportunities on the other end and they hit threes better than their 33.6 percent season mark would suggest. And so it was that Eastern Kentucky hit five threes in the first 3:46 in the second half, cutting the deficit to three when Michael Moreno hit a three at the 16:14 mark.

A momentum-sapping run by the home team in a hostile environment is not an ideal way to go into the first media timeout of the second half.

 


 

However, Austin Peay State University did get a piece of good news during that opening barrage by Eastern Kentucky—Tre King, the Colonels’ in-all-likelihood All-OVC pick, picked up his third foul 18:37 mark and had to hit the bench.

APSU Men's Basketball - Alex Woodard. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Without King, the Colonels had a harder time checking Taylor on the interior—as though his 22 first-half points weren’t enough to contend with. But with the Colonels forced to sell out on him, that left more room to maneuver for his supporting cast. Like Tai’Reon Joseph, who scored all six of his points in a 1:08 burst to give the momentum back to the APSU Govs. And Elton Walker, whose three-point play at the 12:56 mark pushed the lead back into double figures. Or Alec Woodard, who hit a timely three right at the 10-minute mark.

So good are the Colonels, so talented are they offensively and stingy defensively, that a 15-point win hardly sells the drama that ensued down the stretch. A three, a steal, and a three, and they would have been right back in the thick of things. But the Govs got stops when they had to, buckets when they could, and put the Colonels away on their home court for a big conference win.

The Difference

Shooting. Eastern Kentucky was good all over (43.5 percent from the floor, 41.9 percent from three, 66.7 percent at the line); the APSU Governors were outstanding all over (53.7 percent from the floor, 57.1 percent from three, 76.9 percent from the stripe). Extra shoutout to Austin Peay State University for hauling down more defensive rebounds (30) than Eastern Kentucky had total (28).

 


APSU Notably

The win is Austin Peay State University’s first at Eastern Kentucky since 2017.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball - Carlos Paez. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Informationo)The APSU Govs are averaging 18.7 points off turnovers in the last three games.

Woodard is hitting 42.9 percent (6-for-14) from three over the last three games.

Austin Peay State University is hitting 9.0 threes per night over their last seven games, hitting a 40.9 percent 96-for-154) clip over that time. Against the Colonels, the Govs 57.1 percent three-point mark was a season-high, and their 12 threes equaled a season-best.

Adams notched a career-high with eight assists against the Colonels.

The Govs moved to 8-0 this season when outshooting their opponent and 8-0 when holding the opponent below 45 percent from the floor.

Carlos Paez is averaging 11.1 points and 5.4 assists over his last eight games.

The APSU Govs are averaging 13.7 fast-break points over their last nine outings.

APSU Men's Basketball - Terry Taylor (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Mike Peake continues his recent run of hot shooting; the sophomore is at 66.1 percent (39-for-59) from the floor over the last nine games.

The APSU Govs have now won four straight road games for the first time in over a year.

Paez has been hot from deep of late, hitting 51.3 percent (20-for-39) from deep over his last nine games.

Milestone Watch—Career: Terry Taylor is now at 2,285 career points—how far out of reach he can put Austin Peay State University’s scoring record is now merely a formality based on how long the Govs can extend the season.

Milestone Watch—OVC: Taylor didn’t just pass Wells on the all-time Austin Peay State University scoring list; he also passed the APSU legend for sixth all-time in the OVC in scoring.

Coaching Quotables with APSU head coach Matt Figger

On the win
“I’m really pleased with how we came out focused and prepared. They’re a little depleted, so it is what it is sometimes but I’m very proud of how we fought. Eastern came out and gave us a punch to start the second half. Beating these guys is a big win for us.”

On Terry Taylor
“We have a great relationship. Terry invested in us and believed in us from day one, and I believed in him. There’s a reason our four years together have been pretty good. I knew I had a special kid from the very first workout I had with him his first summer.”

 

Box Score

Austin Peay 94, Eastern Kentucky 79

  1 2 F
Austin Peay 53 41 94
Eastern Kentucky 38 41 79

Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball

A short hour trek tomorrow will bring the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team to Morehead, where they’ll prepare for a scheduled Saturday, February 6th duel with Morehead State. Tip off is at 6:00pm CT. The last time the Govs and Eagles got together in Morehead, Taylor poured in a career-high 42 points as a precocious sophomore.


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