Morehead, KY – In a wild back-and-forth battle that needed overtime to ultimately settle things, Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team found itself unfortunate to be on the wrong end of a 75-74 decision against Morehead State, Saturday, from Johnson Arena.
Austin Peay State University dropped its first true road outing since December 8th at Murray State, falling to 11-7 overall (7-4 in league play).
Morehead State keeps its winning streak rolling to 11 games, improving the Eagles to 15-6 on the season and 12-2 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
If the first half did nothing else, it confirmed that Terry Taylor really likes playing at Johnson Arena. In his first appearance here as a sophomore, he scored a career-high 42 points; Saturday he scored 10 of Austin Peay’s first 14 and 16 in the first half, on a variety of spin-moves, hooks, and rainbow jumpers that have become his calling card.
Taylor was electric in the first half, and Austin Peay State University raced out to a 14-2 lead with him as the catalyst. But as Morehead State’s defense clamped down around the same time it started getting some offensive rhythm, and the Eagles were able to hinder the rest of the Govs, limiting everyone except Taylor to 31.6 percent shooting in the first half.
After an early hole, the Eagles clawed back and got within a bucket at the 4:23 mark, but a 7-0 run capped by a Jordyn Adams three—his second of five on the day—ensured the visitors would enter halftime with a 30-24 lead.
Adams and Alec Woodard would open the second half with three-pointers to extend Austin Peay’s lead to eight, but the Eagles began chipping away at the lead and tied the game on a Ta’lon Cooper three at the 12:40 mark. For the ensuing six minutes, the sides engaged in a chess match befitting two of the league’s top teams. The stars stepped up over this stretch for the Govs—Taylor posted six points, including a clear-out dunk, and Adams added five.
A Mike Peake three-point play with 5:12 to play put the Govs up by five, the largest lead for either team in over nine minutes, and injected life into the visitors. But the Eagles had an answer, willing themselves into the paint time and again down the stretch and tying it up with just over a minute to go in regulation on a Cooper jumper.
The Rutledge, Georgia native hit one of the biggest shots of his young career, sinking the tying basket with under a second to play to force overtime.
The extra session began promisingly for Austin Peay State University, on an Adams three and a Taylor hoop-and-harm to go up six with 3:50 to go.
A D?Von Cooper three at the 3:34 mark made it a one-possession game once again; Morehead State wouldn’t hit another shot from the floor after that either, but they went 5-for-6 at the line over that time. The Govs couldn’t counter that, missing three shots and committing a turnover over that time.
With under a second to go, Taylor was fouled and sent to the line for two with the APSU Govs down two. He sank the first but the second caught just a little too much rim and glanced off, breaking the hearts of the Govs and preserving Morehead State’s winning streak.
Rebounding. The Eagles controlled the glass at a 40-24 clip and nearly doubled the Governors up on second-chance points (21-11).
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Austin Peay State University against the Eagles, handing Austin Peay its first loss to Morehead State since 2017 and its first in Morehead since 2016.
Carlos Paez is now at 50.0 percent (21-for-42) from three over his last 10 games, while Woodard is at 50.0 percent (8-for-16) over his last four.
Adams put up a 20-point outing for the first time since February 29th, 2020 at Murray State. He’s averaging 12.8 points over his last eight since returning from injury.
After eight more threes against Morehead State, Austin Peay State University is hitting 8.9 per night over their last eight games, at a 40.8 percent (71-for-174) clip.
Milestone Watch—OVC: Terry Taylor became the sixth player in OVC history with 2,300 career points. He’s four points from passing Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky, 2015-19) for fifth all-time.
Coaching Quotables with APSU head coach Matt Figger
On the rebounding differential
“If they missed it, they got the offensive rebound and we got whipped by our guards not boxing out Skyelar Potter, which we showed them on film he would go to the glass. You have to keep them from getting an offensive rebound to win the game.”
“I liked how we came out and competed and played defensively in early on, but in the second half they put us at a point where we couldn’t guard the dribble. When we’ve lost, teams stop running offense and just start putting their heads down and driving us. I’m not happy we didn’t make the stops we needed to make.”
Austin Peay 74, Morehead State 75
Next Up for Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball
A four-game road trip that feels like it just started last Monday (because it did) will come to an end this Monday when the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team travel to UT Martin for a makeup contest against the Skyhawks. Tip-off for the single-game affair is scheduled for 6:00pm from the Elam Center.