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APSU Men’s Basketball shoots down UT Martin Skyhawks, 71-50


APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – Nobody was happy when Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team left Martin on Monday night following a buzzer-beating loss to the Skyhawks. But the Govs didn’t have to wait long to exact their revenge and used a stifling defense to take down UT Martin in a 71-50 decision in the Dunn Center, Thursday.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball sophomore guard Carlos Paez scored 17 points and had 4 rebounds in win against UT Martin Thursday afternoon. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball sophomore guard Carlos Paez scored 17 points and had 4 rebounds in win against UT Martin Thursday afternoon. (APSU Sports Information)

Sophomore Carlos Paez led all scorers with 17 points and helped the APSU Govs move to 12-8 on the season (8-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference). UT Martin falls to 7-12 (5-10).

The Governors started out hot from beyond the arc against the Skyhawks, with Carlos Paez and Tai’Reon Joseph both nailing a pair of threes in the opening minutes to stake Austin Peay to a 24-9 lead.

The party didn’t stop there. After a brief 7-2 jaunt by the Skyhawks, Austin Peay State University ripped off an 11-2 run over the final five minutes to send the teams into their respective locker rooms with the Govs up 37-18.

APSU Men's Basketball - Terry Taylor (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Terry Taylor, the reigning United States Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Week, entered halftime having already procured 14 points and seven rebounds in the rematch against the Skyhawks.

The second half was more of the same; the Govs opened the half on a 23-10 run that pretty much erased any thoughts UT Martin might have been harboring about a comeback. The lead swelled to 34 points in the second half before UT Martin closed the game on a 13-0 run to drag the deficit closer.

Paez led four APSU Govs in double figures, joined by Taylor (16 points and 11 rebounds), Mike Peake (13 as a reserve), and Tai’Reon Joseph (12).

The Difference

Only four Skyhawks made more than one shot from the floor in this game, and two of those hit their second shots in the game’s final minutes with the Govs deep into their bench. The Governors simply didn’t let anyone on UT Martin get good looks for the entire 40 minutes.

APSU Notably

The APSU Govs have now won four straight at home against UT Martin.

Austin Peay State University is 9-0 this season when outshooting its opponent and 9-0 this season when holding its opponent below 45 percent shooting.

In their last seven, the Govs are hitting 76.5 percent (88-for-115) at the free-throw line.

Joseph is averaging 15.0 points in two contests against the Skyhawks this week and two of his five career double-digit scoring efforts have now come against UT Martin.

Peake went 5-for-8 from the floor in this one and is hitting 64.6 percent (53-for-82) from the floor over his last 12 games.

Taylor equaled his career-best with three steals.

2020-2021 APSU Men's Basketball - Tai'Reon Joseph. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)The 50 points surrendered by the Govs were the fewest allowed by Austin Peay State University to an OVC opponent since February 7th, 2019 against SIU Edwardsville (45).

Taylor passed Western Kentucky’s Taveion Hollingsworth for first on the active career starts list with 120.

Paez is hitting 51.1 percent (24-for-47) from three over his last 12 games and has now made 24 consecutive free-throws dating back to Jan. 2 against Eastern Kentucky after a career-best 8-for-8 showing today. He’s also sporting a robust 6.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in his last five games.

After hitting 9-for-18 from deep against the Skyhawks, the APSU Govs are at a 40.0 percent (78-for-195) clip over the last nine games, hitting 8.7 per night.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball - Carlos Paez. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Informationo)Sophomore Corbin Merritt made his first start as a Gov, registering two points and three rebounds in a career-high 17 minutes. The Merritt-Taylor-Paez-Joseph-Jordyn Adams quintet was the seventh different starting lineup combination deployed by the Govs this season.

The APSU Govs have hassled their opponents into 10 or more turnovers in 24 straight games dating back to last season.

To that end, the Govs are averaging 18.7 points per game off opponent turnovers over their last six, including 20 Thursday afternoon.

Milestone Watch—Career: Carlos Paez became the 22nd player in school history with 200 career assists.


Coaching Quotables with head coach APSU Matt Figger

On the win
“I’m proud of the guys who put on the uniform and came out to play today. I’m still not happy about the fact that we went over there and played the way we played on Monday. It’s never getting out of my system.”

On Joseph
“I got on him a little there at the end for turning the ball over too much, but he’s growing. We expect so much from this team and outside of Terry, we are a sophomore-laden team still trying to figure out who we are. It takes time to get guys playing together.”

On Paez
“When he goes, we go. When he began to struggle last year, our team became a mediocre team. He’s had to carry so much of the load this year I’ve had to figure out a way to get him off the ball and get him some shots. There’s no skin on his hand right now; he’s all beat up and he’s the toughest kid we’ve got.” 

Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball

The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team begins back-to-back meetings with Southeast Missouri when they tip it up 5:00pm, Saturday, February 13th in the Dunn Center against the Redhawks.  




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