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APSU Men’s Basketball falls at home to Eastern Illinois, 76-69

 

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team saw its home schedule end with a 76-69 defeat against Eastern Illinois despite a dominant twin-towers performance from Mike Peake and Terry Taylor, who played his final game in the Dunn Center, Saturday.

Austin Peay State University Men's Basketball seniors (L to R) Reginald Gee and Terry Taylor were honored before the game on Senior Night at the Dunn Center. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball seniors (L to R) Reginald Gee and Terry Taylor were honored before the game on Senior Night at the Dunn Center. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)

Prior to tipoff, Taylor and Reginald Gee were honored for their contributions to the program during their time in Clarksville.

Taylor got out quickly with a dozen points over the first eight minutes of action, including a pair of threes barely a minute apart to put the APSU Govs up 19-11.

But after Taylor’s second three, the Govs went nearly six minutes with a make from the floor, which allowed the Panthers to cut Austin Peay’s lead to a single point.

A Carlos Paez jumper jump-started the offense late in the half; a Taylor layup and a Paez three helped send the Govs into the break with a 33-30 advantage on the visitors.

APSU Men's Basketball - Terry Taylor (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)The second half revealed Eastern Illinois as a team starting to find itself after a deluge of COVID-19 Coronavirus and injury concerns this season.

The Govs and Panthers engaged in a furious back and forth over the first 10 minutes of the half, which saw Gee pop off for a pair of threes, Taylor convert a three-point play and Elton Walker come flying in for a furious two-handed putback dunk to tie the game with 12:05 to play at 52-52

Eastern Illinois made it a two-possession game thanks to four straight points from Marvin Johnson at the 7:32 mark but the Govs countered on a Peake layup and big Alec Woodard three-pointer.

APSU Men's Basketball - Reginald Gee. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)When the Panthers tried to pull away again, Taylor answered with a layup and a jumper to tie it again with 4:33 to play.

Mack Smith swished his fifth three of the night on the next possession; two possessions later George Dixon made it a five-point game with a layup.

When Peake laid one in with 2:25 to play, it would be APSU’s final make of the night; the Panthers would close out the game at the free-throw line as the Govs missed five straight threes to close out the game.

The Difference

It was the shooting. Eastern Illinois hit 55.3 percent (26-for-47) from the floor and 64.3 percent (9-for-14) from three, compared to 38.3 percent (23-for-60) and 27.6 percent (8-for-29) for Austin Peay State University.

 


APSU Notably

The loss is Austin Peay State University’s first to Eastern Illinois in the Dunn Center since 2016.

Taylor secured the 500th offensive rebound of his offensive career.

Taylor and Peake are the first Govs to post double-doubles in the same game since February 27th, 2020 (Taylor and Eli Abaev). For Peake, it also served as a career-high in rebounding.

In his final home appearance as an APSU Gov, Gee reached double figures for the 10th time this season with 11 points.

The Govs outscored their opponent in points off turnovers for the ninth straight game (17-13). They also kept alive their streak of forcing bushels of turnovers, harassing Eastern Illinois into 18 miscues, the 28th straight game they’ve forced at least 10 turnovers.

  • The APSU Govs are plus-28 in turnover margin over the last seven outings.
  • The Govs are posting 19.5 points per game off turnovers over the last 10 games.

Since January 30th, the Govs are hitting 81.7 percent (156-for-191) as a team at the free-throw line.

Peake remains steady from the floor this season, hitting 62.9 percent (66-for-105) over his last 16 games.

Austin Peay State University’s 29 three-point attempts were a season-high.

Alec Woodard is now hitting 45.8 percent (11-for-24) from three over his last eight games.

Coaching Quotables with APSU head coach Matt Figger

On the second half
“We couldn’t get the stops we needed early in the second half to put us in position to close out the game. The momentum was swinging their way and we couldn’t get stops. It was the same script; they’re a veteran team, all seniors, and we just got outplayed in the second half. It’s history repeating itself—we couldn’t get stops in the second half.”

On defense
“We couldn’t contain the dribble. If we got a deflection, we couldn’t come up with the loose ball. If they missed a shot, we couldn’t come up with the rebound. The fact that three players got all our defensive rebounds is a shame.”

On the final two games
“We’ve got to figure out how to bounce back from this and scratch a couple on the road. We’ve got to find some consistency. The season is short now; we’ve got three guaranteed games and we’ve not been consistent enough to figure out how to put a streak together.”

Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball

The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team will close out the regular season next week with a two-game road trip to round out the schedule. First stop will be in Cookeville to take on Tennessee Tech, 7:30pm, Thursday, in the Eblen Center.


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