Jacksonville, AL – A late second-half surge gave the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team a 75-67 loss at the hands of Jacksonville State, Saturday, to end the Ohio Valley Conference regular season.
Despite a game-high 20 points from Carlos Paez and a double-digit comeback from an early second-half deficit, the Gov fall to 14-12 (10-10) in the regular season, while Jacksonville State moves to 17-8 (13-6) as the fourth-seed of the upcoming OVC Tournament.
There were two defining sequences in the first half, and had one or both not happened it is a significantly different first 20 minutes. But the facts are the facts, and the first fact is that from 16:22 in the first until the 9:33 mark, the Governors missed 12 straight shots, including seven straight from beyond the arc.
Fortunately, at the end of that drought the Govs trailed by only six and as soon as the shots began falling again, the Govs began chipping away at the deficit. Austin Peay got within a bucket multiple times as the half progressed, and although the APSU Govs were never quite able to get the tying bucket, their early offensive struggles were a thing of the past.
This brings us to the second defining sequence. It was a three-point game with under a minute to go in the first half until a Demaree King three; that was a tough enough blow, but to make matters worse the Gamecocks turned the Govs over in the back court, then King grabbed the offensive rebound off the ensuing miss and nailed a second three to send Jacksonville State into halftime leading 34-25.
The Gamecocks stretched their lead to 14 points early in the second half but back roared the Governors. Austin Peay State University embarked on a 30-10 run after a pair of early Jacksonville State buckets to take the lead thanks to a trio of timely Alec Woodard threes and nine of Paez’s career-high tying night. When Woodard splashed home the third of his triumvirate, the APSU Govs had taken a 55-49 lead.
A pair of technical fouls during this time on Jacksonville State seemed to have instilled in the Gamecocks a new resolve. After the APSU Govs took the lead, Jacksonville State embarked upon a 17-4 run to once more move ahead as the clock ticked under five minutes.
When the APSU Govs reached back for a second game-changing run, they found themselves up against both the Gamecocks and the clock. A Tai’Reon Joseph three with 2:17 to play made it a two-possession game, but that was the last bucket for the Govs.
The rebounding. When the Gamecocks visited the Dunn Center, they had a slight edge on the glass (23-20) that was not indicative of much, considering how good the shooting was for both teams that night.
In the rematch, Jacksonville State controlled the glass to the tune of a plus-17 rebound margin (41-24), helping lead to a 21-10 advantage in second-chance points. Jacksonville State’s 41 boards were the most by an Austin Peay State University opponent this season.
The loss gives the Govs 10 losses in league play for the first time since 2015.
Mike Peake went 3-for-5 in the contest, marking his 14 game out of 26 this season hitting 60 percent from the floor or better.
The Govs forced 16 turnovers, marking 30 straight games forcing the opponent into 10 or more turnovers.
- Over the last nine games, the Govs are plus-36 in turnover margin.
Austin Peay State University’s 36.9 percent shooting mark was its lowest during 2020-21 regular season.
The win gives Jacksonville State a season sweep of the Govs for the first time in program history.
Paez reached the 20-point mark for the second time this season, equaling his career high set in the January 28th contest against Belmont. He also went 3-for-3 at the free-throw line, giving him 37 straight made free-throws since Jan. 2.
Milestone Watch—Career: Terry Taylor took sole possession of first on the career starts list with 126 and took sole possession of fourth in blocked shots with 131. He also moved into the career top-10 in three pointers attempted with 447.
Milestone Watch—OVC: Taylor passed Murray State’s Jeff Martin (1985-89) for third in Ohio Valley Conference history with 2,488 career points.
Coaching Quotables with APSU head coach Matt Figger
On tonight’s game
“We stayed the course, we got a good combination of kids on the floor, and we didn’t fall apart. I think the score is 41-48 and we end up going on a 14-0 run to get the lead, and the kids that gave the effort to get us back in int got tired, and I subbed them out and we lost the momentum. Give Jacksonville State credit, they turned around and went on a 20-6 run, which gave them the breathing room to win.”
On moving on to Eastern Kentucky
“We played them shorthanded earlier in the year and lost a game that went back and forth; then we went and played arguably one of our better games up there when they were kind of shorthanded too.”
On Carlos Paez
“He played with a lot of guts and a lot of courage. He took the challenge on and keep us in it with a chance to win. I am really happy for Alec Woodard as well, he really sparked us in that run, him and Tai’reon Joseph, they gave us that burst that we needed.”
Austin Peay 67, Jacksonville State 75
Next Up For Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball
Throw out the records. It’s tournament time! The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team gets their stay in Evansville underway with a 9:30pm, Thursday tip against Eastern Kentucky from the Ford Center.