Austin Peay (14-12 | 10-10 OVC) vs. Eastern Kentucky (21-6 | 15-5 OVC)
Thursday, March 4th, 2021 | 9:30pm CT
Evansville, IN | Ford Center
Clarksville, TN – Throw out the records, throw out the history, forget all about what was or has been–it’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament time, which finds Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team in possession of the No. 6 seed and a 9:30pm, Thursday, date with third-seeded Eastern Kentucky in the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.
Despite being one of the most common opponents the Govs have faced in postseason play—the programs have faced off 10 times in the league tournament—this will be the first time Austin Peay and Eastern Kentucky have met in Ohio Valley Conference Tournament play since 2008.
With the byes and double-byes eliminated this year due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, the Governors second-round matchup is set; should they get past the Colonels, Austin Peay State University will face the winner of the Morehead State and Southeast Missouri in the semifinals Friday, March 5th, at 9:30pm.
About the Eastern Kentucky Colonels
Despite a 21-win season that led to the No. 3 seed and exceeding preseason expectations, Eastern Kentucky may come in with a bit of a chip on its collective shoulder after the Colonels were shut out of the major postseason awards despite a spirited freshman campaign from Wendell Green Jr. and a superb coaching job by A.W. Hamilton.
The Colonels won 21 games in 2020-21 despite almost never having the lineup Hamilton would have hoped to roll out. West Virginia transfer Brandon Knapper and 2020 All-OVC pick Jomaru Brown combined to play just eight games for the Colonels all season and did not appear in a single game together, although Knapper scored 15 points when the Govs hosted Eastern Kentucky on January 2nd.
But for all the issues they may have faced, Hamilton maximized what he had at his disposal. Green Jr. became a lethal scorer during OVC play at nearly 17 points per game, while Tre King was a deserving All-OVC pick alongside him. Curt Lewis, Michael Moreno, and Cooper Robb stepped up alongside that dynamic duo in the lineup and the Colonels depth allows Eastern Kentucky to deploy a wide array of pressing, trapping, and high-intensity defense, leading to quality looks on the other end of the floor; the Colonels lead the OVC at 82.9 points per game, aided by a league-best 10.3 steals per contest.
The Governors biggest advantage is on the offensive glass, where they grab a league-best 12.6 boards per game; Eastern Kentucky, grabbing just over 70 percent of their defensive rebounding opportunities, was at a considerable disadvantage on the glass in the February 4th contest, with the Govs outrebounding the Colonels 44-28 overall and grabbing 14 of 33 offensive rebound opportunities.
Last Time Against Eastern Kentucky
It was a big night for the Govs in Richmond. Terry Taylor became the program’s all-time leading scorer in a 94-79 win at McBrayer Arena, February 4th. The Governors were outstanding across the board from a shooting standpoint, hitting 53.7 percent from the floor, 57.1 percent from three, and 76.9 from the free-throw line.
The shooting from beyond the arc was particularly good to Govs on this night, with Austin Peay State University hitting a season-best 12 shots from deep at the aforementioned 57.1 percent mark.
Keep An Eye On
Three truths that have been self-evident all season: the Govs remain unbeaten this season when holding opponents below 70 points (11-0), when outshooting their opponent (11-0) and when holding the opponent below 45 percent from the floor (11-0).
Similar to his freshman campaign, Alec Woodard has come on strong from deep as the season has progressed, hitting 47.2 percent (17-for-36) from beyond the arc over his last 10 games.
Jordyn Adams’ next double-figure scoring outing will be the 40th of his Austin Peay State University career; he had 14 points and a career-high eight assists in the previous meeting in Richmond.
Mike Peake has hit at least 60 percent from the floor in 14 of 26 games this season and is hitting 64.5 percent (80-for-124) in his last 18 appearances.
In the February 4th win against Eastern Kentucky, the APSU Govs hit a season-high 12 threes, while in the January 2nd loss Austin Peay State University hit a season-worst 18.2 percent (4-for-22) from beyond the arc.
Austin Peay State Univesity is a plus-36 in turnover margin since February 6th.
The APSU Govs are posting 18.6 points off turnover per night over the last dozen games.
A victory would give Austin Peay State University 15 wins in four straight years and five times in the last six seasons.
- Reginald Gee has made 14 straight free-throws dating back to February 16th.
- Paez has hit 37 straight free-throws dating back to January 2nd.
Milestone Watch—Career: Terry Taylor needs one three-point attempt to take sole possession of 10th in program history and six made threes to move into the program’s all-time top-10 in that category. He also needs seven free-throw attempts to overtake Bubba Wells for fourth on the all-time list.
APSU Govs in the Time of COVID (at the OVC Tournament)
This year the OVC has followed guidance from the NCAA and the OVC Medial Advisory Group and worked extensively with the Mayor’s Reopen Evansville Task Force, the Vanderburgh County Health Department, Deaconess Hospital, and the Ford Center to put into place additional health and safety protocols to keep the participants, workers, and fans safe during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
All aisleway seats will be left vacant in order to maintain a buffer from patrons as they move to their assigned seating locations. All spectator seats will be sanitized before use and there will be increased sanitization performed in all commons areas.
Austin Peay State University Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay State University’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all APSU Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB).
Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on the ESPN+ app; should the Govs advance to the semifinals, those games will also be carried on ESPNU, with Saturday’s title game slated for an ESPN2 broadcast.