Austin Peay (8-15 | 2-8 ASUN) vs. Liberty (18-5 | 9-1 ASUN)
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 | 7:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – On Military Appreciation Day, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team is set to host league-leading Liberty for a ASUN Conference contest, Thursday, in the Winfield Dunn Center. The game begins at 7:00pm.
Austin Peay (8-15, 2-8 ASUN) enters the week tied for 13th place in the conference with Central Arkansas and looking to pick up its first win in its last seven games. On the other side, Liberty (18-5, 9-1 ASUN) is tied for first in the conference with Kennesaw State and is looking to when its seventh-straight contest when it squares off with the Governors for the first time in ASUN Conference action.
Thursday’s game against Liberty is sponsored by Altra Federal Credit Union, who will be giving away military-themed Austin Peay State University shirts while supplies last. For Military Appreciation Day at the Dunn Center, the game ball will be delivered by the Sabalauski Air Assault School from Fort Campbell and the Tennessee National Guard will also have a weapons display on the third floor. Also, Eli Castillo of the Austin Peay ROTC will sing the National Anthem prior to tipoff against the Flames.
Thursday’s game against Liberty will be streamed on ESPN+ with Barry Gresham and Bob Belvin on the call.
About the Liberty Flames
Picked to win the ASUN in the Preseason Coaches and Media Polls, Liberty is 18-5 overall and currently ranked No. 9 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.
KenPom.com rates the Flames as the 45th-best team in the country with a +14.89 adjusted efficiency margin. Liberty also has the 33rd-best defense in the nation according to the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, holding its opponents to just 95.8 points per 100 possessions.
Liberty ranks fifth in the NCAA in scoring defense (57.9 ppg) and fourth in scoring margin (+16.8) — it leads the ASUN in both.
Liberty’s 11.3 three-pointers made per game ranks fourth nationally and its 19.4 threes attempted per game ranks fifth.
The Flames rank 10th in the country in assists per game (17.5) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64).
Reigning back-to-back ASUN Player of the Year Darius McGhee averages 21.0 points per game, which leads the ASUN and ranks 15th in the NCAA.
McGhee leads the ASUN and ranks second in threes made (104), threes made per game (4.5), and threes attempted (250) — he also ranks 28th in the NCAA and third in the ASUN in three-point percentage (.416).
Series History and Lasting Meeting
The fourth meeting in a series that dates back to 2013, Austin Peay State University leads the all-time series, 2-1, and won the only meeting in Clarksville in 2013.
In the last meeting, Terry Taylor scored 32 points to lead Austin Peay to a 75-66 win over Liberty on December 22nd, 2018, in the St. Pete Shootout Championship at the McArthur Center –- on the campus of Eckerd College – in St. Petersburg, Florida. Taylor went 12-for-17 from the floor, 4-for-7 from three-point range, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line; he also recorded two rebounds, an assist, and two blocks. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz led the Flames with 15 points in the last meeting; Darius McGhee also scored seven points for LU.
In Liberty’s last trip to the Dunn Center, APSU picked up a 77-71 victory on December 14th, 2013. Travis Betran led the Govs with 23 points while Chris Horton posted a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double to go with four blocked shots. Damarius Smith dished out a team-leading 12 assists and the duo of Will Triggs and Ed Dyson added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Austin Peay State University’s defense ranks third in the ASUN Conference in steals per game (7.1) and three-point defense (.322), it also ranks seventh in scoring defense (71.6 ppg).
The Governors rank fourth in the ASUN and 52nd in the NCAA in turnover margin (+2.3), they also rank third in the ASUN and 75th in the NCAA in turnovers forced per game (14.5).
Austin Peay State University is shooting 73.8 percent from the free-throw line this season, that mark ranks third in the ASUN Conference and 85th in the NCAA.
The APSU Govs also rank third in the ASUN in free throws made per game (12.4) and fifth in free throws attempted per game (16.8).
Austin Peay State University only turns the ball over 12.2 times per contest, which ranks sixth in the ASUN Conference and 130th in the country.
The APSU Govs are averaging 10.0 offensive rebounds per game, which ranks sixth in the conference.
Austin Peay State University has used 11 different starting lineups this season, which is tied for the seventh most in the NCAA. The Govs have had a different starting five in each of their last five games.
The Governors are still 6-5 at home this season and a dozen of Nate James‘ 20 wins at Austin Peay State Universityhave come on Dave Loos Court.
Sean Durugordon is the only Gov that has squared off with Liberty in the past, doing so when he was a redshirt freshman at Missouri. Durugordon recorded two points, three rebounds, and an assist in the Flames 66-45 win over the Tigers on December 2nd, 2021, at Liberty Arena in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Liberty is ranked No. 9 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. The Governors are looking for their first win of the season and Nate James Era against a team in the mid-major top 25.
Liberty is also No. 45 in the NCAA NET Rankings, which gives the APSU Govs a chance to pick up their first Quadrant II win of the season and their second Quad I/Quad II win of the James Era.
Season and single-game tickets are on sale for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season! Fans can purchase their tickets for the final season in the Winfield Dun Center online at LetsGoPeay.com/BuyTickets or by calling the Austin Peay Ticket Office at 931.221.PEAY (7329).
APSU Govs Online
For up-to-date news and information on Austin Peay State University Athletics, check back at LetsGoPeay.com or follow along on Facebook. To keep up with the APSU men’s basketball team, follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsMBB). Live stats will be available during all home games and select road games at PeayStats.com.
In addition, all Austin Peay State University home games, ASUN games, and select road games will be broadcast on ESPN+ this season, visit the men’s basketball schedule at LetsGoPeay.com for a complete broadcast schedule.
Next Up For APSU Men’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team wraps up a quick two-game homestand when they host Queens, Saturday, at 3:00pm on APSU College of STEM Day in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Austin Peay State University then hits the road for a pair of games against North Alabama, on February 9th, and Central Arkansas, on February 11th.