Charleston, Ill. – The Austin Peay Men’s Basketball team is trying to keep it’s hopes alive for an Ohio Valley Conference tournament berth when they travel to play Eastern Illinois in Charleston Ill. at 7:00pm. For the Governors to achieve that goal, they have a lot of ground to make up, with very little time to do it.
After an extremely slow start, EIU has captured four wins in its last six OVC contests to move into tourney contention. The Panthers now have four straight OVC home contests to wrap up the season. The Panthers are coached by Jay Spoonhour, who is in his first season as Eastern Illinois’ coach. He is the son of the late Charlie Spoonhour, who was the head coach at Missouri State, St. Louis and UNLV during an illustrious career.Freshman guard Austin Akers is the reigning OVC Freshman of the Week-his fourth such award this season- after scoring 16 points in each of the Panthers contests last week. In two games he was 13 of 18 from the floor.
The Govs are going to need at least three wins over the final three OVC weeks to gain a spot, with Eastern Illinois (7-18 overall/4-8 OVC) being one of the teams ahead of the 1-10 Govs in the standings. Austin Peay was picked to finish third behind Murray State and Southeast Missouri in the newly-formed OVC West Division in the preseason poll.
This is the first of a four-game road trek that also will take the Govs to SIU Edwardsville, Eastern Kentucky and Liberty. The Govs enter the game having lost eight straight and 16 out of their last 17.
Junior guard Travis Betran was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for a sixth time after averaging 25 points per game while shooting better than 57 percent from the floor last weekend.