APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – For the first time since 1990, Austin Peay State University men’s basketball debuted under new leadership, squaring off against Vanderbilt under the watchful eye of first-year head coach Matt Figger.
Although Austin Peay battled until the final whistle and pushed Vanderbilt to the limit, playing the Commodores within single digits for the early portion of the second half, a late Vanderbilt shooting barrage conspired to down the Govs, 73-54, at Memorial Gymnasium.
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball played it’s first regular season game under first year head coach Matt Figger when it took on Vanderbilt in Nashville Friday night. (APSU Sports Information)
Freshman Terry Taylor got the Govs going early. The Bowling Green native, who picked up 24 points in the exhibition against Sewanee, didn’t seem to have much trouble going against SEC competition, hitting a pair of threes early on and scoring 10 first-half points. His dish to Averyl Ugba for a layup at the 10:27 mark put the Govs within a point at the halfway mark in the first half.
Unfortunately for Austin Peay, the hosts closed the half on a 23-11 run to take 41-28 lead into the break. Senior Zach Glotta beat the first-half buzzer with a jumper to cut into the deficit.
The Govs jumped out on an 11-5 run to start the second half, highlighted by a three-point play from junior Steve Harris. And although the Governors bench outscored Vanderbilt’s 15-8 in the second half, another late-half burst from the Commodores pushed the final deficit to 19.
Although the turnover numbers were comparable (17 for the Governors, 15 for Vanderbilt), the Commodores turned those Austin Peay turnovers into 18 points, whereas the Govs were only able to punish Vandy’s miscues with eight points.
In his first regular-season appearance, Taylor led all scorers with 15 points.
After allowing Vandy to hit 50 percent from the floor in the first half, the Governor defense stymied the Commodores in the second, limiting Vanderbilt to 39.3 percent from the floor and forcing 10 turnovers.
Senior Tre’ Ivory pilfered a career-high three steals.
Junior Steve Harris posted a career-high in minutes (18).
After missing much of the fall due to a lower-body injury, freshman Ivan Cucak made his Austin Peay debut, playing 12 minutes.
In all, eight Governors made their debut—Taylor, Cucak, Ugba, Acoydan McCarthy, Deyshawn Martin, Ferran Bernacer and Richard Henderson.
Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger
“I felt like the first eight minutes of the game, we really defended. Our offensive execution wasn’t very good; if we had executed more in the first half, we might have had more opportunities. But I give Vanderbilt all the credit; they did some things to get us off-kilt.”
On second-half shooting
“We were trying to get the ball inside, but I give them credit—they did a good job of not letting Zach (Glotta) get any looks. They stayed connected to him. That’s a veteran group of guys over there.
“We’re a work in progress, but I can’t fault our kids effort. Defensively, we fought; we got a little tired, and I think that’s where we need to take more advantage of our depth and get guys prepared to play more minutes. That’s on us as coaches to get those guys ready to help us go win. The way we try to play, with the physicality and effort, you can’t do it with five or six guys; you need the whole team.”
Up Next for APSU Men’s Basketball
A challenging early slate continues with a trip to Charlottesville, as the Govs take on ACC foe Virginia. Monday night’s contest tips at 6 p.m.
About APSU Sports Information
Austin Peay State University Sports Information provides the latest news and updates on the Athletic endeavors of the student-athletes at APSU. Under the direction of Brad Kirtley, the APSU SID’s office consists of Cody Bush, and Colby Wilson. To contact the APSU Sports Information office, contact, 931.221.7561.
Web Site: http://www.apsugovernors.com
SectionsAssociations, Austin Peay State University, Basketball (Men), Colleges, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Southeastern Conference, Sports, Vanderbilt University
TopicsACC, Acoydan McCarthy, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Averyl Ugba, Bowling Green KY, Charlottesville NC, Commodores, Deyshawn Martin, Ferran Bernacer, Govenrors, Govs, Ivan Cucak, Matt Figger, Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville TN, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Richard Henderson, SEC, Sewanee, Southeastern Conference, Steve Harris, Terry Taylor, Tre Ivory, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Zach Glotta