APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Chris Porter-Bunton tied a career high, as Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team downed SIU Edwardsville enroute to securing an opening round bye in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
On the Cougars senior night, Austin Peay (17-12, 12-5 OVC) looked to play celebration spoiler, but the evening got off to a rocky start, as SIU Edwardsville (9-19, 5-12 OVC) jumped out to a 10-2 lead.
Austin Peay gets 86-82 road win over SIU Edwardsville Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)
Chris Porter-Bunton stopped the Cougar run with a smooth runner in the lane, as the Govs leaned on their near perfection at the free-throw line for an 11-point lift in the first 15 minutes of the half.
The Governors continued to crank up the offensive pressure, but were unable to string together defensive stops until the final two minutes of the first half. Austin Peay rattled off an 8-0 run to bring the once 11-point margin to just a single point. Porter-Bunton was the only Gov in double figures at the half, with 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
It was night and day for the Govs in the second half, a different energy and intensity, as the Governors shot 63.0 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from three-point territory. The Cougars spent much of the second half navigating foul trouble, and Austin Peay took full advantage of the rotating matchups, spreading the offense, as five Governors worked their way into double digits.
Porter-Bunton and Zach Glotta approached career nights, but the Cougars clawed back into the matchup, eliminating the Govs’ eight-point lead late in the second half. The game was tied heading into the final minute of regulation, but Porter-Bunton was determined not to let the first round bye slip away, draining a three-point shot to give the Govs a crucial lead.
Glotta iced the game going 3-for-3 from the free throw line down the stretch, as the Govs topped the Cougars in four-point thriller, 86-82.
Four of the five starters ended in double figures, with Porter-Bunton leading the Govs with 23 points and four rebounds, shooting 70.0 percent from the floor. Averyl Ugba scored 16 points, pulled down five rebounds and racked up four assists in 38 minutes of play.
Dayton Gumm racked up 12 points and three assists, while freshman Terry Taylor led the team in boards with six, scoring 10 points in Austin Peay’s final regular season road matchup.
Glotta added 19 of the Governors’ 23 bench points, one point shy of his career high, pulled down four boards and dished out four assists to pad his stat line.
Austin Peay clinches a first round bye in the OVC Tournament with their fifth road win of the regular season slate.
The Governors have recorded 17 regular season wins, the most wins since the 2015-16 season when the Governors posted 18 victories (four of which came in the OVC Tournament). It is the most regular season wins since 2010-11 when Austin Peay earned 19 wins.
Porter-Bunton’s 23 points ties his career high previously set at Tennessee Tech January 11th.
Porter-Bunton led the Govs in scoring for the third time this year and the first time since posting his career high at Tennessee Tech.
The Govs shot 55.8 percent from the field for the game, Austin Peay’s eighth game this season eclipsing the 50.0 percent mark from the floor.
After going 1-for-6 from behind the arc to open the game, the Govs went 7-for-11 in the second half, including Glotta, who finished the game 4-for-6 from behind the arc.
Five Govs scored in double figures: Porter-Bunton (23), Glotta (19), Ugba (16), Gumm (12) and Taylor (10).
The Governors’ bench continued their strong play, scoring 23 points, 19 of which came at the hand of Glotta.
Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger
On the road win
“Anytime you can win on the road, this is our fifth this year in league play, and if you have a winning record on the road in league play, then you have a decent team.”
On halftime changes
“I just told the guys, as bad and lethargic as we played on the defensive end, we were playing on our heels, and somehow we got lucky to fight and get back within one. To be outrebounded and outplayed we were in great shape, but we couldn’t continue to play that way in the second half.”
On CPB and Glotta
“The one thing I knew both of them had when I sat down and had my first meeting with them, number one I knew they were good kids, number two they were very smart basketball players. They process very quickly and my job was to put leadership on them, because I wanted them to be leaders.”
Next Up for APSU Men’s Basketball
Austin Peay will finish the regular season when rivalry weekend comes to Clarksville, 7:00pm, Saturday, February 24th against Murray State for Battle of the Border sponsored by Heritage Bank.
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, Sports
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Averyl Ugba, Battle of the Border, Chris Porter-Bunton, Clarksville TN, Cougars, Dayton Gumm, Governors, Govs, Heritage Bank, Matt Figger, Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, siu edwardsville, Tennessee Tech, Terry Taylor, Zach Glotta