Senior Day “Battle of the Border” tilt awaits Austin Peay Govs in home finale
Austin Peay vs. Murray State
Saturday, February 24th, 2018 | 7:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball concludes a fantastic first regular season under head coach Matt Figger by hosting longtime rival Murray State, 7:00pm, Saturday, February 24th in the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball takes on the Murray State Racers Saturday night at the Dunn Center. Tip off is at 7:00pm. (APSU Sports Information)
The Govs are locked into the No. 3 seed after topping SIU Edwardsville, Thursday, combined with Tennessee Tech defeating Tennessee State.
Saturday will be Senior Night for Governors Ed Stephens, Averyl Ugba and Tre’ Ivory; fans will have one final opportunity to honor the trio on their home court.
About the Murray State Racers
Having already clinched a share of the 2017-18 OVC regular-season title, the Racers would win outright and secure the top seed in next week’s OVC Tournament with a victory. Jonathan Stark, the league’s leading scorer and possible Player of the Year, comes in on a hot streak, averaging 26.4 ppg over his last five outings with 30-point nights last week against Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech.
The Govs will need to find a way to control Terrell Miller, Jr., Murray State’s biggest presence down low–he went for 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting and pulled down eight boards in the last matchup between the squads.
Freshman Ja Morant has paced the offense for much of the season; in wins, Morant is averaging 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists on 50.2 percent shooting; those numbers fall to 10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.8 apg and 31.1 percent from the floor in losses.
Last Time Out Against Murray State
Round One of the men’s basketball portion of the 2017-18 Heritage Bank Battle of the Border went to archrival Murray State, which held off Austin Peay State University men’s basketball in an 84-63 decision at the CFSB Center, February 8th.
Although the Govs shot a respectable 44.2 percent from the floor, while Murray State, thanks to the aforementioned second-half fireworks, hit 59.3 percent (32-of-54) from the field for the contest.
In the second half, the Governors began attacking the rim on the offensive end, driving into the lane time and again to either draw a foul or get a high-percentage look.
By the 13:35 mark of the second half, the Governors were in the bonus, and would get 16 free-throw attempts in all over the final 20 minutes.
With 14:01 to go, freshman Terry Taylor sank a jumper to get the Govs back within four points.
Unfortunately, Austin Peay could not slow down a Murray State offense that went from solid to unstoppable in the second half. The Racers shot 72.7 percent (16-of-22) over the final 20 minutes, hitting 10 of their final 12 shots and closing the game on a 21-9 run to fend off the Governors.
Keep An Eye On
Austin Peay’s bench unit is averaging 23.0 ppg over the last six contests, led by junior Zach Glotta (13.8 ppg).
A win would make the Govs 13-3 at home this season, Austin Peay’s best home record since a 13-1 mark in 2007-08.
Ugba is averaging 18.6 ppg over the last nine contests, moving into the team lead in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg) during the SIU Edwardsville contest.
A win would give Austin Peay a victory on the regular season’s final day for the third consecutive season, and would give Austin Peay a Senior Day victory for the fourth year in a row.
Taylor needs 19 points to move past Sam Drummer (1975-76) for fourth all-time in freshman scoring, and would pass Howard Wright (1967-68) for third with 23 points.
Ugba and Taylor are one of four teammate tandems nationally to hit 54.5 percent or better from the floor, joining UNLV (Brandon McCoy, Shakur Juiston), Texas A&M (Robert Williams, Tyler Davis) and Duke (Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr.).
Follow APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB). Live stats will be available during this game courtesy of StatBroadcast.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com.
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).