Austin Peay Govs and Murray State Racers set for Thursday night battle on ESPN2
Austin Peay (18-7 | 10-2) vs. Murray State (18-4 | 10-2 OVC)
Thursday, February 14th, 2019 | 8:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center | TV: ESPN2
Clarksville, TN – Little preamble is required when Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball and arch rival Murray State get together, which they will for the first time this season before an ESPN2 audience, 8:00pm, Thursday, February 14th in the Dunn Center as part of the Heritage Bank Battle of the Border.
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball hosts Murray State Thursday night at the Dunn Center. Game to be televised on ESPN2. (APSU Sports Information)
This matchup will be one of the marquee meetings on the OVC schedule this season, with both Austin Peay and Murray State sitting at 10-2 in league play.
Prior to the game, the Govs will honor Terry Taylor, who scored his 1,000th career point in last week’s contest against Eastern Illinois.
Thursday’s contest also will be a Red Out, with Austin Peay fans encouraged to show their support by making our opponents, “see red,” to paraphrase Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison.
About the Murray State Racers
Three teams in the Ohio Valley Conference own a positive double-digit scoring margin, and two of them will meet Thursday in the Dunn Center. The teams are similar beings almost across the board, and are among the league’s elite in field goal percentage (Murray State second, Austin Peay third), three-point defense (Murray State, Austin Peay third), steals (Austin Peay second, Murray State third) and turnover margin (Austin Peay first, Murray State third), among other categories.
With Ja Morant, the nation’s leading assist-getter, the ball movement for Murray State has been contagious. The Racers average 18.2 assists as a team, while their 284 team turnovers are tied for fewest in the league. On the other end of the court, no Racer is averaging a block per game, but Murray State leads the league with 4.7 swats per game as a team.
On court, plenty of matchups will spark intrigue. The superstars (Morant vs. Terry Taylor). The guys who will be charged with stopping them (Steve Harris for Austin Peay, Brion Sanchious for Murray State). The long-range snipers (Chris Porter-Bunton, Zach Glotta and Jarrett Givens vs. Tevin Brown, Jaiveon Eaves and Brion Whitley).
But don’t sleep on the super-subs; Darnell Cowart and Jabari McGhee are both on the shortlist for the OVC’s best newcomer and have provided a spark for their respective squaqds with energy off the bench.
APSU Govs Last Time Out Against Murray State
Terry Taylor scored 24 points and Averyl Ugba registered a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double, but all anyone will recall is the roof.
At 9:02pm, a piece of the ceiling crumbled to the floor on the south end of the facility; leaking immediately followed. School and conference officials assessed the situation, with both teams retreating to their respective locker rooms until roughly 11:00pm.
At 12:07am, play resumed for the final 5:49 of regulation. Despite holding Murray State without a field goal for more than three hours, the Racers used white-hot 76.2 percent (16-of-21) second-half shooting to erase all hopes of a comeback in a 73-64 decision.
Keep An Eye On
A win would make Austin Peay 4-0 to start February for the first time since 2007-08.
Six Govs, led by Taylor (20.8 ppg) average double-digits at home. The Govs are shooting an incredible 52.8 percent (315-of-597) from the floor, 43.4 percent (86-of-198) from three and 72.6 percent (138-of-190) at the line, while boosting a plus-8.4 rebounding margin and a plus-8.0 turnover margin in the Dunn Center.
A victory would make the Govs 9-1 at home, their best nine-game home start since 2007-08 (9-1).
Taylor is averaging 23.6 points on 55.7 percent (44-of-79) shooting from the floor and 87.0 percent (20-of-23) at the free-throw line over the last five games.
Over the last 17 games, the Govs are shooting 50.3 percent (522-of-1038) from the floor, going 14-3 in those contests. The Govs streak of 40 percent shooting nights has reached 22 consecutive games, longest since electronic record keeping began at Austin Peay in 1999-00.
The Govs remain unbeaten on Thursdays (7-0) this season; their last Thursday loss was February 15th, 2018 against Tennessee Tech (10-0 since).
McGhee is averaging 12.3 points on 64.8 percent (22-of-34) shooting and 5.5 rebounds the last four games.
A win Thursday night would mark the third time in four years the Govs have won the season’s first meeting against the Racers.
The Govs are a 77.8 percent (98-of-126) shooting team at the line since the Jan. 24 contest against Tennessee State.
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 the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on the ESPN+ app.
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).