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Austin Peay Govs looking for bounce back at Morehead State

Austin Peay (18-7 | 10-2 OVC) at Morehead State (10-16 | 6-7)

Saturday, February 16th, 2019 | 3:35pm CT
Morehead, KY | Johnson Arena

APSU Men's BasketballClarksville, TN – A setback is a setup for a comeback, and that’s just what Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s basketball team is hoping for when it visits Morehead State for a 3:35pm Saturday, February 16th afternoon contest with wide-ranging league ramifications.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball looks to get back on track Saturday at Morehead State. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball looks to get back on track Saturday at Morehead State. (APSU Sports Information)

After taking Murray State down to the last possession before a national audience Thursday night, the Govs will need to have plenty left in the tank, not only to help maintain their spot securely among the Ohio Valley Conference’s top-four but against an Eagle squad in a dogfight for their postseason lives as with two-and-half weeks of regular season play remaining.

Following the loss to the Racers, it’s time to start a new streak for the Govs, who have already enjoyed three winning streaks of four or more contests in 2018-19; the last time that happened (2007-08), Austin Peay won the OVC Tournament championship.

The Govs have never had four separates winning streaks of four games or longer during their history.

About the Morehead State Eagles

Down through the years, the calling card for Morehead State has been toughness. From the days of Kenneth Faried through Sean Woods and now to the Preston Spradlin regime, the Eagles are a physical, tough unit that backs down from no one–a trait sure to double on their home court, where the Govs have not played since January 2016.

Similar to the Governors, the Eagles get after it on the offensive glass and similar to the Governors, one man does a lot of the heavy lifting down low when the shots go up. The matchup on the glass between Terry Taylor [2] and Lamontray Harris will be a key indicator of how Saturday’s contest will shake out.

Much was made of Ja Morant’s ball-handling and passing skills Thursday night, but Morehead State’s A.J. Hicks is no slouch in that regard, averaging 5.6 helpers per night as well. Austin Peay’s defense, headed by Steve Harris [3] and Antwuan Butler [4] on Thursday night, held Morant under his nation-leading assist average; doing so again to Hicks would offer a huge disruption to Morehead State’s plans.

 

APSU Govs’ Last Time Out Against Morehead State

After referees made Chris Porter-Bunton [6] remove his headband prior to tipoff, the Bowling Green native scored 11 points over the first seven minutes of play as Austin Peay built a substantial lead in an evenutal 81-67 victory at the Dunn Center, January 5th, 2019.

The Govs outshot the Eagles (45.0 percent to 34.9 percent) and both Dayton Gumm [7] (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Jabari McGhee [8] (14 points, 13 boards) posted double-doubles off the bench.

Keep An Eye On

A win would be Austin Peay’s first in Morehead since 2008, snapping a six-game losing streak.

Taylor’s first rebound against Murray State was his 500th over the last two seasons; he’s one of 21 Division I players with 500 total boards during that time.

A Governor victory would give them three in a row, the first three-game streak for either team in this rivalry since Austin Peay won six straight from 2003-06.

Jabari McGhee [8] is averaging 11.8 points on 61.4 percent (27-of-44) shooting from the floor, with 6.4 boards to go with it over the last five games.

Taylor could pass a lot of names on the career scoring chart this game; he needs five points to pass Zac Schlader (31st, 1,033), eight to pass Todd Babington (30th, 1,036) and nine to pass Tommy Brown (29th, 1,037) on the all-time list at Austin Peay.

Over the last 18 games, the Govs are shooting 50.0 percent (549-of-1098) from the floor, going 14-3 in those contests. The Govs streak of 40 percent shooting nights has reached 23 consecutive games, longest since electronic record keeping began at Austin Peay in 1999-00.

Taylor now needs one point to become just the second player in program history to score more than 500 points in each of his first two seasons as a Governor, joining James “Fly” Williams.

A win would give Austin Peay its first season sweep of the Eagles since 2007-08.

Porter-Bunton must average 17.8 ppg over his final five regular-season games to reach 1,000 points in his career.

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).