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Govs use blowout to move into third place

APSU Athletics Communications

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri—Another spectacular offensive outing combined with lockdown second-half defense to give Austin Peay a second-straight road win, this one a 96-81 triumph at the Show Me Center against Southeast Missouri.

The victory moves the Governors to 14-10 on the season (9-3 OVC), while Southeast Missouri falls to 10-15 (4-8). With Austin Peay’s victory and losses by Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State, the Govs find themselves alone in third place in the OVC standings.

Senior Averyl Ugba got the afternoon off to a solid start, racking up 14 of his 16 first-half points in just the first 3:11 of action, and when he had to hit the bench with foul trouble, his teammates more than picked up the slack. Austin Peay hit eight three-pointers in the opening half en route to a season-best 51 first-half points.

However, Southeast Missouri gave is good as it got in the opening half, hitting 66.7 percent (18-of-27) from the floor. The Redhawks hit seven first-half threes of their own to make it 51-49 Govs at the break.

The Redhawks were unlikely to hit better than 65 percent in back-to-back halves, and with Southeast Missouri’s shooting returning to a pedestrian 44.4 (12-of-27) in the second half, Austin Peay’s offense went from hot to scorching. The Govs upped their shooting to 58.6 percent in the second half, outscoring the Redhawks 45-32 over the final 20 minutes.

The Govs broke the game open midway through the final frame. After a Denzel Mahoney lay-up brought the Redhawks back within a bucket (64-62) with 12:55 remaining, Austin Peay embarked on a 15-2 run thanks to six points from Zach Glotta and four from Ugba. The Austin Peay lead would not dip back into single digits for the remainder of the contest.

The Difference

The Governors controlled the ball to a degree rarely seen in college athletics. The Govs procured 23 assists with just 10 turnovers against Southeast Missouri; the last time Austin Peay enjoyed a game with 20 or more assists and 10 or fewer turnovers was Nov. 14, 2016 against Oakland City. Austin Peay has not done that against a Division I foe since at least the 2009-10 season.

Notably

  • The 15-point victory is Austin Peay’s largest at the Show Me Center since 2010.
  • Austin Peay has now won three straight in the series, most since a three-game winning streak from 2008-10.
  • The Govs equaled a season-long with their fourth consecutive victory; over that time, they’ve enjoyed consistent advantages on points in the paint (38.5-32.3), points off turnover (19.5-14.8), turnover margin (plus-11) and rebounding margin (plus-18).
  • Austin Peay’s 23 assists against the Redhawks was its most against a Division I foe since a 24-assist night at UT Martin, March 1, 2014.
  • For the seventh time this season, Glotta scored in double figures—the Govs have won all seven of those contests, and the O’Fallon, Missouri native has averaged 9.0 ppg in Austin Peay’s 14 victories this season. He also hit a career-best seven shots from the floor.
  • The Governors committed just 10 turnovers—the 10th coming on the game’s final play, which saw the Govs dribble out the shot clock—and equaled the season-low against SIU Edwardsville, Dec. 28. It’s the fewest by Austin Peay in a road contest since Feb. 23, 2017 at UT Martin (eight).
  • Austin Peay secured back-to-back road wins for the first time since Jan. 12-14, 2017.
  • The win is Austin Peay’s ninth in league play, most since the 2010-11 season.
  • Freshman Terry Taylor scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for his season’s 10th double-double.
  • The Govs are now 2-0 to start the month of February for the first time since 2007-08.
  • Freshman Dayton Gumm ran his streak of double-figure scoring nights to a career-long five games. He’s averaging 13.2 ppg during that stretch. He also dished out a career-best six assists against Southeast Missouri.
  • The Govs have pulled in double-digit offensive boards in six consecutive games, averaging 14.7 per game over that stretch.
  • Ugba put up 28 points for the second consecutive night, hitting 11-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-5 at the free-throw line.
  • Austin Peay’s 11 made three-pointers matched their season high set Jan. 4 against UT Martin. It’s the Governors most in a road contest since hitting 14 at the Show Me Center against Southeast Missouri in the 2016-17 season finale.
  • Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Matt Figger

    On second half defense

    “They’re really good at sharing the ball, passing and stretching teams out. I had to really shrink the floor in the second half. We knew we couldn’t extend and guard them, and we couldn’t let them get in a rhythm.”

    On mindset coming into the weekend

    “We had a really good week of practice. We were in the right frame of mind all week, and we were focused. This team is getting more confidence in themselves. One thing when you’re dealing with kids who aren’t used to winning, when things get hard they don’t know how to stand around and fight and that’s been a teaching process. Everything is a learning experience.”

    On Averyl Ugba

    “I’ve been hard on Averyl because I want what’s best for him and I want to maximize who he is as a person and a player. So my demands are heavy on him, because I know he’s got my back and he’s going to answer the challenge every single time I do challenge him.”

    Up Next for the Govs

    At long last, the rivalry is renewed as Austin Peay makes its journey north to take on archrival Murray State. Tipoff is 7 p.m., Thursday at the CFSB Center. This matchup will have implications in the standings; the victor takes over second place in the league.

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