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Murray State drops Austin Peay, 84-63

APSU Athletics Communications

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

MURRAY, Kentucky—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 in an 84-63 decision at the CFSB Center, Thursday.

The loss drops the Governors to 14-11, 9-4 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Racers improve to 19-5, 11-2 in the league, to remain in second place.

The Governors got good looks and were able to capitalize, especially in close, during the first half—Austin Peay hit 52 percent from the floor in the first half, with junior Zach Glotta scoring eight in the opening 20 minutes. However, 10 Governor turnovers gave the Racers myriad first-half opportunities; even though the hosts missed their final six shots, the Racers took a 10-point lead, 38-28, into the locker room at halftime.

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.

The Difference

Rather than an in-depth stat, tonight’s difference was simple. Austin Peay 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.

Notably

  • Murray State’s Jalen Dupree was suspended for this contest; Brion Sanchious made his season’s seventh start in his stead.
  • Glotta reached double figures for the eighth time this season, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. It marked the first time in his Austin Peay career the O’Fallon, Missouri native led the Governors in scoring, and the first time this season he reached double figures in an Austin Peay loss. He also hit four three-pointers, tying the team season high he set against Oakland City, Troy and Jacksonville State.
  • The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Govs, and guarantees Austin Peay at least nine road losses for the seventh consecutive season.
  • Senior Averyl Ugba finished with 16 points, hitting 6-of-7 shots from the floor. He’s reached double figures in five consecutive games, averaging 20.6 ppg during that span.
  • Although Austin Peay outscored the Racers, 9-3, on second-chance points, it snapped a streak of 15 games where Austin Peay tallied double-digits in second-chance points.
  • With 14 fast break points, the Racers are just the fourth team this season to reach double-digit transition points against the Govs, joining Oklahoma State, Western Kentucky and Tennessee Tech.
  • Taylor finished with 13 points, his 20th career double-digit game as a Governor.
  • The Govs remain winless when being outrebounded by an opponent, falling to 0-8 thanks to Murray State’s 29-28 advantage on the glass.

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