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Govs looking to remain unbeaten in OVC play

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. —Austin Peay looks to remain unbeaten in league play in the midst of their four-game road trip as the Govs take on UT Martin in a 3:30 p.m. tip-off in the Elam Center Saturday.

The Govs are one of just three remaining teams unbeaten in league play, alongside Jacksonville State and Murray State. The Racers, Austin Peay’s travel partner, dispatched UT Martin 98-77 on Thursday.

Recently-minted Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch List honoree Terry Taylor has been a steady influence during league play, averaging 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, eighth and 10th in the league during OVC play. Only Belmont’s Dylan Windler and Eastern Kentucky’s Nick Mayo—also on the Lou Henson Watch List—are in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding.

Scouting the Skyhawks

The Govs score a lot. UT Martin has struggled with stopping other teams from scoring, surrendering 82.1 points per contest (340th nationally) on 48.8 percent shooting (341st). Defensively, the Skyhawks biggest threat is theft; they rank fourth in the OVC with 8.1 steals per game.

The Govs also possess the OVC’s best rebounding margin (plus-4.0), while UT Martin sits 10th at negative-2.1. This dichotomy will likely be at its most stark on the offensive glass, where Austin Peay currently collects 33.8 percent of its misses to lead the league; UT Martin secures just 67.3 percent of defensive rebound opportunities, second-to-last in the league.

Last Time Out Against UT Martin

In a dynamic defensive struggle, Austin Peay emerged victorious in a 59-57 win in the Elam Center, Feb. 1, 2018. Averyl Ugbaled all scorers with 28 points and 17 rebounds and helped put the game away with clutch play down the stretch in a contest where both teams combined to shoot 31.0 percent from the floor. The victory was Austin Peay’s eighth OVC win, most since the 2011-12 season, and was the Govs first at the Elam Center since 2014.

Keep An Eye On…

  • A win would make the Govs 4-0 to start January for the first time since 2006-07.
  • Since the Calvary contest (Dec. 8)—a span of eight games—the Govs are hitting 51.3 percent (257-of-501) as a team. That includes a 37.5 percent (60-of-160) mark from beyond the arc.
  • Senior Zach Glotta needs just three more three-pointers to break into Austin Peay’s career top-10.
  • A win would make the Govs 2-0 to start the OVC road schedule for the first time since 2010-11.
  • Austin Peay is outscoring its opponents 22.0-12.3 in points off turnover thus far in OVC play.
  • Grad transfer Jabari McGhee is averaging 10.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 67.5 percent shooting since the Purdue Fort Wayne contest (seven games).
  • A win would give Austin Peay three straight against UT Martin for the first time since 2013-14 and give the Govs back-to-back road wins against the Skyhawks for the first time since winning six straight from 2006-12.
  • A victory would give the Govs a 4-0 start to league play for the second year in a row.

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