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Govs make return trip to Arkansas

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE— For the third time in four years, Austin Peay will make the trek to northwest Arkansas to visit the Razorbacks, 7 p.m., Tuesday.

The Govs got back to .500 on the season after taking down South Carolina State, last Monday. The eight-day break between games is tied for the longest space between contests for the Govs in 2019-20; they’ll have eight days between the second contest at the St. Pete Shootout, Dec. 22, and the nonconference finale against Georgia, Dec. 30. Hopefully, the rest will have been beneficial for two-time defending Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week Terry Taylor, two-time OVC Freshman of the Week Jordyn Adams, freshly-minted OVC Freshman of the Week Carlos Paez and the rest of the Govs as they get set to take on the second of four Power Five programs on the schedule in the 2019-20 nonconference slate.

Austin Peay looks to hand Arkansas its first loss of Eric Musselman’s inaugural campaign at the helm in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks are among the nation’s top-10 in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal defense (leading the country at 17.9 percent), steals and turnovers forced.

Scouting the Razorbacks

There is stingy defending, and then there is what Arkansas has done through seven games in 2019-20: 51.4 opponent scoring average, 35.5 opposing field goal percentage and 17.9 percent from three. The Razorbacks didn’t allow an opponent to score 50 until the season’s fourth game (when Texas Southern reached 51) and still haven’t allowed more than 61 points or better than 41.5 percent from the floor or 33.3 percent from three through seven games.

Isaiah Joe, a potential lottery pick in next summer’s NBA Draft, gets plenty of headlines, befitting his standing on the Jerry West Award Watch List and spot as preseason All-SEC second team; he’s lived up to it, averaging 15.7 points and 4.4 rebounds with a team-high 22 assists, but it’s been junior Mason Jones who leads the way in scoring at 18.5 per night; he’s also hitting 50.0 percent from the floor and pulling down 5.7 rebounds per night, in addition to his team-high 16 steals.

Last Time Out Against Arkansas

The Govs gave the Bulldogs all they could handle at Bud Walton last season before succumbing in a 76-65 affair in Fayetteville. While Austin Peay’s three-point shooting (16.0 percent, 4-for-25) was its Achilles’ Heel, the Govs actually trailed but just a point heading into halftime, thanks to stingy defense and an influx of offense from senior Steve Harris; he would lead three Govs in double-digit scoring with 15 points.

Keep An Eye On…

  • A win would be Austin Peay’s first road win in 2019-20.
  • Over the last four games, the Govs are hitting 39.1 percent from three as a team and averaging 9.0 made three-pointers per game.
  • On average, the Govs are plus-12.0 in rebounding in their three wins, as opposed to minus-6.0 in losses.
  • Freshman Jordyn Adams has scored in double figures in four straight games, averaging 16.5 points over that span.
  • Milestone Watch: Terry Taylor needs one blocked shot to take possession of 10th place in program history. With nine points, he’d pass Adrian Henning (2000-04) for 13th and with 18 he’d pass Anthony Campbell (2008-13) for 12th all-time in scoring. His march up the offensive rebound list will advance with two more rebounds, putting him past Reggie Crenshaw (1994-98) for fourth. With 13 shot attempts, he’d break into the program’s top-20 all-time, while he needs just six made free-throws to move into the top-30 in that category.

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