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Govs open four-game road OVC stretch at SEMO

Robert Smith/

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. —After a sweep of the first OVC weekend, it’s back on the road for Austin Peay with Southeast Missouri the first opponent in a 7:45 p.m. tipoff, Thursday, in the Show Me Center.

The Govs haven’t won their OVC road opener since the 2010-11 season, but there’s certainly reason for optimism heading into this year’s first league game away from home. For one, it’s been quite awhile since the Govs were playing this high a quality of basketball—winners of eight of their last nine games, with only a loss to SEC foe Arkansas serving as a blemish.

But the biggest factor might be how tested the Govs are at this point in the season. Away from the Dunn, the Govs are 5-5, but included in that are in-season tournaments in Jamaica and Florida, including a win at the St. Pete Shootout, along with three forced overtimes and visits to SEC foes Mississippi State and Arkansas. Very simply, the Govs are ready for this next four-game stretch on the road.

Scouting the Redhawks

Something’s going to give when the Govs and Redhawks square off–either Austin Peay’s dynamic shooting from deep (37.0 percent from three) will continue, or the Redhawks stinginess in opponent three-point shooting (28.5 percent three-point shooting defense) while rise to the challenge. However, if the Redhawks are stifling on the perimeter, they’re vulnerable closer to the basket. In 2018-19, opponents are hitting 53.3 percent (269-of-505) on two-point attempts.

SEMO’s Skyler Hogan is a threat to keep an eye on from deep. He hits at a 44.0 percent clip and drops 2.5 threes per game, while partner in crime Ledarrius Brewer hits 2.0 per outing (at a less-than-stellar 29.5 percent clip). Few teams have embraced the long-ball revolution like Southeast Missouri–the Redhawks’ 408 attempted three-pointers are second in the OVC behind only Eastern Kentucky and 46th nationally.

Last Time Out Against Southeast Missouri

Terry Taylor put up a 19-point, 12-rebound outing. Zach Glotta popped from the outside with 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Dayton Gumm was near-flawless, with 14 points and six assists, to just one turnover. The departed Averyl Ugba had a monster 28-point, 8-rebound game and Austin Peay rolled to a 96-81 win in the Show Me Center, Feb. 3, 2018. The Govs showcased impeccable ball control, dishing out 23 assists to just 10 turnovers, the first time they had done that to a Division I foe since Jan. 8, 2009 (UT Martin).

Keep An Eye On…

  • A win would give the Govs four straight against the Redhawks for the first time since winning seven straight from 2008-11.
  • Austin Peay’s bench is averaging 32.3 ppg over the last seven games, led by Dayton Gumm with 13.3 ppg over that stretch.
  • Since Dec. 21, freshman Antwuan Butler possesses a 3.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • A fourth consecutive win in the Show Me Center would be the longest road winning streak for either squad in the series.
  • Gumm is hitting 58.1 percent from the floor since the Troy game (nine games).
  • Austin Peay has dominated the boards lately, with a plus-54 (average: plus-6.8) rebounding margin since Dec. 1.
  • A win would give Austin Peay its first 3-0 start to January since the 2010-11 season.
  • Since missing the Calvary contest with an injury, grad transfer Jabari McGhee is averaging 10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals on 69.7 percent shooting.