Austin Peay (10-18/6-8 OVC) at UT Martin (18-11/8-6 OVC)
Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 | 7:00pm CT
Martin, TN | Elam Center
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball begins its final regular season road trip of 2016-17 with a trip to UT Martin for a 7:00pm, Thursday, tipoff in the Elam Center.
Wins are paramount for the Govs at this stage in the season, with Austin Peay needing wins and some help to enter the OVC Tournament field.
Austin Peay needs to win out and have Murray State win out (and take the No. 2 seed, with Austin Peay then usurping UT Martin for a postseason berth) or have the Racers lose their remaining games against UT Martin and Southeast Missouri, plus have Tennessee State defeat Belmont.
Austin Peay Men’s Basketball hits the road to take on the UT Martin Skyhawks Thursday. (APSU Sports Information)
In the latter scenario, the Redhawks would take the No. 2 seed in the upcoming OVC Tournament and Austin Peay—via hypothetical win against Southeast Missouri Saturday—would be in over Murray State.
There is also a scenario involving the Govs, Skyhawks, Redhawks and Tennessee Tech being tied at 8-8 at the end of the season that puts the Govs in the tournament as well.
Fortunately, Austin Peay brings the reigning OVC Player of the Week into the season’s final weekend. In his last two appearances at the Dunn Center, Murry led the Govs to a pair of crucial victories to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth.
For the week, the senior averaged 28.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg, shooting 46.0 percent (17-for-37) from the floor, 88.2 percent (15-for-17) from the free-throw line and 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from beyond the arc.
About the UT Martin Skyhawks
Four Skyhawks enter play averaging in double figures, but the Govs must keep an eye on Jacolby Mobley—UT Martin’s leading scorer posted 36 points last time these two teams got together, equaling Josh Robinson for the single-game high by an OVC player in 2016-17.
The Govs will need to put a body on Javier Martinez as well—he pulled down 19 rebounds in the January 26th meeting, most by an Austin Peay opponent this season, and is averaging 12.4 ppg and 8.3 rpg on 66.4 percent shooting this season.
Summing up SIU Edwardsville
The Govs built a 21-point lead before halftime and withstood a late SIU Edwardsville run to hang on for a 92-84 victory on Senior Night. The long-time duo of John Murry and Kenny Jones—teammates first at Owens (Ohio) Community College before joining forces at Austin Peay—led the way for the Govs, with Murry tallying a game-high 25 points and Jones adding 20.
Last Time Out Against UT Martin
The Govs nearly erased an 18-point deficit before a national CBS Sports Network audience, ultimately falling 85-79 to the Skyhawks, January 26th, in the Dunn Center.
Led by Jacolby Mobley’s 36 points, the Skyhawks shot a white-hot 56.7 percent in the first half and 50.0 for the game, but did their most damage on the glass–the Skyhawks turned 12 offensive boards into 11 second chance points, while Austin Peay’s six offensive rebounds turned into just one point.
Although Josh Robinson‘s 21 points led four Govs in double figures, Javier Martinez’s 19 boards were most by an Austin Peay opponent in 2016-17.
Keep An Eye On
A win would be Austin Peay’s first road win against UT Martin since 2014 and would give Austin Peay at least seven wins in OVC play in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2012.
If Robinson can maintain his 20-point pace, he would become the first Governor since Drake Reed (2008-09) to average 20 points per game for an entire season and just the fourth since the turn of the century–each of the previous three (Reed, Nick Stapleton and Trenton Hassell) went on to gain induction into the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
In 17 of 28 games this season, Jones has shot at least 60 percent from the floor. He ranks fifth (59.1 percent) in the conference in shooting among qualified players and his current eight-game double-figure scoring streak is a career-long.
Murry (20.1 ppg) and Robinson (19.8) are the only set of teammates among the top-five in scoring during league play, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively.
Since the start of league play, Jared Savage has seven multi-steal games and ranks second behind only Tennessee State’s Tahjere McCall (1.8 spg). Savage has secured multiple steals in five of Austin Peay’s six OVC wins.
UT Martin only has two losses at home in 2016-17, and are unbeaten at the Elam Center since Dec. 31 (5-0).
Murry has needed less than five minutes to score 10 or more points on 10 occasions in 2016-17, most recently against SIU Edwardsville (Feb. 18). Since the start of OVC play, he’s averaging 20.1 ppg, hitting 46.4 percent (90-for-194) from the floor and 80.8 percent (80-for-99) from the free-throw line.
APSU Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB). Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Athletics Hall of Fame, APSU Basketball, APSU Dunn Center, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Belmont, Clarksville TN, Drake Reed, Elam Center, Governors, Govs, Jared Savage, Javier Martinez, Jocolby Mobley, John Murry, Josh Robinson, Kenny Jones, Murray State, Nick Stapleton, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, RedHawks, siu edwardsville, Skyhawks, Southeast Missouri, Tahjere McCall, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Trenton Hassell, UT-Martin