DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (11,218) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: High Point 3-3, Austin Peay 3-2. Away Record: High Point 1-4, Austin Peay 0-5. Neutral Record: High Point 0-0, Austin Peay 1-2. Conference Record: High Point 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The High Point Panthers and the Austin Peay Governors square off on Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Dr. Pepper Classic at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
High Point comes into this matchup ice-cold as not only did it fall to the host squad Chattanooga on Friday night (68-61), but it has lost four straight games and six of its last seven overall. The Panthers' poor play in recent weeks has all but spoiled a promising 3-1 start, as they now sit with a 4-7 record.
Austin Peay's season started rather modestly, as it split its first eight games, but since then it has gone into a tailspin with five straight losses. Even though the Governors led their opening-round matchup with less than 10 minutes to play on Friday night, they could not hold on down the stretch as they suffered an 84-77 defeat at the hands of Utah Valley.
This tilt marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs on the hardwood.
High Point fought hard against Chattanooga in a back-and-forth affair on Friday, but it was unable to outlast the Mocs as it lost its third straight game by single digits. The team struggled from the field in the setback, making just 39 percent of its total shots, including a disappointing 3-of-20 showing from 3-point range. Overcoming his team's mediocre performance was John Brown, who logged a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds. Adam Weary scored 15 points and recorded four steals, Devante Wallace added 13 points in his first game of the season, and Lorenzo Cugini grabbed 12 rebounds. Amazingly enough, despite sporting a sub-.500 records, the Panthers actually have a plus-5.4 scoring margin, shooting 42.7 percent from the field for 71.8 ppg. Brown is the Big South Conference's fourth-leading scorer with 18.5 ppg, although he is less than a point away from the leader, VMI's Stan Okoye (19.3 ppg). Allan Chaney nets 13.8 ppg, and both he and Brown shoot 52 percent from the field or greater while grabbing at least 7.5 rpg.
The Governors actually put forth an impressive game at the offensive end on Friday night, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, including a lofty 12-of-25 from 3-point range, while turning the ball over just seven times. The problem was they could not stop Utah Valley, which made an astounding 61.1 percent of its field goal attempts on the night. Travis Betran was on fire in the contest, shooting 6-of-10 from long range on his way to 27 points, which tied a career-high. Anthony Campbell also had a big game with 22 points, and Will Triggs added 10 points in the setback. The loss was a microcosm of Austin Peay's season, as it shoots 46 percent from the floor for 70.8 ppg, yet allows its opponents to net 75.0 ppg. Betran has been great from beyond the arc all season (38-of-76), which has helped him to score a team-high 16.8 ppg. Anthony Campbell (14.5 ppg) has also been sharp from downtown (30-of-74), and Triggs rounds out the double-digit scorer with 10.1 ppg. The Govs have been plagued by turnovers this year, coughing the ball up nearly 18 times per game.
Something has got to give in this showdown of two teams with lengthy losing streaks. Both teams are capable of putting up points in bunches, so a shootout could be on tap. Figure Austin Peay to carry over its hot shooting from 3- point range to outlast the Panthers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 78, High Point 76
12/29 10:37:39 ET
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