GAMES NOTES: After putting a stop to a season-long losing streak last time out the Tennessee State Tigers will take on the Austin Peay Governors in Ohio Valley Conference action at the Dunn Center.
The Tigers had lost three straight games for the second time this season before a convincing 84-65 win over Tennessee Tech last Thursday. Tennessee State has been idle since that matchup and enters this contest with an overall mark of 13-10, including a solid 7-3 mark against league foes. The Tigers are tied for third with Eastern Kentucky in the conference standings but will need to improve on their 3-9 road record as they play three of the next four away from home.
Austin Peay nearly pulled off an upset last time out but couldn't get over the hump in a 75-68 loss in overtime to conference power Murray State. The loss was the sixth straight for the Governors who are a miserable 5-18 overall this season, including just one conference win. That conference mark has the Governors in sole possession of last place in the OVC. Austin Peay is 4-5 at home where it will be against on Saturday against conference leading Belmont.
This is the first and only meeting between these teams this season. In the all-time series the Governors have a 42-24 advantage although Tennessee State has won three of the last five matchups.
In its win over Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State dominated in the first half and then coasted to victory. The Tigers held the Golden Eagles to just six field goals in the first 20 minutes and had a 41-23 lead going into intermission. The Tigers forced 24 turnovers in the game which they traded in for 32 points.
A trio of scorers are averaging in double figures for the Tigers this season, led by Kellen Thornton (14.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg). The 6-foot-8 forward has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games and has posted seven double- double on the campaign. Patrick Miller (13.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.8 apg) has been extremely versatile out of the backcourt with his ability to contribute not only with his scoring but also by rebounding and passing. Jordan Cyphers (11.8 ppg) is the third double-digit scorer.
Austin Peay led by five points with just under two minutes but couldn't hold on against Murray State. The Governors missed their last three field goal attempts in regulation and a pair of free throws to allow the Racers to force overtime. In the extra session the Governors shot just 2-of-8 from the field as the game slipped away.
In the loss to Murray State, Austin Peay surrendered at least 70 points for the 12th time in the last 13 games. Obviously defense has been a struggle for the Govs, who are letting up 75.4 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting to their opponents. On offense the Governors have held their own by scoring 70.4 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting but without much pressure on the defensive end that hasn't mattered. Leading the charge for Austin Peay is Travis Betran (17.3 ppg, 3.0 apg) who tops the team in points and assists. Anthony Campbell (14.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) can play both in the front and backcourt with his size (6-foot-7), while Will Triggs (12.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Chris Horton (7.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.1 bpg) anchor the team in the paint.
Austin Peay gave Murray State its best shot and still couldn't pick up a win. Don't expect much to change against another one of the OVC's best.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee State 73, Austin Peay 66
02/07 10:42:59 ET
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