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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 6, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentry Center (10,500) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Austin Peay 7-4, Tennessee State 2-8. Away Record: Austin Peay 1-8, Tennessee State 1-11. Neutral Record: Austin Peay 1-1, Tennessee State 0-2. Conference Record: Austin Peay 3-5, Tennessee State 2-8. Series Record: Austin Peay leads, 42-25.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee State Tigers ended a ruthless seven-game losing streak with a win Friday, and they'll try, for the first time all season, to string a pair of wins together as they host the Austin Peay Governors in Ohio Valley Conference play at the Gentry Center.
Austin Peay has lost five of its last six games, including a 96-88 decision at the hands of OVC West Division leader Murray State. The Governors, who are 3-5 in the OVC this season, are four and a half games back of Murray State for the West Division lead.
No team is further from the OVC East Division lead than Tennessee State. At 2-8 in the conference, the Tigers are six games back of Belmont in the OVC East. Still, the Tigers stopped the bleeding of a seven-game win streak with an 81-68 victory over Tennessee Tech.
Austin Peay has a pretty good handle on the all-time series lead with Tennessee State, 42-25. This matchup between the two programs is the first and only time they'll meet during the regular season.
Austin Peay was down by eight points at halftime to Murray State, and didn't make any headway into the final score in the second half as the Governors dropped the eight-point decision. Ed Dyson and Chris Horton each scored 19 points to pace Austin Peay in the losing effort, while Travis Betran and Damarius Smith each chipped in 14 points. The Governors shot 49.2 percent from the floor in the game, but his just 3-of-12 from 3-point range.
Horton paces the team this season in scoring with a 14 ppg average on an impressive 62.7 percent shooting touch from the floor. Horton nearly averages a double-double this season with 9.8 rpg, but has an immense total of 70 blocked shots to lead the Governors. Betran is second on the team in scoring with 13.5 ppg, and Will Triggs is third at 12.3 ppg. Smith tops the squad with 125 assists on the year.
Tennessee State and intrastate rival Tennessee Tech went into the half knotted up, 36-36, in the Tigers' last outing. For the first time in eight games, the Tigers were able to outdo their opponent and hold on for a decisive victory. Patrick Miller scored 27 points to lead Tennessee State, while M.J. Rhett added 20 points of his own. Jay Harris tallied 11 points in the win, in which the Tigers shot 51.2 percent from the floor.
In a season overcome with disappointment for Tennessee State, Miller has been an extremely bright star, netting an average of 23.3 ppg this year on 43.8 percent shooting from the field. Miller's 97 assists is a team high, along with his 44 steals. Rhett is the only other Tigers player to average double- digit scoring totals, checking in at 10.3 ppg with a team-best 8.8 rpg. Tennessee State is averaging 69.1 ppg.
It's too bad for Miller that Tennessee State is having such a disaster of a season, because he's been phenomenal through 24 games played. But one player can't get it done by himself, so Austin Peay shouldn't have much trouble keying in on Miller and slowing the pulse of the team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 74, Tennessee State 67
02/06 10:15:21 ET
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