Montana State (1-3) vs. Austin Peay (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 5:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (5,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 0-1, APSU 2-0. Away Record: MSU 0-1, APSU 0-2. Neutral Record: MSU 1-1, APSU 0-1. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, APSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Montana State Bobcats try to follow up their first win of the 2013-14 campaign with another solid effort, as they clash with the Austin Peay Governors in the final day of the Central Michigan Tournament.
Montana State began the season with three straight setbacks to Cal State, Fullerton, UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge before finally breaking through on Friday with a 59-54 triumph versus tournament host Central Michigan.
As for the Governors, they've lost both of their games here at McGuirk Arena over the last couple of days, dropping them a game below .500 in the process. The squad began with a 90-75 setback to CMU on Thursday and yesterday followed that with an 80-77 overtime loss to Cal State Northridge.
According to APSU sources, this game counts as the first-ever between the schools on the hardwood.
MSU shot a dismal 8-of-25 from the floor in the first half against Central Michigan on Friday, converting just 1-of-8 behind the 3-point line en route to a 29-18 deficit at the break. However, the second half was a different story as the Bobcats limited the home team to just 8-of-28 from the floor and 1- of-13 out on the perimeter in order to come back and claim the five-point win. Terrell Brown erupted for a game-high 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench, while Paul Egwuonwu delivered a double-double consisting of 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Egwuonwu has been the leading rebounder for MSU in all four games thus far, leading to his 8.8 rpg. However, as one of three players scoring 9.5 ppg to lead the team in that department (Flavien Davis and Brown), Egwuonwu has limited his opportunities by getting into foul trouble and fouling out of two contests. Shooting just 24.1 percent behind the 3-point line, Montana State is generating only 63.5 ppg at the moment.
APSU led by two with just over two minutes to play in overtime on Friday afternoon, but the team then went cold as CSUN scored the final five points of the meeting. Except for Ed Dyson who put up seven points, every starter for the Govs landed in double figures, beginning with Travis Betran and Will Triggs with 17 points apiece. Chris Horton responded with a double-double consisting of 15 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Damarius Smith with 11 points and four assists before fouling out for a squad that had almost as many turnovers (18) as field goals (21).
Shooting a sizzling 64.7 percent from the floor in the early going, Triggs is responsible for 13.0 ppg, while Betran pitches in with 11.8 ppg, although the latter has made good on just 30 percent from the field and 25.0 percent behind the 3-point line. As a team, Austin Peay's perimeter shooting is highly questionable with just 28.7 percent accuracy.
An exhausting three-day run finally comes to a close for two teams who would like nothing better than to finish on a positive note. If the Bobcats can again put together a strong defensive effort, they could easily grab another win in Michigan.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana State 63, Austin Peay 60
11/23 10:33:20 ET