Jacksonville State (9-13) at Austin Peay (8-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Winfield Dunn Center (9,000) -- Clarksville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: JSU 7-2, APSU 6-2. Away Record: JSU 1-10, APSU 1-8. Neutral Record: JSU 1-1, APSU 1-1. Conference Record: JSU 3-4, APSU 2-3. Series Record: Austin Peay leads, 16-3.
GAME NOTES: The Austin Peay Governors will try to put the brakes on a three- game losing streak when they take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at the Winfield Dunn Center.
The Gamecocks have not been able to get into a rhythm recently, alternating wins and losses over their last four contests. The most recent result was a 60-56 setback against Eastern Kentucky in the first part of a four-game road trip, which continues on Saturday against Murray State.
The Governors were dispatched by Eastern Illinois in a 67-64 final last Saturday, as they closed out a three-game road trip with their third straight loss. Austin Peay is just 8-11 overall, including a 2-3 mark in OVC play, but they are 6-2 at home. They will be the hosts once again this Saturday, as Tennessee Tech comes to town.
Jacksonville State hosted the only meeting between these teams a year ago and earned an 81-74 victory. It was the second straight win for the Gamecocks and just the third ever in 19 total matchups against Austin Peay.
The free-throw line was where the Gamecocks' latest game was decided, as they were outscored 27-16 there in the loss to Eastern Kentucky. Brian Williams finished with 16 points and six assists to pace the team in the losing effort.
The Gamecocks have not been a particularly potent offensive team this season. They are ranked 11th in the 12-team OVC in scoring (66 ppg), while connecting on only 43.1 percent of their shots from the floor. Darion Rackley (13.2 ppg) and Williams (10.9 ppg) are the only two double-digit scorers on the roster, although Williams has hit on just 35.2 percent of his field goal attempts. Rackley tallied 12 points off the bench for Jacksonville State against Eastern Kentucky. D.J. Felder (7.7 ppg) is the next best scoring option, but he had only three points last time out.
Damarius Smith missed a 3-pointer as time expired in Austin Peay's loss to Eastern Illinois. The Governors missed plenty of shots from beyond the arc in the contest, as they were outscored 21-9 from 3-point range. Will Triggs tacked on 15 points off the bench to pace Austin Peay in defeat.
The Governors are producing well enough at the offensive ends, as they are netting 75.1 ppg and shooting the third-best percentage from the floor (.482) in the OVC. They also rank third in the league in assists. Chris Horton (14.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and Travis Betran (13.4 ppg) are the two top scoring options. Horton, who is third in the conference in rebounds, managed 13 points and 11 boards against Eastern Illinois, while Betran struggled to get 11 points on 4- of-12 shooting. Triggs (12.1 ppg) is also a reliable scorer.
Austin Peay has had a much better success rate on its home floor than on the road. As long as the Govs are able to put up more of a fight on defense, the trend should continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 71, Jacksonville State 64
01/23 10:20:28 ET