Austin Peay (2-2) vs. Cal State Northridge (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (5,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: GSN. Home Record: Austin Peay 2-0, CSUN 1-0. Away Record: Austin Peay 0-2, CSUN 0-2. Neutral Record: Austin Peay 0-0, CSUN 1-0. Conference Record: Austin Peay 0-0, CSUN 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Central Michigan Tournament marches on for a second day as the Austin Peay Governors meet up with the Matadors of Cal State Northridge at McGuirk Arena.
The Matadors are hoping to capture their second straight win in Mount Pleasant after defeating Montana State on Thursday in a narrow 74-73 final. The victory yesterday snapped a two-game slide for CSUN and was the first of the season against another Division I program. The squad opened the 2013-14 campaign with an 86-74 win over Hope International two weeks ago.
As for the Governors, they fell to .500 on Thursday when they suffered a 90-75 loss to host Central Michigan. The defeat was the second in three games for an APSU group that barely got by Southern Illinois at home three nights ago, 72-70.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
On Saturday these teams will again be in action, with CSUN going up against host Central Michigan and the Governors clashing with Montana State.
The Austin Peay defense held the Chippewas to just 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in the first half of their meeting yesterday, including an eye- opening 2-of-18 behind the 3-point line, but the Govs ended up with 18 turnovers and a scoring deficit of 24-8 at the free-throw line in the setback. Travis Betran posted a team-best 16 points, followed by Will Triggs and Zavion Williams with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the APSU squad this season is the balanced scoring attack that comes out every game. Forget that the Governors are being outscored by 6.0 ppg at the moment, mostly due to the fact that the team is shooting only 57.6 percent at the free-throw line, and know that there are several players who have the ability to step up and be an offensive leader when their number is called. Producing 75.0 ppg, Austin Peay's top scorer is Triggs with his 12.0 ppg, followed by Betran with 10.5 ppg. The squad has four more players with an average of at least 8.3 ppg at this stage.
The Matadors defense held Montana State scoreless over the final minute of play on Thursday and a free throws by Tre Hale-Edmerson with 19 seconds to play put them in line for a narrow one-point win. Hale-Edmerson played 29 minutes and scored only three points, but it was that one conversion at the charity stripe that made all the difference. Stephen Maxwell led the CSUN offense with 21 points, followed by Stephan Hicks with 16, Josh Greene 13 points and reserve Aaron Parks 12. The Matadors survived thanks to a 30-20 scoring edge at the free-throw line and a defense that held the opposition to 36.7 percent shooting from the field.
Unfortunately for Northridge, the defense has been a bit shaky overall through the first four games of the season, allowing foes to knock down close to 50 percent from the field, en route to 80.5 ppg. Countering for the Matadors is Maxwell with his 18.5 ppg, followed by Greene (16.2 ppg) and Hicks (15.2 ppg). Maxwell often makes his own scoring opportunities thanks to a fantastic 4.2 offensive rebounds per contest.
As long as Austin Peay can spread the wealth on offense and keep Maxwell, Greene and Hicks from dominating too much at the defensive end of the floor the Governors should have a solid shot at picking up the win this afternoon.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 76, Cal State Northridge 74
11/22 10:40:15 ET