Austin Peay (5-15) at Jacksonville State (12-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: APSU 4-5, JSU 5-3. Away Record: APSU 0-7, JSU 5-4. Neutral Record: APSU 1-3, JSU 2-0. Conference Record: APSU 1-5, JSU 4-4. Series Record: Austin Peay leads, 17-2.
GAME NOTES: The Austin Peay Governors take their three-game losing streak on the road as they face the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a Ohio Valley Conference contest at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The good news for Dave Loos's Governors is they are taking on a JSU squad that they own a 17-2 all-time series lead over. However, the Gamecocks managed to clip APSU, 75-70, in the last encounter on Feb. 29, 2012.
APSU lost its 10th game in 11 outings on Saturday as it suffered a 77-67 setback Eastern Illinois at home, which dropped it to a 5-15 overall record including a 1-5 OVC mark. Although the Governors produce 71.2 ppg to rank fifth in the conference in scoring, they are second to last in scoring defense with 75.4 points allowed per tilt. Despite the poor outcomes of his squad's bouts, junior guard Travis Betran is fourth in the conference in scoring at 17.5 ppg. APSU has a couple more players scoring in double-figures in Anthony Campbell (14.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Will Triggs (12.4 ppg) while Chris Horton chips in 7.5 points and 6.4 boards per tilt.
The Gamecocks have lost their last two games to Tennessee State (66-60) and Eastern Kentucky (73-62), which are two of the top four teams in the league. JSU limits its foes to 60.7 ppg in OVC action. Although JSU is sporting a decent 12-7 overall record, its resume is even more impressive considering its seven losses have come at the hands of six teams, a group that holds a combined record of 83-32 (.722). Coach James Green's unit has four players who own double-digit scoring averages, with Darion Rackley sitting at the head of the class with his 14.0 ppg. Tarvin Gaines (13.9 ppg), Brian Williams (11.7 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Ronnie Boggs (11.0, 5.9 rpg) are all just as vital to the team's success.
The Gamecocks were outplayed on both ends of the floor by EKU over the weekend. They went just 18-of-58 from the field (31 percent) while the Colonels drained 51.1 percent of their attempts from the floor to clinch the double-digit decision. Gaines registered a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Williams chipped in 14 points, Boggs tallied 11 points and nine boards, and Rico Sanders tallied 10 points off the bench. JSU's defense is anchored by junior forward Nick Cook. who has become notorious for his shot blocking ability around the conference. Cook has rejected at least one shot in all but two games this year and has a block in 35 of his last 42 games, a stretch dating back to his first career start on Dec. 17, 2011.
The Gamecocks could be in trouble against the offensively capable Govs' if their shots continue to rim out. JSU should be able to stifle Betran and company and do well enough on the boards to hold off the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 72, Austin Peay 64
01/24 10:32:32 ET