Men's Basketball Faces Tough Home Test against Austin Peay
Georgia Southern will have its toughest non-conference home test in quite awhile when Austin Peay comes to Hanner Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The Eagles (2-2) will put their 25-game non-conference home winning streak at risk against the Governors (2-2). Saturday will mark the first time a non-league school coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance has played in Statesboro since Winthrop on Dec. 2, 1999.
“A game like this is good for us,” said head coach Jeff Price. “We haven’t lost a non-conference home game in about six years so we have something on the line and something to shoot for to keep the streak alive. Hopefully our guys will understand that.”
Austin Peay won both the Ohio Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles while posting a 24-11 record. APSU lost 74-54 in the first round of the NCAAs to Texas.
“We are playing a traditionally very good team that is very athletic, strong and physical,” said Price. “We’ve had eight days to practice and hopefully we’ll see some carryover in the game.”
The Eagles are coming off a nine-day layoff, having not taken the floor since Nov. 18 at UTEP. The last time the team had nine days between games, they fell by 21 at home to UNC Greensboro in 2006.
“It can be both good and bad,” said Price. “Austin Peay has played twice since we’ve been off. We might be a little game-rusty but hopefully once we get into the flow we’ll see some results of executing our offense better and get to where we need to be defensively. Hopefully we’ll see some of that practice pay off.”
Austin Peay ranks second in the OVC in steals per game (10.0) while Georgia Southern ranks 10th in turnovers (19.0) and ninth in turnover margin (-4.2).
“I think it’s going to be somewhat of a low-possession game,” said Price. “When you play those games you have to cut down on your turnovers and can’t give up second shots because every possession becomes more important. We’ve got to take care of the ball. My biggest concern is that they are very physical and we’re going to have to match their physical ability.”
The Governors have three players averaging double-digits in points, led by Drake Reed at 18.5 ppg. Reed had a game-high 22 against the Eagles last season in Clarksville. Wes Channels, who had 22 in his last game vs. Lambuth, is second in scoring at 17.5 ppg.
“They’re really efficient in their man offense and well coached,” said Price. “They’re very structured, and like I said, they’re real tough and physical.”
Junior Antonio Hanson is averaging 18.0 points in his last two games thanks to five 3-pointers in each outing. He has led the team in scoring the past two games to increase his season average to 11.3 ppg.
“He’s shooting the ball well,” said Price. “He’s got to get better at other things off the ball, improve defensively and his ability to see the floor. With new guys you see that a lot but he’s certainly shooting the ball well and hopefully he’ll continue to do that.”
Tip-off Saturday will be at 2 p.m. Live video and audio will be available on www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Friday, 28 November 2008 00:05