The last Austin Peay basketball team that compiled a perfect record at home in the regular season was 16 years ago.
The Governors of Austin Peay matched the mark made in the 2003-04 season, and continued a streak of 20 straight home victories at the Dunn center, defeating Morehead State by a final score of 67-58.
“We’re a team built with toughness and grit,” said head coach Matt Figger on the team’s undefeated home stretch. “We’ve got some good leadership, we have a talented team. All of that is in a great combination for what we’ve been able to do. Our guys are built to win, especially when it comes to defending the Dunn.”
It was the defense of the Govs that stood out on the Feb. 27 contest: the Eagles were forced into 11 turnovers, the Governors turned said miscues into 12 points on the evening.
Morehead State additionally shot 24% from beyond the arc. The three-point shooting was uncharacteristic from the Eagles, whose attempts on the night nearly doubled their season average.
Scoring runs defined the offense for the Govs, gaining a 10-2 advantage in the second half over a four-minute span to take a 63-53 lead. The lead would make all the difference, as the Governors would cruise over the final 3:43 for victory number 20 on the season.
Evan Hinson drew the start for just the sixth time this season, earning the second highest +/- of any player on the court. While the senior was indifferent to the starting role on Thursday, the South Carolina transfer has enjoyed his first full season as a Gov.
“It’s a unique experience,” said Hinson. “Nobody picked us to be as good as we are right now, but we’re about to go play for the OVC title. That makes us proud to represent Austin Peay, because we want to compete with the best of the OVC.”
With Belmont and Mu**ay State both earning victories on Thursday, the trio of teams remain in a deadlock for first place. The Governors will travel to play the Racers in the season finale on Saturday, Feb. 29, as the Bruins will host Tennessee State. The Govs defeated Mu**ay at the Dunn Center earlier in the month, a 71-68 thriller in the First Financial “Battle of the Border”.
In regards to the Ohio Valley Conference standings, regardless of Belmont’s Saturday outcome, the Governors will take the first overall seed with a win in Mu**ay.
With a loss, the Govs fall to the third seed, meaning their tournament will begin on Thursday, March 6. The first two seeds in the OVC tournament begin Friday, meaning a third seed would lose an additional day of rest and preparation.
“All I’m worried about is Mu**ay State right now, ” said Figger on the potential seeding of the conference tournament. “It’s the biggest game of the season, it’s the last one, and there’s a lot at stake. We’ll worry about postseason when it comes.”