APSU Men’s Basketball had no issue in their second meeting with the SIU Edwardsville this season.
A one-sided first have of basketball resulted in the Govs knocking off SIUE 80-45.
“We had to play our game,” Chris-Porter Bunton said. “We had to put it on them and show we are the more physical team.”
Five minutes into the affair, APSU led 15-2 before finding them ahead 36-5 with under 13 minutes played.
“Offense is going to come for us. There are plenty of guys that can score the ball,” Porter-Bunton said. “Lately, we feel like we have gotten away from our identity as defense and we showed our will on defense today.”
SIUE started the night by missing their first six 3-pointers. Something that can be chalked up to the defensive focus APSU has had in their past few matchups. The Govs won the rebound battle 43-33.
“We had to display a little more toughness on the glass and that is just something we have not done in awhile,” Figger said. “Rebounding in nothing but toughness.”
When the teams met three weeks ago, Terry Taylor set a career-high in scoring. The 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year looked to be on pace to break that with 20 points in the first half, which was more than the entirety of the SIUE squad.
“We got the team win and we held them to only 45 points,” Taylor said. “We played good defensively, shared the ball and shot it well. I am going to sleep good.”
Coach Figger’s side was not short of big performances. Junior guard Isaiah Hart, a player that has not always been at the forefront of APSU’s namesheet, finished with a career-high of 11 points.
“It has been coming man,” Figger said. “[Isaiah] had to learn. He got thrown right into the fire and he did not have October or November to get better as a player.”
Hart tallied two assists as the Govs finished with 20 assists while SIUE had 7. In addition, the hosts forced 18 turnovers and found 13 steals in the contest. The Govs scored 19 points off of turnovers as the ball movement was nearly impeccable for Figger and his team.
SIUE had only one steal in the contest.
“We enjoy sharing the ball with each other. We can get it done by sharing the ball,” Jabari McGhee said. “We can get it done on defense and share the ball on offense.”
At the end of the 40 minute tirade, APSU had 24 points in the pain, 28 points off the bench, three blocks, five players in double figures and only six turnovers.
“I would like to be better in spots with some of our sloppiness as far as our shots,” Figger said. “[Tonight] is as good as we have played.”
Final stats can be viewed here.
APSU next outing will be with Eastern Illinois, the team that handed them their first OVC loss this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Voice of Head Coach Matt Figger
1) Belmont (18-4, 9-2)
2) Mu**ay State (18-4, 9-2)
3) APSU (17-7, 9-2)
4) Jacksonville State (16-8, 8-3)
5) Eastern Illinois (13-11, 6-5)
6) Morehead State (9-15, 5-6)
7) Tennessee State (8-15, 5-6)
8) SIU Edwardsville (8-15, 4-7)
9) Eastern Kentucky (10-14, 3-8)
10) Southeast Missouri (8-16, 3-8)
11) Tennessee Tech (7-17, 3-8)
12) UT Martin (7-15, 2-9)
Tennessee Tech at UT Martin
Belmont at Morehead State
Eastern Illinois at APSU
Jacksonville State at Southeast Missouri
Tennessee State at Eastern Kentucky
SIU Edwardsville at Mu**ay State