In their first dose of conference play this season, APSU men’s basketball fell on the road to Mu**ay State 87-57.
The game between the OVC’s preseason co-favorites seemed to follow the buildup surrounding it straight out of the gate. The game was neck and neck early, as the two teams seemed traded blows to one another. However, one team was able to stay on their feet throughout the entirety of the contest—Mu**ay State.
APSU led three times in the contest, with their last lead being a 10-9 advantage just seven minutes in. Following the slim margin, it was all Mu**ay State. The Racers went on a 17-0 run over the next six and a half minutes of play. Their dominant stretch would continue going into the half, as they would outscore APSU 41-18 in the first 20 minutes of play.
It can be difficult to pinpoint one specific reason for such a lopsided game, but the team’s inability to create shots and lack of effort on the defensive end are certainly near the top of the list.
The trio of Terry Taylor, Carlos Paez and Tai’reon Joseph combined for 39 of the squad’s 87 points and shot a collective 14-for-26 from the field. Outside of the three, the team accounted for just 18 points on a 7-for-27 clip.
The Racer’s offense was able to blow past the Governors all night long. MSU shot an efficient 59.6% from the field, largely in part due to their 56 points in the paint.
When asked his overall takeaways from the performance, Governors head coach Matt Figger best described it as “embarrassing.”
“We were an embarrassment today,” Figger said. “We were an embarrassment from every aspect of the game. I was a joke of a coach. I’m embarrassed to call myself a coach right now. It was embarrassing all the way around, I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life. To come out and fight like this…in a game that means so much, I just want to apologize to everyone for this afternoon.”
There were some bright spots to be taken from the team, predominantly in the second half. Led by Joseph’s career-high 12 points, the team more than doubled their first half scoring output over the final 20 minutes of play.
Taylor’s 16-point, 11-rebound performance gave him his seventh straight double-double dating back to last season. He also surpassed 1,000 career rebounds in the game, making him just the fifth player in OVC history to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career.
The Governors will return back to Clarksville where they will stay for the better part of the month. The team is set to begin a four-game homestand beginning with McKendree on Dec. 14. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the Dunn.