The 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Terry Taylor built on his legacy in the Govs 79-71 road conference win over SIU Edwardsville on Thursday, Jan. 17. The Govs perennial forward set a career-high 33 points in the affair.
In the win, APSU snapped a three-game home winning streak for the Cougars (5-13, 1-5 OVC). The victory kept the visitors undefeated in the conference before they fell two days later to Eastern Illinois. Despite the difference in records, SIUE managed to push APSU (13-6, 5-1) to the edge in a dragged out, high scoring contest.
“I thought Edwardsville came out playing really physical and really hard. Jon [Harris] had those guys ready to play, I’m sure he challenged them and they came out and fought,” Figger told letsgopeay.com. “I give them credit, it wasn’t for their lack of fight. Credit them for putting us in a situation where we really had to earn this one.”
The Cougars, who scored the third most points in a conference game for themselves against APSU, shot only 37.9 percent from the field while going from 11-32 in the second half. From the 10:35 to 4:18 mark in the second half, SIUE could only find six points, all coming from the free-throw line. The Cougars biggest offensive threat was their 18 points from the stripe, outshooting APSU 78.3 percent to 50 percent in that category.
“We defended very, very well. Early on, we didn’t do a very good job in transition defense but the entire second half we had to win that game with defense,” Head Coach Matt Figger told letsgopeay.com
Physicality became the motif of the match. SIUE managed to top Taylor and the gang in the rebounding category by one, but APSU stole the show in the paint. APSU managed to outscore the Cougars by 20 in the paint, 44 to the host’s 24.
“We established our will in the paint. I told our guys that’s where we would win this game,” Figger told letsgopeay.com.
Chris Porter-Bunton, who dished out 23 points in the Govs last match with SIUE, went 4-for-8 from the field while adding a 3-pointer to total 10 points in the affair. Steve Harris was the third Gov to finish in double figures.
While Taylor accounted for 41.7 percent of the points for APSU the game never felt dictated by the Bowling Green native. Taylor tallied 20 points in the decisive second half that assured the Govs the win.
A pair of Taylor layups midway through the second half put the Govs in front for the final time of the match.