Tech can tie all-time series with Governors
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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech returns to action Thursday for the first time after making national headlines thanks to senior guard Kevin Murphy's 50-point explosion in Monday's win over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Clarksville, Tenn., to take on Austin Peay at 7 p.m. CST in a matchup of squads picked to finish first and second in the Ohio Valley Conference in preseason polling.
Tech (14-9, 6-4 OVC) comes into the contest in fourth place in the league, a half-game behind third-place Tennessee State and three-and-a-half games out of first. Austin Peay (9-15, 6-5 OVC) is in sixth and is a half-game behind the Golden Eagles.
Thursday's game marks the first and only meeting between the two in-state rivals this season, a rare occurrence due to changes in the OVC schedule this season to accommodate the addition of SIU Edwardsville.
Tech will have the opportunity to tie the all-time series with the Governors, which Austin Peay currently leads 68-67. The Golden Eagles have won three consecutive games in the series, sweeping the Govs in two games in 2010-11 and beating APSU on its home floor in the first round of the OVC Tournament in 2010.
The Golden Eagles now feature the No. 2 scoring duo in NCAA Division I in Murphy and Jud Dillard, who are scoring 38.8 points per game combined. Murphy upped his average by more than a point with his performance on Monday and is now sixth in the nation in scoring, averaging 21.3 points per game. Dillard averages 17.5 points per game. As a duo, they trail only Damian Lillard and Scott Bamforth of Weber State.
Dillard leads Tech and the OVC in rebounding, averaging 8.4 boards per game, while Zac Swansey sits atop the conference in assists, averaging 5.9 per contest.
TyShwan Edmondson leads Austin Peay in scoring, tossing in 13.0 points per game. Three other Governors also average in double-figures – Josh Terry (12.4 ppg), Melvin Baker (11.8 ppg) and John Fraley (11.6 ppg). Fraley also leads the team in rebounding, pulling in 8.8 boards per game. Fraley has played in just 15 games this season due to an injury that kept him sidelined early in the year.
After getting off to an 0-9 start this season, Austin Peay has rebounded in conference play and have won six of its last eight games.
Thursday's game will be broadcast on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, WHUB AM 1400 and on the Internet at www.1400TheHub.com. Fans can also watch a live webstream on OVCSports.tv or listen via Teamline by calling (216) 502-3200 and entering team code 0654. Cost is $5 per call.