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Blue Raiders suffer disappointing 83-67 setback to Govs

December 28, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee started slowly and never recovered on its way to a disappointing 83-67 setback against Austin Peay in front of a season-high 4,428 at Murphy Center Wednesday night.

The loss ended Middle Tennessee's 19-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents, which was the nation's 14th longest streak entering the game, and it came against an Austin Peay team that had lost 20 consecutive road games against non-conference teams prior to Wednesday's game.

Middle Tennessee (6-4) never led in the game as it fell behind early and trailed 43-29 entering the half. The Blue Raiders made an 11-0 run to start the second half and appeared to have momentum on their size when Adam Vogelsberg connected on two free throws to cut the deficit to 43-40 with 16:30 remaining; however, the Governors (7-4) answered with a run of their own to quickly get the lead back to double figures.

"I thought from the first three minutes of the tip, Austin Peay was more physical and unselfish," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. "We have to learn from this loss."

Vogelsberg led Middle Tennessee with 15 points, while Fats Cuyler netted 10. Kyle Young, who entered the game as the Sun Belt's leader in field goal percentage, connected on all five field goal attempts and finished with 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Marcus Morrison and Brian Lake each added nine for the Blue Raiders.

Austin Peay was led by guard Maurice Hampton (24 points) and center Zac Schlader (22 points), who combined for 46 of the team's 83 points on 19-of-33 shooting from the field.

The Blue Raiders were outrebounded (32-30) and outshot (52 percent to 47 percent) by Austin Peay, which won its fifth straight. Middle Tennessee returns to action at Tennessee State Saturday at 2 p.m.

GAME NOTES:
STREAK ENDS: Middle Tennessee's 19-game homecourt winning streak versus non-conference foes came to an end with the loss to Austin Peay on Wednesday night. The streak was the 14th longest in the nation prior to the setback to the Governors.

YOUNG SOLID: One of the few bright spots for the Blue Raiders against Austin Peay was the play of junior Kyle Young. Young, who entered the game as the Sun Belt's field goal percentage leader, made all five of his shot attempts en route to a 10-point, eight rebound effort. For the year, Young is 16-for-20 from the field at the Murphy Center.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Adam Vogelsberg was voted the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game against Austin Peay by members of the working media. Vogelsberg finished with a team-high 15 points.

TIDBITS: Freshman Calvin O'Neil played in his first game in a month after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot. He played a total of four minutes and grabbed one rebound ... Adam Vogelsberg has now hit 21 consecutive free throws after going 4-for-4 in the loss to Austin Peay ... Tonight's game was the 100th for Kermit Davis as head coach at Middle Tennessee ... MT is now 11-2 against in-state foes at home under Davis ... The 16-point loss to Austin Peay matched the worst defeat at home under Davis (Arkansas-Little Rock in 2003) ... Adam Vogelsberg has now hit three or more 3-pointers in a game six times this season after going 3-for-9 against APSU.

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Kermit Davis:
About the first few minutes of the game against Austin Peay:

"I thought from the first three minutes of the tipoff, Austin Peay was more physical and unselfish. [Zac] Schlader was the dominant force inside, and we couldn't do anything with [Maurice] Hampton on the perimeter."

About using the bench to narrow the lead:
"I thought we had an advantage going to the bench, but every time we went to the bench, our team didn't play very well. We cut the lead to three; our guys got tired and the next thing you know they are leading by 12."

About preparing for Saturday's contest at Tennessee State:
"You got to learn from this loss. We had pretty competitive practices the past few days. We can't get a catastrophe syndrome over a game like this. Basketball is a long season, we may not get it all fixed by Saturday's game against Tennessee State. Austin Peay got on top of us early because of their dominating physical presence."

On scoring offensively:
"We had 30 missed shots and only 7 offensive rebounds, which described the kind of night our team had."

About trying to capture a lead in the second half:
"We couldn't get any significant stops after our big run in the second half, which allowed them [Austin Peay] to regain a big lead."

Middle Tennessee forward Kyle Young:
About guarding Austin Peay Center Zac Schlader:

"We tried to approach him as a potential threat. We tried to stay in front of him, but once he gets the ball down low, he doesn't miss too often."

On Austin Peay making big plays to keep Middle Tennessee from making a comeback:
"One of the most frustrating things in a game is when we make a big run and then they come back and make big shots that take the momentum away from you."

About the holiday break having an affect on tonight's game:
"I think the last two practices we had, were two of the best practices we had this season. I don't think the layoff had anything to do with our loss tonight."

About having a disappointing loss midway through the season:
"It seems like this happens every year to us. We shouldn't have lost this game, not taking anything away from Austin Peay, but we should have been prepared for this game. Now we got to rebound and get ready for our game against Tennessee State."

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