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APSU Women’s Basketball loses at Western Illinois, 77-72

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team fell narrowly on the road to Western Illinois, 77-72, Sunday, at Western Hall.

The Governors (4-4) made 13 triples in the contest, led by Brianah Ferby’s season-high 19 points and turned the Leathernecks (3-5) over 27 times, but could not pull off the victory.

Austin Peay Women's Basketball get out to 14 point lead only to lose to Western Illinois, 77-72. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Basketball get out to 14 point lead only to lose to Western Illinois, 77-72. (APSU Sports Information)

Despite senior Keisha Gregory getting into foul trouble early, the Govs got off to a hot start. They used a 17-4 run in the first quarter to lead and at one point had a 14-point lead. The Govs also got a boost with freshman guard Kasey Kidwell returning after an injury.

Ferby had three three-pointers in the first quarter alone as well to push the Govs out to a quick start. The Govs and the Leathernecks both came into the game ranked in the top 15 in the country in total three-pointers made, but the Govs did a good job forcing the Leathernecks off the three-point line in the first quarter.

The Govs led 22-9 after the first due to shooting almost 50 percent from the floor while limiting the Leathernecks to just three made field goals.

The Govs dominated the first quarter, but the Leathernecks came out firing in the second. The Leathernecks got nine three-point shots off compared to just three in the opening frame, knocking down five of them. Kidwell knocked down two triples, but the Leathernecks came back to lead by two at the break. There were a couple ticky-tacky calls on the Govs, as indicated by the 12-3 foul count in the first half.

The Govs did not go away quietly, with a Maggie Knowles three-pointer putting the Govs back up by one, 51-50. Arielle Gonzalez-Varner also came to life in the second half, drawing two fouls on made shots inside, while finishing with a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds). The Govs continually made scrappy plays on defense to force turnovers, but could not end up pulling away. Late in the third quarter, Western Illinois hit back-to-back threes and after a couple free-throws led by six going to the fourth.

Gregory unfortunately fouled out early in the fourth, but the Govs did not let Western Illinois pull away.

However, it seemed like every time the Govs made a shot in the fourth quarter, the Leathernecks answered, mainly through Olivia Kaufmann. Kaufmann, who already ranked in the top 10 on Western Illinois’s all-time scoring list, finished with 25 points, including 20 in the second half.

The Govs were down five with 2:44 left before pure chaos unfolded. Brianah Ferby hit back-to-back triples, but the Leathernecks answered with a pair of free throws and a jumper to still lead by three. After a timeout, Brandi Ferby launched a deep three that found nothing but net and the game was suddenly tied at 72 with just 40 seconds left.

The Leathernecks came back down the floor and Kaufmann drew a foul after a bucket and made the free throw to put Western Illinois back up by three. The refs called Gonzalez-Varner for an illegal screen on the next possession and the Leathernecks iced the game at the line.

APSU Notably

The Govs made 13 three-pointers for the third time this season, one off the school record.

Gonzalez-Varner recorded her third double-double of the season and her career.

Brianah Ferby led the Govs with 19 points.

The Govs forced the Leathernecks to commit 27 turnovers, but the Leathernecks scored more points off turnovers (18-14).

The Govs shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, their third consecutive game at at least 75 percent.

The Govs were outrebounded 46-33.

Gonzalez-Varner recorded five steals, a career-high and single-game high for the Govs this season.

The Govs have yet to win on the road and are 0-2 all-time against the Leathernecks.

APSU head coach David Midlick’s Musings

“We did not do a good job on the boards. From the time we took the lead in that first period, I thought they were more aggressive than us, but I was proud of our team coming back with some energy in the second half and giving ourselves a chance to win. I know off the bat some negatives we had were boxing out and getting back on transition defense. I think we played against a different type of defense today and were still able to get great shots. I won’t fault that and the ladies I had shooting the basketball, well I’ll take that all day.”

Next Up for APSU

The Govs stay on the road and take on Illinois State, 7:00pm, Tuesday, December 4th.

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