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Austin Peay State University Women’s Basketball falls to UT Martin, 75-64

 

Austin Peay State University Sports Information

APSU Women's BasketballMartin, TN –  Austin Peay State University (APSU)women’s basketball team put together a furious fourth quarter rally, but could not overcome a lackluster first period, falling to UT Martin, 75-64, Saturday, at the Elam Center.

The Governors (7-8, 2-2 OVC) were down by as much as 22 in the third and cut the deficit to four late, but fell just short of an improbable rally.

Austin Peay Women's Basketball unable to overcome slow start in 75-64 loss to UT Martin. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Basketball unable to overcome slow start in 75-64 loss to UT Martin. (APSU Sports Information)

The Govs got off to the worst possible start, with Arielle Gonzalez-Varner picking up two fouls in just the first 90 seconds.

Both teams applied full-court pressure to start the contest, but the Govs simply could not get shots to fall, starting 1-of-12.

The Skyhawks (11-4, 3-1 OVC) embarked on a 14-0 run, finally broken by a Brandi Ferby jumper. The damage had been done in the quarter, however, with the Skyhawks leading 26-6. It was the most points allowed for the Govs in the first quarter this season as well as the least points scored in the first quarter.

2018 APSU Women's Basketball - Gabby GregoryMaggie Knowles got the second period off to a good start, hitting the first three-pointer of the game for APSU. The Govs struggled getting to the line until midway through the first half, with their first free-throw attempt not coming until the 5:20 mark of the second quarter.

After that, the Govs were much more aggressive, routinely getting to the line and keeping the game in reach. After a technical foul on the UTM coach, Gabby Gregory hit two free throws that capped off a 7-0 run for the Govs as they kept climbing back into the game.

Brandi Ferby hit a three-pointer of her own to cut the lead to 10 points, but UTM led by 13, 43-30, going into the break. A big difference in the second quarter was Gonzalez-Varner not picking up fouls and playing smart, even with two fouls.

2018 APSU Women's Basketball - Keisha GregoryThe two teams traded buckets for the majority of the third quarter. Every time the Govs hit a shot, the Skyhawks answered, maintaining their lead. UTM eventually hit their next five shots after the media timeout to go up by as many as 22, but the Govs closed on a 6-0 run to pull within 16 and give themselves a fighting chance.

The Govs knew they had to make a run and with about seven minutes to go, they put together an unbelievable attempt. A Nieja Crawford three and two Keisha Gregory free throws cut the lead to 11 and had the Govs believing. The Govs forced the Skyhawks into eight turnovers over the next four minutes, leading a furious 13-3 run.

Gonzalez-Varner was the primary reason for the run, as she had a game-high 22 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Crawford and Keisha each contributed in the run as well, as APSU found themselves just down seven points.

After a timeout, Knowles hit a layup and then the Govs stole the inbounds pass as Gonzalez-Varner cut the lead to four points with 90 seconds remaining. However, the Skyhawks hit a clutch shot after good individual defense and then stopped the Govs on the next possession. The Skyhawks then went 3-of-4 from the line over the waning seconds to close the game out.

Austin Peay Notably

The Austin Peay State University Govs drop to 2-2 in the OVC and are still looking for that elusive first road win.

The Govs outscored the Skyhawks by 11 points over the final three quarters.

After not attempting a free throw until midway through the second quarter, the Govs finished 20-of-26 from the line.

The Govs had their worst shooting percentage from the three-point line this season (16.1%).

Gonzalez-Varner led the game in scoring with 22 points.

Keisha Gregory has led the team in rebounding two of the past three games.

Austin Peay State University Head Coach David Midlick’s Musings

On the first quarter:
“We started off slow again today, just like on Thursday. We did not box out real well, did not pass the ball crisply, did not dribble with a purpose to go anywhere, and were not in attack mode.”

On the team:
“I am very proud of our team. There is no quit in this team and I feel we can comeback from any deficit. They never hung their heads and never quit in this game and hopefully we can build on it.”

 

Next Up for Austin Peay State University

The Austin Peay Govs continue their road trip next week by visiting SIU Edwardsville, next Thursday, January 17th.


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