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APSU Women’s Basketball falls to UT Martin at home, 59-58

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team fell victim to a comeback from UT Martin, suffering a tough defeat on Senior Day, 59-58, Saturday, at the Winfield Dunn Center.

Austin Peay Women's Basketball freshman Maggie Knowles knocks down a three Saturday afternoon against UT Martin. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Basketball freshman Maggie Knowles knocks down a three Saturday afternoon against UT Martin. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors (14-13, 9-7 OVC) had a terrific first half three-point shooting display, but were unable to come away with a win that would have seen them rise up to a tie for third in the Ohio Valley Conference standings.

As it was senior day, the three seniors, Logan Carger, Michaela Campbell, and Keisha Gregory, started the game along with Brandi Ferby and Arielle Gonzalez-Varner.

The seniors all immediately contributed, with Campbell scoring the first points of the game, Carger forcing a turnover and a foul on the Skyhawks (19-8, 11-5 OVC) with a great box out, and Gregory nailing a three-pointer.

Maggie Knowles also does what she does best, knocking down big threes. The freshman had two in the first quarter, but it was not all smooth sailing for the Govs.

Despite the Skyhawks starting only one-of-eight from the field, the Govs had trouble keeping the ball, committing seven turnovers in the quarter. Brandi Ferby picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and UTM went on a 6-0 run in the span of 40 seconds to tie the game up before Brianah Ferby converted an and-one to give the Govs a 16-15 lead after one period of action.

The second quarter got off to a bang, as Gregory nailed two more triples to extend the Govs lead. The Govs made their first six three-point attempts, with Brianah’s triple capping off a massive 17-0 Govs run. UT Martin was scoreless for almost five minutes and had six turnovers alone in that span, including three on three straight possessions.

The Govs led by as many as 16 points before a Tamiah Stanford runner finally broke the Skyhawk drought. UTM closed it to a more manageable 11-point deficit at halftime, but the Govs were seven-of-nine from three-point range in the first half, as well as a perfect 100 percent on their nine free throw attempts.

UT Martin began the third quarter by slowly cutting into what used to be a healthy advantage for the Govs. A four-of-five field goal stretch early in the quarter made it only a six-point game, before Carger banked in a three-pointer, putting some renewed energy in the Dunn Center crowd.

That energy was short-lived, however, as Brittni Moore nailed a triple on the next possession to bring it back to a six-point lead. Moore, the leading three-point shooter in the OVC, was scoreless after the first half, but had two triples and six rebounds in the second half. UT Martin got as close as four points, but the Govs held a six-point lead, 48-42, after three quarters of play.

UT Martin hit eight of their 12 shots in the period, with the Govs’ 4-of-15 mark contributing to only 12 third-quarter points, their lowest mark of the season in any third quarter.

Moore answered Carger’s bank shot earlier in the game, as her three-pointer careened off the side of the glass to cut the APSU lead to three. The Govs missed their next six shots after a Gonzalez-Varner layup, allowing the Skyhawks to tie the game up at 53, before stealing the ball and finishing on the other end for their first lead since 17-16 in the early minutes of the second quarter.

UT Martin’s leading scorer, Chelsey Perry, fouled out of the game during the sequence, finishing with a grand total of zero points, but Emanye Robertson and the freshmen duo of Moore and Damiah Griffin were all picking up the slack.

Gregory finally ended a five-minute stretch with no field goals for the Govs with a great spin move, making the layup and drawing contact. Gregory completed the three-point play to put the Govs back up one and then made two more free throws after an APSU defensive stop to make it a 58-55 Govs lead. Zaire Hicks made two free throws of her own before UT Martin got a defensive stop, which led to Griffin making a nice move in the post to put the Skyhawks back on top by 1, 59-58.

APSU called timeout to set up a play, but UT Martin doubled Gregory when driving to the basket, forcing her to throw up a wild shot and seemingly ending the game, but the refs called a jump ball that gave the Govs one last chance with 1.3 seconds to go. The Govs crowded the lane looking for the in-bounds pass, allowing Gonzalez-Varner to get open for around a 15-foot jump shot, but the shot hit the back rim and went out, preserving the win for UT Martin.

The Govs finished 1-of-11 from the field and only made one of their 10 three-point attempts in the second half, as UT Martin was a blistering 14-of-24 from the field in the half.

APSU Notably

Coach David Midlick remains only one win away from his 100th career victory as a college head coach.

Keisha Gregory poured in a game-high 19 points, scoring in double figures for the 16th time in her last 17 games.

The Govs fall to 9-7 in the OVC and will remain in fifth place in the conference.

The Govs have scored less than 60 points in their last four Dunn Center contests.

Despite the loss, the Govs still lead the all-time series, 43-39.

The Govs tied their season-high in steals with 14.

The Govs tied their season-best with the fewest fouls in a game, only committing 13.

APSU Head Coach David Midlick’s Musings

“The final play was one we ran at SIUE. I thought they would help off and guard Keisha and they did, which could give Ari a look. It was a little further away from the basket than I wanted, but it was still a clean look for one second left in the game and it just did not go down. That was the theme of the second half, we were 7 for 30 in the second half and a lot of that had to do with UT Martin’s defense. We have to find a way to get better looks when teams play good defense.”

Up Next For APSU

The APSU Govs will play their final two regular season games on the road, beginning with a trip to Eastern Kentucky next Thursday.

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