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Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeSportsLady Govs hold off Jacksonville State

Lady Govs hold off Jacksonville State

APSU Women’s Basketball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsJacksonville, AL – Austin Peay women’s basketball team kept its win-streak intact, escaping with a 56-53 decision at Jacksonville State, Thursday, in Ohio Valley Conference action.

With the OVC Tournament nearing, the win ensures Austin Peay no worse than a fifth-place finish in the OVC race. It also extends APSU’s season-best win streak to four games.

“We’re excited with the win,” head coach Carrie Daniels said. “At this point, any win is a good win, especially on the road. We have to be playing our best basketball right now.”

Lady Govs Basketball. (Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)
Lady Govs Basketball. (Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

The Lady Govs watched a 16-point second-half lead evaporate, but managed to withstand a furious Gamecock rally in the game’s final two minutes. With the lead whittled to one point, 54-53, and 20 seconds to play, Jacksonville State couldn’t convert, allowing Whitney Hanley to come away a defensive rebound that led to the game-sealing free throws.

After Austin Peay shot 46.4 percent and took a 13-point lead into the break, the entire second half was dominated by Jacksonville State. The Lady Govs led by 16, 38-22, after a Meghan Bussabarger layup with 17:53 to play in the game. At that point, the Lady Govs went cold and the Gamecocks begin to mount their rally.

Whitney Hanley“We knew they were going to shoot it better in the second half,” Daniels said. “We just didn’t adjust ourselves to it. Darcie (Warner) drew four charges in the game by herself. That’s a great number for a team.”

Brittany Manning and Danielle Beneby – who each finished with 18 points – put together a five-point run to cut APSU’s lead to single digits, but Bussabarger answered with another bucket to make it 40-29 with 15:01 to play.

Over the next five minutes, Manning would score six points to key an 11-2 JSU run to make it a one-point game, 42-41, with 9:40 left.

Jasmine RaynerAt that point, Hanley took over for the Lady Govs. She knocked down a three to make a four-point game and on the ensuing possession pulled a rebound and started a fast-break that ended with a Jasmine Rayner layup. Hanley would score five more points to make it a nine-point game, 52-43, with 6:04 remaining.

Jacksonville State got it close again in the final two minutes, but spurts of offense would not be enough to keep the Lady Govs at bay. In fact, those spurts ran out at the end as JSU came up empty three times in the final 20 seconds, only to watch the Lady Govs hang on for the win.

Regardless of the stat sheet, Jacksonville State seemed to own the glass in both halves. On paper, Austin Peay outrebounded the Gamecocks 44-41, but JSU’s final possession with three offensive rebounds seemed to tell the story for Daniels.

Meghan Bussabarger“We found a way to pull it out in the end,” Daniels said. “Jacksonville State just couldn’t find the basket in the first half. We can’t get relaxed on defense like we did in the second half. We’ve said time and time before; when you build a lead, you have to continue to do what got you that lead.”

Rayner had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Austin Peay, while Hanley also added 14 points. Warner played 33 minutes off the bench, finishing with two points, four assists and two steals.

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