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Austin Peay Lady Govs Basketball’s Shira Buley and Leslie Martinez turn in career nights in Over Time win against Morehead State
APSU Sports: Austin Peay Women’s Basketball
Clarksville, TN – Entering Saturday night’s game against Morehead State, Lady Govs head coach Carrie Daniels knew she would need to receive special performances from some of her players to capture a victory.
Luckily for Daniels, she didn’t received just one career performance. She received two.
Leslie Martinez scored a career-high 20 points and reserve Shira Buley added eight points of her career-high 10 points in overtime as the suddenly-hot Lady Govs grabbed an 88-81 victory over Morehead State.After the teams exchanged scoring runs throughout the first and second halves, the Lady Govs (7-20, 4-10 OVC) managed to pull ahead 76-73 after Whitney Hanley converted a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left in regulation.
The Eagles would tie the game at 76-76 with 10.3 seconds remaining on Courtney Lumpkin’s off-balance 3-pointer.
On the ensuing possession, Whitney Hanley drove the length of the court before launching a floater that appeared to briefly drop before rimming out as time expired.
After surrendering the first two points of the overtime period, the Lady Govs went on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, racing out to an 85-78 lead that the Eagles could never match.
“Coach told us to go out there and be aggressive and play solid defense (in overtime),” Martinez said. “We could kind of tell they were getting a bit winded. We really wanted to push the tempo.”
As the overtime period went along, the cheers seemed to grow louder and louder for Buley, who scored five straight points as the Lady Govs extended their lead to 85-78 with just over a minute to play.
In all, the Knoxville native finished 3-of-5 from the floor but converted 4-of-6 shots at the line to help preserve the win for the Lady Govs.
“I could everyone on the bench and on the court calling my name and cheering a bit,” a smiling Buley said after the game. “I was ready to go out there and show everyone what I can do. I was ready to step up and make plays for my team.”
After posting a career-high 15 points in Monday’s win over Murray State, Martinez came up big again for the Lady Govs, adding 14 rebounds to go along with her 20 markers.
“She was such a spark for us tonight,” Daniels said. “It’s been that way all eyar but tonight she was really special.”
Playing against a trapping defense that forced 21 Lady Govs turnovers in the first meeting between the two teams, the Lady Govs performed much better, Daniels said, despite finishing with 18 giveaways.
“It was a tremendous improvement,” Daniels said. “We still made some mistakes out there but I thought we got a lot of quick baskets as a result of attacking their press.”
Whitney Hanley finished with 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting to lead all scorers.
The Lady Govs got off to a quick start, sprinting out to an early 8-2 lead before the Eagles responded with a 11-0 run to take a 13-8 lead.
The Eagles would extend their lead to 26-16 just over midway through the first half, but the Lady Govs responded with a 23-13 run down the stretch to tie the game at 39-39 at halftime.
In the second half, the Lady Govs would take control early, racing out to a 51-46 lead with 15:23 to play.
“This was a tournament-like game tonight,” Eagles head coach Tom Hodges said. “Austin Peay has been playing really well.”
Daniels echoed Hodges’ comments.
“We are battling to get in the tournament and they are battling for seeding,” Daniels said. “In many ways this game did have a tournament feel to it. They fought us all game long.”
With the win, the Lady Govs won consecutive games for the first time since back-to-back victories over Eastern Kentucky and Murray State on January 2nd and January 7th.
The win also snapped a five-game home losing streak for the Lady Govs.
More importantly, the win kept the Lady Govs in the hunt for the final berth in the upcoming OVC conference tournament.
With Saturday’s results, the Lady Govs forced, at the very worst, a virtual elimination game against the Redhawks in the regular-season finale on February 25th.
With a win next Thursday at UT Martin and a Southeast Missouri loss at Jacksonville State, however, the Lady Govs could clinch their tournament berth before Senior Night.
Morehead State vs Austin Peay
Morehead State 81
Austin Peay 88
Wade Neely comes to Clarksville after beginning his sports media career in March 2010 as the Sports Director at WKSR AM-FM in Pulaski, Tenn. During his time at WKSR, Neely created, produced and hosted “The Wade Neely Morning Show”, Pulaski’s only live and local wakeup program on WKSR-AM. Neely also served as the “Voice of the Bobcats”, providing play-by-play for all Giles County football, basketball and select baseball contests.
Neely also served as Director of Broadcasting at Martin Methodist College beginning in January 2011, providing play-by-play for all RedHawks home contests as well as the team’s trip to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Originally from Pulaski, Neely earned his B.S. in Electronic Media Communication from Middle Tennessee State University’s famed College of Mass Communications. Neely also minored in Economics during undergraduate career.
Web Site: http://www.twitter.com/WadeNeely
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Sports, APSU Women's Basketball, Austin Peay State University, Carrie Daniels, Clarksville TN, Courtney Lumpkin, Eagles, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Kaitlyn Hill, Knoxville TN, Lady Govs, Leslie Martinez, Meghan Bussabarger, Morehead State, Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, Redhawks, Shira Buley, Southeast Missouri, UT-Martin, Whitney Hanley
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