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APSU Lady Govs Basketball to begin practicing, Monday

Austin Peay State University Lady Govs - APSUClarksville, TN – In 24 hours, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will hit the floor at Dave Aaron Arena for its first practice of the 2013 campaign.

The Lady Govs begin the countdown to their season opener with a 6:15pm, Monday practice.

Austin Peay Women's Basketball. (Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Women’s Basketball. (Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

It is the fourth season of current practice rule that allows women’s basketball teams 30 practices in a 40-day window prior to their first regular-season contest. The Lady Govs open the 2013 campaign with a Saturday, November 9th contest at Western Kentucky.

Head coach Carrie Daniels will begin her eighth season at Austin Peay with a revamped roster. The Lady Govs return just seven letter winners, including three starters, from last season’s team that posted a 7-21 overall record and missed the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Nicole Olszewski“We are so excited that a new season is upon us and practice is starting,” said Daniels. “We have a lot of new faces and a youthful team and I truly believe that is a big reason for the excitement. Improvement and focus each and every day will be so crucial for the development of our team and to reach our goals.”

Senior guard Nicole Olszewski will lead the group of returning starters after averaging 6.2 points and 2.2 assists per game last season. Sophomore guard Tiasha Gray and sophomore forward Alexis Hardaway also return after each started more than 20 contests in their freshman campaigns. Gray was an OVC All-Newcomer selection after averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 assists per game in league action. Hardaway averaged 5.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per conference game.

APSU Lady Govs' Tiasha GrayAustin Peay saw 10 players start a game last season which will provide Daniels with players who have started a game despite the lack of returning players.

Junior guard Kristen Stainback will return after finishing third on the team with 84 three-pointers made. Sophomore Jennifer Nwokocha also returns after seeing significant time as a freshman and averaging 4.5 points per game.

“The returners have done an unbelievable job of stepping up as soon as last season finished,” said Daniels. “They have dedicated themselves to what this team needs showing the newcomers the work ethic we must possess and what it takes to compete at this level.”

The Lady Govs will look to their freshman quintet to fill in the significant holes left by the players who departed. Austin Peay returns just 47.5 percent (808 of 1700 points) of its scoring, 59.1 percent (582 of 984 rebounds) of its rebounding and only 42.2 percent (144 of 341 assists) of its assists from last season’s totals.

Each of APSU’s freshman enjoyed fine prep careers, but it is the speed of their transition to the college level that will prove critical to the Lady Govs performance.

Kristen StainbackDaniels added three guards – Emily Fox, April Rivers and Jacey Scott – to bolster a depleted backcourt corps. In addition, she signed Tearra Banks and Beth Rates to play center and help support Hardaway and Nwokocha.

“We have the pieces to have both an inside and outside presence,” Daniels said. “We are going to have to work hard each and every minute of these practices. If we use them wisely we can reach our full potential and develop into a team that can be competitive.”


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