Austin Peay Lady Govs (0-0, 0-0 OVC) at Western Kentucky (0-0, 0-0 SBC)
November 9th, 2013 | 2:00pm CT
Diddle Arena (7,326) | Bowling Green, KY
Clarksville, TN – The Lady Govs return to the floor after posting a 94-44 exhibition victory, Sunday, against NAIA foe Martin Methodist. Junior guard Kristen Stainback poured in 23 points in 24 minutes, making 7-of-10 from three-point range.
Freshman guard April Rivers led the bench with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Sophomore guard Tiasha Gray added 16 points and nine assists while senior guard Nicole Olszewski chipped in 13 points.Head coach Carrie Daniels begins her eighth season with a young squad dominated by sophomores and freshmen.
Despite the large turnover from last season, Daniels is expected to field a starting lineup with plenty of experience, Saturday’s projected starting five combining for 69 starts last season.
The question mark lies in the revamped bench where the three returnees combined for 52 minutes. That is where the five freshmen will step in as they did in the exhibition contest against Martin Methodist, registering 73 combined minutes.
Lady Govs Ledger
Austin Peay will be a young squad in 2013-14 with five sophomore and five freshman dominating the 13-woman roster. The three upperclassmen are senior guards Nicole Olszewski and Lauren Yarbrough and junior guard Kristen Stainback. Despite the youth, five returnees started a contest last season, including Olszewski (22 starts) and sophomore forward Alexis Hardaway (19).
The Lady Govs’ seven returnees account for only 808 of team’s 1700 points scored (47.5 percent). Among returning players, Gray is the team’s leader in scoring (8.1 ppg) and assists (2.7 apg) while Hardaway is the team leader in rebounding (4.9 rpg). Austin Peay’s 2013-14 schedule features 11 games against nine teams that reached the 2012 postseason, including national runner-up Louisville.
Western Kentucky won both its preseason exhibition contests, downing Division II foes Kentucky Wesleyan (87-49) and Glenville State (100-67). WKU posted the nation’s fourth-best turnaround last season under head coach Michelle Clark-Heard, then in her first season, as it went from 9-21 in 2011-12 to a 22-11 mark in 2012-13 – an 11½-game improvement.
The Hilltoppers return the bulk of that 2012-13 squad, including preseason all-conference honorees: junior guard Alexis Govan, junior forward Chastity Gooch and senior guard Biance McGee. Western Kentucky was picked to finish second in the reorganized Sun Belt Conference, behind Arkansas-Little Rock and ahead of Arkansas State.