Clarksville, TN – Sophomore Tiasha Gray hit a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to give Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team a 71-69 victory at Southern Illinois, Tuesday night, at SIU Arena.
Gray’s basket put a period on a game that was a see-saw affair throughout. The two teams battled through 19 ties and 16 lead changes in the contest.Austin Peay (1-1) scored the game’s first nine points, with junior Kristen Stainback and Gray combining for three three-point baskets, and its 9-0 lead at the 17:45 mark was its largest lead of the game. Southern Illinois responded with a 16-4 run to build a three-point, 16-13, advantage at the 12:00 mark.
Southern Illinois (0-2) would build its largest lead of the game later in the first half. The Salukis scored six straight points, including a pair of jumpers by Rishonda Napier, to construct a five-point, 32-27, lead. Austin Peay would battle back to tie the game, 38-38, at the 1:28 mark but SIU would take a 41-40 lead into halftime.
The second half saw neither team able to build more than a one possession lead. Southern Illinois would twice lead by three points, but Austin Peay responded each time. Austin Peay led by no more than two points at any time in the frame.
Sophomore Alexis Hardaway provided the game’s 18th tie, 67-67, with a layup at the 2:11 mark. Freshman Tearra Banks gave the Lady Govs a two-point advantage with her layup 30 seconds later. SIU tied the game on Cartaesha Macklin’s jumper with 35 seconds remaining.
After a Salukis timeout, Gray held the ball until the seven second mark then dribbled from the half court corner to the free-throw line where she used a jab step to gain separation. It was enough for her to get off her shot which used all of the rim before falling through. A SIU half-court heave at the horn sailed wide right to secure the Lady Govs win.
After committing four turnovers in the opening four minutes, Gray recovered to lead the Lady Govs with a 14-point, 6-assist, 6-steal, 5-rebound performance over 38 minutes. Stainback notched a 13-point outing that included a pair of three-pointers. Hardaway recorded her first career double-double, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Nine Lady Govs players scored in the contest.
Austin Peay shot just 35.8 percent from the floor but overcame the poor shooting night thanks to a 21-10 advantage in turnovers that they turned into a 24-7 lead in points off turnovers.
Macklin led SIU with a game-best 20 points, including a 10-of-11 outing from the free-throw line. Dyana Pierre added 13 points.
Austin Peay begins a five-game homestand when it hosts Arkansas State in a 7:00pm, Friday contest at the Dunn Center.