APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – When it starts Ohio Valley Conference play in 74 days, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will seek to defy the league’s prognosticators. The OVC’s coaches and sports information directors picked the Lady Govs to finish 11th in their preseason poll while the league’s media members tapped them to finish ninth.
“I have told the team throughout the preseason that we have to prove ourselves each time we step on the court, whether that’s in practice or against another team,” said Lady Govs head coach Carrie Daniels. “Where we were selected in the two preseason polls proves that we will have to earn recognition by our actions on the court. I believe it will give us extra motivation to prove ourselves this season.”
If the Lady Govs are to defy the odds, they will turn to junior guard Tiasha Gray, who was named to the league’s 10-woman preseason squad. The recognition follows a standout sophomore campaign for the Clarksville native, one that saw her lead APSU in scoring (15.1 points per game) and assists (3.9 per game) during the campaign.
“I am pleased Tiasha was named to the preseason squad,” said Daniels. “She has worked hard and performed well her first two seasons and I expect more of the same this year. However, I also know that we have a few other players who will contribute to our success this season and I hope will earn recognition on the All-OVC team at the end of the year.”
Gray is one of four players to record 20 or more starts returning to Austin Peay’s 2014-15 roster. Senior guard Kristen Stainback returns after her own standout season where she more than doubled her career scoring average at 12.0 points per game. Junior forward Jennifer Nwokocha also returns after starting 24 games last season and leading APSU in rebounding (6.2 per game).
However, it is the sophomore center duo of Beth Rates and Tearra Banks that garnered the most attention in 2013-14. Rates started 20 games and averaged 7.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Banks, who started just five contests but played in all 29 affairs, averaged 9.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game on her way to OVC All-Newcomer honors.
Add to that mix a crop of talented newcomers that will be relied upon to provide much needed depth. Forward Sydney Gooch and center Brianne Alexander, both freshmen, will join an improving Lady Govs front court. Meanwhile, freshmen guards Falon Baker and Savannah Foister will be seen solidifying APSU’s front court.
Daniels will get her first glimpse at the Lady Govs against outside competition with a pair of exhibitions contests – first against St. Catherine (November 1st) then Martin Methodist (November 9th). Austin Peay opens its regular-season slate with a November 14th home contest against Wright State. Season tickets for the 2014-15 campaign are available by calling the APSU Athletics Ticket Office at 931.221.4687.