Southern Illinois (4-2) vs. Austin Peay (2-6)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 | 1:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – With finals in its rear-view mirror, Austin Peay women’s basketball team launches into its four-week Winter Break when it hosts Southern Illinois in a 1:00pm, Saturday contest at the Dunn Center.
The Lady Govs and Salukis will meet for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Austin Peay has won the last two outings, including last season’s 71-69 victory that was its first-ever “W” in Carbondale, IL.
In its last outing, Austin Peay defeated NAIA foe Brescia by a 99-63 count, November 6th, for its second-straight home win.
The victory also snapped Austin Peay’s four-game losing streak. Austin Peay owned a 54-23 halftime lead but struggled to extend that advantage in the second half due to 13 turnovers in the frame.
Junior guard Tiasha Gray scored 23 points in her season’s shortest outing (26 minutes). Freshman Madison Rich led APSU with 26 points off the bench, her second 20-point outing this season.
On the season, Gray is making a splash in the national rankings as she ranks among the nation’s top 50 in steals (2nd, 4.0 pg), assists (9th, 6.5 pg) and scoring (35th, 19.6 ppg). Sophomore center Tearra Banks, who is expected to return to the lineup Saturday after missing one game due to injury, also ranks among the nation’s top 200 scorers, her 15.2 points per game ranking 191st nationally.
APSU returns four starters among 10 letter winners from last season’s squad. That group includes the Lady Govs top five in both scoring and rebounding. Despite the large number of returnees, the projected APSU starting five includes one senior, one junior and three sophomores – still a relatively young squad.
Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois’ 4-2 start is rare territory, the four nonconference wins are its most since 2008-09… The Salukis and Lady Govs have two common opponents this season; SIU is 1-1 against those teams – falling to Wright State and defeating Memphis – while APSU is 0-2.
Junior center Dyana Pierre, a Preseason All-MVC pick, is averaging a double-double this season (13.2 ppg/10.8 rpg) and has 24 career double-doubles. Sophomore guard Rishonda Napier is averaging a team-best 18.3 points per game (3rd in the Missouri Valley) despite missing most of 2013-14.
Austin Peay’s Last Game: Brescia
Austin Peay 99 (2-6) vs Brescia 63 (3-7)
The win gives APSU back-to-back home wins for the first time since December 21st, 2012.
The victory also snapped APSU’s four-game losing streak this season, which dated back to its win against Grand Canyon in its last home game, November 22nd.
Freshman Madison Rich paced the Lady Govs with a career-best 26 points.
Other career-highs set or tied on Saturday were: rebounds by Beth Rates (11) and points by Lauren Maki (2), while freshman Savannah Foister came off the bench to score her first two collegiate points.
Gray scored 20 or more points for the fourth time this season.
It’s the first time since January 25th against Tennessee Tech that two Lady Govs scored 20+ points in one contest.
The 54 points scored in the first half was APSU’s highest total in a half for since a 52-point second half output at Southeast Missouri on February 3rd.
The Lady Govs went on a 22-4 run to begin the game, with the APSU defense forcing Brescia into shooting 0-for-10 at one point.
Last Season’s Meeting Versus Southern Illinois
Guard Tiasha Gray hit a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to give Austin Peay a 71-69 victory at Southern Illinois, November 12th, 2013, 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. Gray led the Lady Govs with a 14-point, 6-assist, 6-steal, 5-rebound performance.
Guard Kristen Stainback notched a 13-point outing that included a pair of three-pointers. Cartaesha 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.
An Austin Peay Win Would: Give it back-to-back wins for the first time in 2014-15… Be its third-straight home win… Be its third-straight win against Southern Illinois… Improve Daniels’ record to 91-163 overall… Make the Lady Govs 444-636 overall since 1976-77.
An Austin Peay Loss Would: Keep it from winning back-to-back games… End its two-game home win streak… Level its all-time record against Southern Illinois (3-3)… Drop Daniels’ record to 90-164 overall… Make the Lady Govs 443-637 overall since 1976-77.
Play-by-Play: Josh Stephenson
Analyst: Blake Ball
TV • APSU-TV
Play-by-Play: Charlie Patten
Analyst: Braden Wood
Fans can catch APSU men and women’s basketball games on the internet at the OVC Digital Network. Every APSU home game and OVC contest, including the OVC Basketball Tourney, will be available online in 2014-15. Austin Peay home games are produced by APSU’s Communications department and broadcast on cable access Channel 99, U-verse 99 and CDE Lightband Channel 9
Govs on the Web
Next Team Up
Western Kentucky | Tuesday, December 16th
Austin Peay plays its final home game of 2014 when it hosts Western Kentucky in a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest. It will be the first time WKU has visited the Dunn Center since the 2005-06 season. The Lady Toppers are off to an 8-2 start, with losses at Mississippi State and at nationally-ranked Louisville the only blemishes on their record.
WKU reached the championship game of the Preseason WNIT, falling at Mississippi State. Senior forward Chastity Gooch, older sister of APSU forward Sydney Gooch, was named to the Naismith Award Watch List, Wednesday, and is averaging 17.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game through 10 contests.