Austin Peay Sports Information
Missoula, MT – Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team could not overcome a barrage of Montana three-pointers and rebounds in an 83-62 loss, Saturday night, in the championship of the Lady Griz Holiday Classic at Dahlberg Arena.Austin Peay (3-9) trailed by just six points, 32-26, at halftime and were only minus-3 (28-25) in rebounding.
Montana, which had a season-high of six three-pointers entering the game, came out in the second half and recorded seven three-pointers as part of a 51-point outburst.
The Lady Griz also dominated the boards by a 27-12 edge, including 12 offensive boards that turned into 19 points.
“We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to compete against a quality team like Montana,” said Lady Govs head coach Carrie Daniels. “It is disappointing after last night’s performance (against Saint Louis) where I believed we came out with incredible energy and put them back on their heels. We have to find a way to put consistent performances together.”
Lady Govs junior Tiasha Gray seemed to set the early tone with a steal on Montana’s opening possession, which she followed up with a layup for the game’s first points. Sophomore Beth Rates followed with a jumper at the 18:02 mark to give APSU the early 4-0 lead.
Montana (7-4) ended a scoreless opening 2:16 when Kellie Rubel scored a jumper with 17:44 left. That was the opening basket in a game-turning 15-2 run that ended with Rubel’s jumper at the 13:32 mark and gave the Lady Griz a 15-6 lead.
Austin Peay pushed back with its own 8-0 run as Gray hit a pair of three pointers and junior Jennifer Nwokocha added a jumper to trim the deficit to one point, 15-14, with 11:12 left. Yet that was as close as Austin Peay would get the rest of the way. Montana would push its lead back to eight points, 27-19, on a McCalle Feller three-pointer before settling on a six-point halftime lead.
The Lady Griz scored on all seven of its possessions, Shanae Gilham ending the burst with a jumper to give Montana a 59-37 lead with 10:39 left.
Austin Peay made one final thrust to get back into the contest, scoring 11 consecutive points after the lead reached 22 points. Gray and Kristen Stainback each had four points during the run, which got the Lady Govs within 11 points, 63-52, with 6:28 left. However, Montana hit three straight three-pointers to end the threat and secure the win.
Gray led Austin Peay with 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Freshman Madison Rich added 12 points and two assists. That duo was named to the Lady Griz Holiday Classic all-tournament team after the contest.
Kayleigh Valley scored 23 points to lead Montana and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Kellie Rubel added 19 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Montana made a season-best nine three pointers and their 55-rebound night was three shy of their season best.
Austin Peay returns home for the Christmas holiday before resuming its schedule in 10 days when it travels to Central Arkansas for a December 30th contest.
Montana 83 (7-4) vs Austin Peay 62 (3-9)
Austin Peay 62