Austin Peay (9-16/6-6) vs. UT Martin (16-9/12-0)
Saturday, February 14th, 2015 | 4:00pm CT
Martin, TN | Elam Center
Martin, TN – Back to .500 in Ohio Valley Conference play, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team closes out the 2014-15 regular season with three of its final four games on the road, beginning with a 4:00pm, Saturday, contest at UT Martin.
While shooting certainly didn’t help the Lady Govs cause against the Skyhawks last time out – Austin Peay’s 29.4 percent (15-for-51) mark was its worst since 2011-12 – the Lady Govs limited a high-scoring Skyhawk squad to just 71 points and allowed it to hit just 39.1 percent (27-for-69) from the floor, second-worst shooting performance from UT Martin in conference play during the 2014-15 campaign.
Junior guard Tiasha Gray continues to carry the Lady Govs offensively. The Clarksville, TN native made it back-to-back 30-point outings Thursday night, pouring in 31 points against the Panthers for her sixth 30-point night of the season. Gray broke the 500-point barrier in single-season scoring, the first Lady Gov to do that since Whitney Hanley in 2011-12.
The entire Lady Govs squad was solid from the floor against Eastern Illinois, hitting 60.0 percent (30-for-50) from the floor. It marked the first time since February 22nd, 2003 at Southeast Missouri that a Lady Govs team hit 60 percent or better from the floor in a single game.
The Race To Eight
With five OVC wins and five games remaining, Austin Peay continues its march toward the eight-win mark in conference play. The 8-8 record has been important the past three seasons (since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 2011-12), with teams reaching that mark assured a spot in the tournament.
Looking ahead, APSU will play two games against teams behind it in the standings (MUR and SEMO) and two against the top two teams in the standings (UTM and SIUE).
UT Martin Skyhawks
The class of the OVC, UT Martin has not lost a conference game since February 8th, 2014 against SIU Edwardsville and have lost just 21 games in OVC play since Kevin McMillan took over in 2009-10.
After losing the best scoring duo in OVC history with the graduation of Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler a year ago, the Skyhawks have not missed a beat in moving Ashia Jones to the forefront of the offensive attack; the sophomore from Covington, TN is leading the OVC at 23.2 ppg, a number that jumps to 28.6 in conference play.
As a team, the Skyhawks are hitting 44.1 percent from the floor, nearly three percent better than the next closest number.
Earlier This Season
Austin Peay (8-15, 5-5 OVC) kept the game close through the opening 16 minutes. The Lady Govs held a lead twice in the half – both times by a point – freshman Brianne Alexander giving them the last of those leads with a pair of free throws for a 24-23 lead at the 5:16 mark.
However, Austin Peay would only score one more point the rest of the half. UT Martin (14-9, 10-0 OVC) closed the half with a 13-1 run, including the half’s final 10 points, to carry a 36-25 advantage into halftime.
In the second half the Lady Govs were able to close to within seven points, 45-38, thanks to a three-pointer by sophomore April Rivers with 14:19 left in the game. It was the first of four three-pointers by Rivers – she hit two on back-to-to-back possessions later in the half to move APSU with 12 points with 9:47 left.
The Skyhawks would push the lead back to 18 points late in the half, and held that margin after Ashia Jones’ layup with 4:16 left.
UT Martin would not score again in the contest, but Austin Peay found cutting into that lead difficult. The Lady Govs closed the game with an 8-0 run, a run that could have gone further except for a stretch of more than three minutes where the Skyhawks maintained continuous possession.
Austin Peay made just 29.4 percent (15-of-51) of its field-goal attempts, its worst shooting performance since the 2011-12 season. The Lady Govs compensated with season-highs in both free throws made and attempted, going 26-of-37 (70.3 percent) at the line.
The More You Know
An Austin Peay Win Would: Snap a seven-game losing streak to UT Martin… Make it 4-2 on the road in OVC play (4-8 overall)… Carrie Daniels’ record to 98-173 overall… Move Daniels to 65-90 in OVC play… Make the Lady Govs 451-646 overall since 1976-77.
An Austin Peay Loss Would: Be the Lady Govs 8th consecutive loss to UT Martin… Make it 3-3 on the road in OVC play (3-9 overall)… Drop Daniels’ record to 97-174 overall… Drop Daniels to 64-91 in OVC play… Make the Lady Govs 450-647 overall since 1976-77.
Radio • WVRY 105.1 FM
Play-by-Play: David Loos
Analyst: Scott Chase
Lady Govs on the Web