Austin Peay State University
Martin, TN – Despite excellent defensive pressure against Ohio Valley Conference leading scorer Ashia Jones, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team was undone by turnovers and poor shooting in Saturday’s 91-63 loss to conference-leading UT Martin at the Elam Center.Austin Peay’s frontline held Jones – who entered play averaging 28.6 points in conference games and scored 34 points the last time the two met – to 18 points on 23.5 percent (4-for-17) shooting, easily her worst outing of 2014-15.
However, three other Skyhawks joined her in double figures and the home squad turned 20 Austin Peay (9-17, 6-7 OVC) turnovers into 24 points en route to victory.
The Skyhawks started the game on an 8-0 run and brought the lead to double-digits on a Katie Schubert three-pointer to make it 21-10 with 11:02 remaining in the first half. The deficit remained consistently in the 8-10 point range for much of the half’s remainder, with the Lady Govs getting within seven points at the 8:37 mark thanks to a three-pointer from junior Tiasha Gray.
However, Austin Peay failed to score over the final 4:11 of the half, and UT Martin (17-9, 13-0 OVC) used that time to go on a 9-0 run to close out the first 20 minutes and head to the locker room with a 46-28 lead.
The Lady Govs slowly chipped away at the lead during the opening minutes of the second half, getting within six points at the 13:16 mark thanks to a three-point play from sophomore Beth Rates. During that near seven-minute stretch to open the half, Austin Peay outscored the Skyhawks 19-7.
But the last seven minutes would belong exclusively to UT Martin. From Jones’ free-throws at the 7:06 mark to the final whistle, the Skyhawks outscored Austin Peay 25-7, including a 1:39 stretch that saw Austin Peay commit four turnovers and allow UT Martin to score 10 unanswered points to put the game away.
For the Lady Govs, Gray, poured in a game-high 25 points, including four three-pointers, on 9-for-18 shooting. Senior Kristen Stainback added 11 points, including three three-pointers, but was just 4-for-15 from the floor and committed a career-high eight turnovers. Junior Jennifer Nwokocha chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.
Two axioms have held true for Austin Peay much of this season – if the Lady Govs commit 20 fouls or lose the battle of the boards by more than five, they typically have found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
That was accurate again on Saturday, as Austin Peay were whistled for 21 fouls against the Skyhawks, falling to 1-7 when committing 20 or more fouls, and were outrebounded 46-39, moving the Lady Govs to 1-11 when being bested in the battle of the boards by five or more.
While Austin Peay returns home for Senior Night on Wednesday, the schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Lady Govs, as they will host the No. 2 team in the OVC, SIU Edwardsville, in the home finale. That match-up is scheduled to tip at 7:00pm in the Dunn Center.