APSU Sports Information
Cape Girardeau, MO – Next stop: Nashville.
It took a full 40 minutes of effort and one of the better games of junior Tiasha Gray‘s career, but Austin Peay State University outlasted a spirited effort from Southeast Missouri to take a 72-67 victory home from the Show Me Center and with it, the No. 7 seed at next week’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.Austin Peay (10-19. 7-9 OVC) needed a come-from-behind win against Southeast Missouri (10-19, 3-13 OVC) and also needed a little help from around the league.
But with SIU Edwardsville’s 72-55 win against Eastern Illinois, the Lady Govs clinched the No. 7 seed and a date with SIU Edwardsville at 2:00pm, Wednesday, at Municipal Auditorium.
While the Lady Govs led wire-to-wire in the first meeting between these two teams back on January 31st at the Dunn Center, this was a more back-and-forth affair.
Southeast Missouri, meanwhile, recovered from a slow start to lead by as many as 13 points with under five minutes remaining, with Gray hitting the bench late due to foul trouble.
However, Austin Peay mounted a late rally thanks to April Rivers. The sophomore keyed a 12-7 run with six points over the final 3:34 of the half to send Austin Peay into the break trailing 37-29.
Slow and steady, Austin Peay chipped away at the deficit through the second half’s first 10 minutes, tying the contest on a Brianne Alexander lay-up with 9:41 remaining. But the Redhawks responded with a 10-4 run over the next two-and-a-half minutes to regain the upper hand.
But the Lady Govs kicked into overdrive with a 14-0 run that took the game from a six-point deficit to an eight-point lead. Gray kicked off the run with a three-pointer at the 6:51 mark, adding four free-throws along the way to comprise half of Austin Peay’s output during the game-defining stretch.
Late Redhawk three-pointers from Olivia Hackmann and Erin Bollmann gave the hosts life, but despite hitting just 16-of-29 free-throws for the game, the Lady Govs made them late, converting 5-of-8 down the stretch to put the game away.
Gray scored a game-high 36 points – her season’s eighth 30-point outing – on 12-of-20 shooting, throwing in six steals for good measure. Her efforts were buoyed by Rivers, who scored 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench, and sophomore Beth Rates, who scored 10 points and chipped in with eight boards.
Freshman Sydney Gooch scored five points in 29 reserve minutes but did her damage on the glass with a career-high 11 rebounds, picking up the minutes in the stead of junior Jennifer Nwokocha, who missed the contest while battling a stomach virus.
Jasmine Robinson had a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in the loss for Southeast Missouri. Bollmann (15 points) and Hackmann (13) had nice showings off the bench on the Redhawks Senior Day.
Austin Peay 72, Southeast Missouri 67
Austin Peay 72
|Team Total %||41.9%||26.7%||55.2%|
Southeast Missouri 67
|Team Total %||37.9%||35.0%||66.7%|