APSU Sports Information
Johnson City, TN – Senior Tiasha Gray finished with 27 points but could not lead Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team past East Tennessee in an 80-76 nonconference loss, Monday night at Brooks Gymnasium.Austin Peay (2-11) brought a five-point, 56-51, lead into the fourth quarter only to watch East Tennessee erase the deficit with a 6-1 run to start the fourth.
Gray willed Austin Peay back to a five-point lead with a jumper and three-pointer on the next two possessions for a 62-57 lead at the 8:07 mark.
East Tennessee (7-6) withstood Gray’s charge and went on a 10-0 run over the next 3:13 to build its own five-point advantage. The Govs came up empty of four straight possessions during the drought. Meanwhile, ETSU’s Tatiana Tarter scored seven points during the run, her free throw at the 4:43 mark setting up the closing stanza.
The Govs whittled away at the deficit from the free-throw line, sophomore forward Sydney Gooch tying the game with a conventional three-point play with 3:01 left. The two teams then traded blows over the next two minutes, Austin Peay gaining a one-point, 76-75, advantage after Gray hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left.
East Tennessee’s Shamauria Bridges gave ETSU the lead for good when she made a contested three-pointer on the ensuing possession. Austin Peay’s Gray then drove down the lane for a running jumper but it bounced off the rim. Tarter then converted a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
The late ETSU charge was foreshadowed in the opening quarter which saw the Buccaneers make five of six to take a 22-13 lead at the first break. Austin Peay stormed back in the second, making four straight shots to start the frame and carried the momentum to a 38-35 halftime lead. Neither team could gain an edge in a ragged third quarter which left APSU with a five-point advantage.
Gray led all scorers with 27 points – her third 20-point outing this season – on 10-of-21 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. Junior center Tearra Banks added 19 points, making 7-of-11 from the floor.
Tarter led ETSU with 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Chandler Christopher and Kendrick each added 13 points. The Buccaneers won the rebounding battle, 41-31, thanks to a staggering 17 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second-chance points.
Austin Peay will take an 11-day break for the Christmas holiday before returning to action with a January 2nd Ohio Valley Conference home contest against Eastern Kentucky at the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay (2-11) 76, East Tennessee (7-6) 80
Austin Peay 76
East Tennessee 80