APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Playing at the Dunn Center for the first time in 32 days, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team used an overwhelming offensive effort to secure a 94-66 Ohio Valley Conference-opening victory against Eastern Kentucky, Saturday afternoon.Austin Peay (3-11, 1-0 OVC) faced an Eastern Kentucky defensive effort that deployed a box-and-one scheme in an attempt to lessen APSU senior guard Tiasha Gray‘s impact.
However, the Govs responded with a team effort that saw 19 of their first 28 shots finding net as they built a 25-point, 43-18 lead with 3:35 left in the first half. Austin Peay scored the half’s final six points to take a 27-point, 49-22 lead into halftime as it scored the final six points.
Meanwhile, Eastern Kentucky’s (6-6, 0-1 OVC) offense couldn’t gain traction in the opening half. The Colonels missed nine straight shots during an 18-0 APSU second-quarter run that pushed the lead from six points to 24 points.
The Colonels had particular trouble inside the arc, failing to make a two-pointer in the final 13-plus minutes of the half – their three shots made in that span coming from three-point range – as they went 3-for-21 in that span.
The second half saw the Colonels offense warm up while the Govs offense never cooled down. Both teams shot better than 45 percent from the floor in the second half – Eastern Kentucky posted a warmer 46.7 percent (21-of-45) while APSU shot 48.0 percent (12-of-25).
Austin Peay shot a season-best 53.3 percent (32-of-60) in recording its first victory against a Division I opponent. The Govs tacked on a 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) effort from the free-throw line. Austin Peay also won the rebounding battle with a season-high 48-rebound outing while limiting Eastern Kentucky to 36 rebounds.
Gray rallied from a six-point first-half effort to post a 21-point, 10-assist double-double performance.
Sophomore guard Madison Rich (18 points), junior center Tearra Banks (16) and sophomore forward Sydney Gooch (14) also reached double-digit scoring territory. Ten of APSU’s 11 available players scored in the contest.
Junior guard Jalen O’Bannon finished with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double effort to pace Eastern Kentucky. Freshman forward Abby Wright added 11 points off the bench. The Colonels were held to 36.4 percent (28-of-77) shooting for the contest.
Austin Peay continues its OVC-opening three-game homestand with a 5:15pm, Thursday contest against Jacksonville State.