Austin Peay (8-18/6-7 OVC) at SIU Edwardsville (14-11/9-3 OVC)
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 | 11:30am CT
Edwardsville, IL | Vadalabene Center
Edwardsville, IL – An 11:30am, Wednesday tipoff awaits Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team as it closes the road portion of its regular-season slate against SIU Edwardsville at the Vadalabene Center.
Wednesday’s brunch affair will see a Governors team looking to build on its 80-70 upset win of OVC leader UT Martin, Saturday.
The Govs then put forth a superior defensive effort in the second half to hold on for the win. APSU held the OVC’s top three-point shooting team without a second-half trey and limited UTM to 22 percent shooting in the second half.
Senior guard Tiasha Gray used her game-high 29-point outing against UT Martin to claim a share of her third adidas® OVC Player of the Week honor, Tuesday. Gray went 10-of-22 from the floor and 8-of-9 at the free-throw line in the win against the Skyhawks. It followed her foul-ridden 13-point, 24-minute outing at Eastern Illinois, last Wednesday.
Gray received plenty of support in Saturday’s win against the Skyhawks as eight other Govs played and each scored in the contest. Sophomore guard Madison Rich‘s 12-point performance was her first double-digit scoring effort since January 7th. Junior center Tearra Banks 12-point outing was her best scoring effort since January 27th. In addition, junior forward Beth Rates grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds against UT Martin.
Saturday’s win helped Austin Peay break out of a four-way tie for sixth place and it is now tied for that spot with only Murray State entering this week’s action. The Govs now are in control of their own destiny toward its goal of qualifying for the OVC Women’s Basketball Championship. After Wednesday’s contest at SIUE, Austin Peay will play its final two games at home against teams it is battling in the standings.
SIUE brings an uncharacteristic two-game home losing streak into Wednesday’s contest. The Cougars had won six straight and were 8-1 at the Vadalabene Center before dropping an 85-79 decision to UT Martin, February 6th. The hangover from that loss lingered into a 79-76 loss, last Wednesday, to a surging Murray State squad.
Junior guard Shronda Butts has scored 20 or more points in four of her last five games, including 29 points against Murray State. She enters the regular-season’s final two weeks with an OVC-best 23.7 points per game in league action. Sophomore guard Donshel Beck is averaging just 11.8 points in OVC play but poured in a season-best 24 points against Murray State. It was the seventh time in her last eight games she has reached double-digit scoring territory.
The More You Know
Lady Govs Control Own Fate
The Govs hold on a tournament spot is tenuous, but after Wednesday’s road contest APSU will play its final two games at the Dunn Center where they are 5-1 in OVC play this season.
Those home contests could prove pivotal as they will come against a Murray State team they are currently tied with and a Southeast Missouri team just one-game of it in the standings.
Gray Milestone Watch
Senior guard Tiasha Gray became only the fifth APSU women’s basketball player to reach the 1,500-point plateau with her 27-point performance at East Tennessee, December 21st. Gray also became only the fifth OVC women’s basketball player to record 300 career steals, reaching the milestone February 6th at Murray State. Her upcoming milestone marks are listed below:
APSU Career Steals | Currently 1st (306)
Previous Record: 243 by Tracie Mason (1987-91)
APSU Career Points | Currently 3rd (1,816)
Next: 1,863 by Gerlonda Hardin (2000-04)
APSU Career Assists | Currently 3rd (492)
Next: 507 by Jeanne Hinchee (1978-82)
APSU Lady Govs Ledger
Facing one of the nation’s toughest nonconference slates (27th ranked) took its toll early as APSU averaged just 59.3 points per game against its 11 Division I opponents. It has popped the lid on its offense in conference action, averaging 73.2 points per game and reaching the 80-point plateau six times in OVC action.
During the nonconference portion of the schedule, Gray and Banks scored over 50 percent of APSU’s points. However, that percentage has declined in OVC play, with the duo averaging just 43.1 percent of the team’s scoring.
An Austin Peay Win Would
Make David Midlick 9-18 overall and 7-7 in OVC play in his first season at Austin Peay and 54-34 in his third season as a head coach overall… Make the Govs 459-667 since 1976-77 and 235-337 in OVC action.
OVC Digital Network
Presented by SIUE Athletics Department