APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team concludes its preseason with an exhibition contest against Kentucky Wesleyan, 7:00pm, Monday, in the Dunn Center.
The Governors began fall practice October 3rd, and have focused on improving each day throughout the month.Monday’s contest will be the lone exhibition game on the schedule, with the regular season beginning November 11th versus Miami University in Clarksville.
Austin Peay’s major question entering the 2016-17 season is how the Govs replace the production of Tiasha Gray. A two-time All-OVC first team pick, Gray accounted for nearly 30 percent of APSU’s offense last season, averaging 20.6 points per game, and was the only player to log over 800 minutes (1,003).
However, the Govs return four starters from last year’s OVC Tournament team, led by seniors Tearra Banks and Beth Rates. The frontcourt duo, along with April Rivers and Jacey Scott, complete the 2017 senior class.
The Opponent: Kentucky Wesleyan
Kentucky Wesleyan was pegged to finish third in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) coaches poll after reaching the tournament semifinals last season. The Panthers put together a 17-10 record, including going 9-5 in conference play before falling to Cedarville in the postseason.
Returning for the Panthers are their two leading scorers – Brittany Wells (12.5 ppg) and Jennifer Walker-Crawford (10.7). Wells led the team in scoring for 14 contests, including a pair of 20-plus point performances, which led to an All-GMAC second team selection.
Co-head coaches Caleb and Nicole Nieman enter their seventh season at the helm, currently owning the highest winning percentage (65.5 percent) in program history.
Last Time Against the Panthers
In last season’s exhibition opener, November 5th, the Governors defeated Kentucky Wesleyan 88-67 in the Dunn Center. Tiasha Gray led Austin Peay with 26 points and nine boards, while Falon Baker and Beth Rates also reached double-digit scoring totals with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
- Searching for more
After falling to Eastern Kentucky in the opening round of the OVC Tournament, David Midlick returns for his second head coaching season in Clarksville, looking to build on an eight-win conference season.
The senior center posted a .598 field goal percentage in 2015-16, the highest mark in the OVC and fifth nationally. Banks returns as APSU’s leading scorer at 12 points per game, despite averaging just 15 minutes. She also grabbed 4.2 rebounds per contest a season ago.
- Baker for three
Falon Baker returned from injury last season and lit it up front deep, hitting 48 threes with a .375 percentage. She’ll look to take another step forward to provide additional offense from the wing.
Midlick has brought in five newcomers to join the Governors – two junior college transfers (Ant’Treasia Patton and Bri Williams) and three freshmen (Nieja Crawford, Arielle Gonzalez-Varner and Shelbe Piggie). Williams and Piggie, along with Rivers, are expected to compete for the starting point guard spot.
Follow the Govs
Be sure to follow all the Austin Peay women’s basketball action at LetsGoPeay.com and the official Facebook page of Austin Peay Athletics. In addition, live play-by-play coverage can be found on Twitter (@AustinPeayWBB) and live stats will be available at www.PeayStats.com
Monday’s game can also be streamed for free at www.OVCDigitalNetwork.com