Austin Peay (12-8 | 3-6 OVC) vs. Eastern Illinois (11-9 | 5-4 OVC)
Saturday, February 1st, 2020 | 1:30pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Dunn Center
Clarksville, TN – Set to wrap up a four-game Ohio Valley Conference home stand, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team will look to pick up their third win of their recent home stretch when they host a 1:30pm, Saturday contest against Eastern Illinois in the Dunn Center.
Eastern Illinois enters Saturday’s contest on a two-game losing streak. On Thursday, the Panthers fell to Murray State in overtime, 92-87, despite a career-high 35 points from freshman Lariah Washington.
For the Governors, they forced SIU Edwardsville to turn the ball over 28 times and then scored 35 points off of those turnovers, as they beat the Cougars, 71-64, Thursday in the Dunn Center.
Saturday is another Austin Peay basketball doubleheader, with the men’s team set to play following the women’s contest, and is both a Whiteout Game and Military Appreciation Day, with a custom t-shirt giveaway thanks to game sponsor Cumberland Surgical Arts.
About the Eastern Illinois Cougars
After finishing tenth in the Ohio Valley Conference a season ago, the Panthers of Eastern Illinois were tabbed to finish in the same place in both the OVC Coaches and SID Preseason Poll and the OVC Media Preseason Poll. The Panthers have started OVC play by going 5-4, which puts them in a tie for fifth place in the league.
The Eastern Illinois offense is led by the trio of Karle Pace, Abby Wahl, and Lariah Washington – who are the only three teammates in the OVC that all rank in the top-15 in scoring. Pace sits in seventh in the league, averaging 14.7 points per game, and Wahl rounds out the top ten in the OVC, averaging 12.2 points per game. Finally, Washington leads OVC freshmen in scoring and ranks 13th overall in the league, averaging 11.3 points per game.
Pace does much more than score for the Panthers, the junior guard is also tied for eighth in the OVC, averaging 3.2 assists per game, and ranks third in steals, averaging 2.1 per game. Pace leads Eastern Illinois from behind the arc this season; she ranks seventh in the OVC in three-pointers made per game (2) and three-point percentage (39%).
Eastern Illinois has been efficient from three-point range this season, shooting 32 percent from deep, which is tied with Austin Peay State University for second best in the OVC. Despite the Panthers efficient scoring from deep, they have only attempted 409 triples, which is the seventh most in the league this season. Eastern Illinois’ 131 made three-pointers is the sixth best total in the OVC this year.
On the defensive end, Eastern Illinois averages an OVC-best 10.5 steals per game. The Panthers have recorded 210 steals this season, led by Pace who has recorded 42 steals on the season. Kira Arthofer has also recorded 38 steals this season, which ranks ninth in the OVC.
This is the 50th meeting in a series that dates back to 1995; the APSU Govs lead the all-time series 29-20, and have won three out of the last four matchups.
Austin Peay State University and Eastern Illinois last met for a February 9th, 2019, contest in the Dunn Center that saw the visiting Panthers knock off the Governors, 67-57. Three different Govs scored in double-figures in the contest, but a ten-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome, as a quartet of Panthers also scored in double-figures.
Gabby Gregory led the way for Austin Peay State University, connecting on a pair of three-pointers en route to a team-high 11 points. Keisha Gregory and Arielle Gonzalez-Varner each scored 10 more points for the Govs; with Gregory dishing out a team-high six assists and pulling down five rebounds. Gonzalez-Varner also went to work on the glass, hauling in a team-high eight rebounds.
Grace McRae paced the Eastern Illinois offense, posting a game-high 19 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Jalisha Smith pulled down six rebounds and added 13 more points for the Panthers, while Grace Lennox and Abby Wahl each chipped in 11 points.
What to Watch For
Nationally, Austin Peay State University ranks 12th in three-point field goals made per game (8.9), 13th in three-point field goals made (177), and 8th in three-point field goals attempted (553).
The Govs defense is averaging 21.5 turnovers forced per game, which ranks 15th in the country and leads the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Govs forced 28 turnovers last time out against SIUE, and capitalized by turning them into 35 points.
Freshman Ella Sawyer has hit a three-pointer in ten-straight games, she now ranks eighth in the OVC, shooting 38.2 percent from three-point range.
Brandi Ferby posted season highs in points (18) and assists (5) against SIUE, and became the fourth Governor this season to lead the team in points and assists in a single game.
Brandi Ferby has led the Govs in assists in four-straight games, dishing out four assists per game over that stretch.
Shay-Lee Kirby made the first start of her collegiate career against SIUE, as a part of a brand-new starting lineup combination for the Govs.
Austin Peay State University and Eastern Illinois are tied for second in the OVC in three-point percentage (32 %), despite the Govs having made 46 more triples this season.
The Governors are averaging 74.6 points and 11.2 made three-pointers in games that are played at the Winfield Dunn Center this season.
Austin Peay State University is looking to pick up back-to-back wins in Ohio Valley Conference play for the first time this season.
Governors Courtside Seating returns for the 2019-20 season. Fans can contact the APSU Athletics Ticket Office for courtside seating availability and pricing. The VIPeay Hoops Experience, available to Black Tie Monocle Society members and above, also returns for 2019-20 after a successful debut last season.
For more information on joining the Governors in the Dunn Center this winter, to secure season tickets or to become involved with the Monocle Society, call 931.221.PEAY. You can also purchase tickets online at www.LetsGoPeay.com/buytickets; be sure to access the new 360-degree view of the Dunn Center when purchasing tickets.
Austin Peay State University Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay State University’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all APSU Governor athletics, as well as the Governor women’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayWBB). Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on the ESPN+ app.