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APSU Women’s Basketball begins two-game road trip at Mississippi Valley State

 

Austin Peay (2-0) at Mississippi Valley State (0-0)

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 | 4:00pm CT
Itta Bena, MS | Harrison Hper Complex

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – With a pair of wins already in the books, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball will kick off a two-game, non-conference road trip when they take on Mississippi Valley State in a 4:00pm, Wednesday matchup at the R.W. Harrison HPER Complex in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

Austin Peay State University Women's Basketball travels to Mississippi Valley State, Wednesday. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University Women’s Basketball travels to Mississippi Valley State, Wednesday. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors went on the road and knocked off North Alabama, 88-78, in the season opener; before returning home to beat Trevecca, 90-76, in the home opener at the Winfield Dunn Center.

With Mississippi Valley State marking the midway point of the abbreviated non-conference schedule for the 2020-21 season; APSU will travel to Florida State for a 1:00pm, Sunday contest, before wrapping up the non-conference slate when they take on Chattanooga in a 4:30pm, December 15th, game at the Dunn Center.

About the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes

After finishing at the bottom of the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season, Mississippi Valley State was picked to finish there once again in the SWAC’s 2020-21 Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Head coach Ashley Walker-Johnson enters her fourth season at the helm of Mississippi Valley, returning five letterwinners and three starters from last year’s squad that posted a 2-27 record.

Shelli Thigpen is the Devilettes’ top returning scorer, she averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 42.2 percent from the floor a season ago. Azaria Howard is Mississippi Valley’s second-leading returning scorer, having averaged 8 points, while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor in 2019-20. Thigpen and Howard averaged 4.5 and 4.2 rebounds per game, respectively, last season.

Senior Diamond Wraggs is the Devilette’s top returning rebounder, she averaged 4.9 rebounds per game last season. Wraggs also averaged 6.7 points in 20 minutes of action per game in a year ago. Dishing out 2.3 assists per game a season ago, junior guard Ronni Williams led Mississippi Valley state in assists in 2019-20.

Series History

This is the fifth meeting in a series that dates back to 1987; the APSU Govs trail in the all-time series, 1-3.

Last season Austin Peay State University picked up its first ever win against Mississippi Valley State, beating the Devilettes, 100-82, at the R.W. Harrison HPER Complex in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

 


 

The APSU Govs led by just two points at halftime, but forced five turnovers and drew seven fouls in the first three minutes of the third quarter to spark a 15-5 run and build a 12-point advantage from which they would never look back.

Arielle Gonzalez-Varner led the way for the Governors, scoring 21 points and hauling in 13 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive end. Maggie Knowles chipped in 16 points, connecting on four three-pointers for the Govs. Gonzalez-Varner and Knowles also got it done on the defensive end, as the duo each recorded a team-high 3 steals in the contest.

This game marked the second time that the Governors had scored 100 points last season, but it was the defense that led Austin Peay State University to victory. APSU forced 26 Mississippi Valley turnovers, including 19 in the second half, and converted those turnovers to points, scoring 26 points off of Mississippi Valley State turnovers.

APSU Notably

Since becoming the head coach at Austin Peay State University, David Midlick is 6-1 in games against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In his head coaching career, Midlick is 8-1 against the SWAC.

The last time Austin Peay State University topped the century mark in scoring was 28 games ago against Mississippi Valley State, when the Govs beat the Devilettes, 100-82, in the R.W. Harrison Complex.

Last season the APSU  Govs ended the non-conference slate on a four-game winning streak; with wins over North Alabama and Trevecca, Austin Peay owns a six-game winning streak in non-conference contests.

The home opener against Trevecca marked the first time since February 20th, 2020, at SIU Edwardsville, that five Govs scored in double-figures in a single game: Maggie Knowles (22), Nina De Leon Negron (16), Brianah Ferby (14), Myah LeFlore (11), and Kelen Kenol (10).

 


 

Knowles knocked down six three pointers and shot 75 percent from three-point range against Trevecca. This was the third time in her career that she has hit 5+ three-pointers in a single game.

After just two games, LeFlore and De Leon Negron are tied for the Ohio Valley Conference lead in field-goal percentage (61.5 percent).

Five different APSU Govs are averaging double-digit points per game so far this season, led by Brianah Ferby, who ranks second in the OVC in scoring (20 points per game).

Through two games, Brandi Ferby has dished out a team-high 10 assists and has yet to commit a turnover this season. In her career she has dished out 164 assists and only turned the ball over 76 times — good for a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.16.

Knowles is the Austin Peay State University career three-point percentage leader, she is currently shooting 41.6 percent from downtown in her collegiate career.

APSU Govs in the time of COVID-19

For the 2020-21 season, Austin Peay State University athletics will allow approximately 35 percent capacity in the Dunn Center for home basketball events.

There will be no lower bowl seating for fans during the season. The lower level will be limited to players, coaches, and game-day support staff only. Seats will be assigned to create a buffer between groups to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Student seating will be located in sections AA-BB for both men’s and women’s games. Masks or facial coverings are required to enter the Dunn Center. They must remain in place at all times unless eating or drinking.

APSU Govs 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 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.


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