Carbondale, IL – After falling behind early, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball surged back to take the lead at the end of the third quarter; however, a late push by Southern Illinois was too much to overcome and the Governors fell, 72-54, at the Banterra Center.
After falling behind 11-2 to start the contest, the Governors finally found their stride at the 5:00 mark, when Brandi Ferby connected on a free throw to spark an 11-0 run.
Nina De Leon Negron converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Ashlynn Freeman drilled her first collegiate three-pointer, before De Leon Negron hit a layup to give the Govs their first lead of the game.
The two-point Austin Peay State University lead was short lived, as Southern Illinois’ Makenzie Silvery scored the final five points of the quarter to give the Salukis a three-point advantage.
The second quarter followed the same script as the first – Southern Illinois building an early lead and the Governors fighting back to keep it close. Brandi Ferby got the Govs scoring started, drilling a triple to cut the deficit to five.
After a Southern Illinois bucket took the lead back to seven, Kemia Ward scored her first two points of the game, before blocking a shot that lead to another Austin Peay layup and cut the deficit to three. The Governors and Salukis traded buckets for the rest of the first half, before a Brianah Ferby floater at the buzzer cut the Southern Illinois lead to two.
The second half started out as a back-and-forth affair, with the lead changing hands five times in the first three minutes. Brandi Ferby connected on her second three-pointer of the game, giving the APSU Govs a one-point lead with 7:05 left in the third quarter.
After a stop on the defensive end, De Leon Negron pulled down an offensive rebound and went right back up for two points, giving the Governors a three-point lead – their biggest of the day. Shay-Lee Kirby and De Leon Negron each connected on a three-pointer to close out the quarter, but the Governors led by just two points after 30 minutes of action.
Things didn’t go the Govs way in the fourth quarter. An untimely cold stretch for Austin Peay State University, coupled with a late surge by Southern Illinois was too much for the Governors, and they fell for the first time this season.
Turnovers and fast break points. Southern Illinois outscored the Governors 21-7 off turnovers and 16-0 on fast breaks. Austin Peay State University only turned the ball over three more times than Southern Illinois, but the Salukis were able to capitalize and score points when they forced turnovers.
Austin Peay State University now trails Southern Illinois in the all-time series, 4-3.
This was the APSU Governors first non-conference loss since they fell to No. 14 Kentucky, 81-52, on December 1st, 2019.
Brandi Ferby led the Govs with 14 points, dating back to last season she has scored in double-figures in seven of the last ten games.
In her first collegiate start, Kemia Ward led the APSU Govs in rebounding for the first time, matching her career-high with 5 boards.
Nina De Leon Negron scored 12 points, shooting 83 percent from the floor – she has scored in double-figures in two of her first three collegiate games.
Austin Peay 54, Southern Illinois 72
Up Next for APSU Women’s Basketball
Austin Peay State University Women’s Basketball will wrap up the non-conference slate when they host Chattanooga for a 4:30pm, on Tuesday, December 15th tilt in the Winfield Dunn Center.Tip off is at 4:30pm. After squaring off with the Mocs, the Govs will travel to Murray State for a 2:00pm, December 19th contest to kick off Ohio Valley Conference play.