Clarksville, TN – Sometimes the outcome of a basketball game is decided simply by who has the last possession, and that was the case tonight.
With five seconds left in the game, freshman Kemia Ward hit a put-back layup to give Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball a one-point lead; but on the final possession of the night, Chattanooga’s Anna Walker slashed down the lane and connected on a game-winning layup to knock off the Governors, 65-64, Tuesday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
The Governors started the night hot on both ends of the court, forcing nine turnovers and connecting on five three-pointers to build an 11-point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Shay-Lee Kirby spearheaded the early Austin Peay State University three-point barrage, knocking down three triples in the first frame.
After a Mocs bucket to start the second quarter, Austin Peay State University embarked on a 13-0 run that was capped off by Kirby’s fourth three-pointer of the contest and allowed the Govs to build a 20-point lead – their biggest of the game – at the 3:35 mark.
But Chattanooga would not go away, and the Mocs closed the second half on an 11-0 run of their own to give Austin Peay State University a 36-27 lead at the break.
With the Governors once 20-point advantage trimmed to nine, Brandi Ferby drilled a three-pointer to start the second half. On the Govs’ next possession, Brandi Ferby drew a foul while attempting a three-pointer and converted all three free throws. Then, her twin sister Brianah drove to the basket, converting a layup and drawing a foul. Brianah Ferby knocked down the free throw to wrap up a 9-0 run and stretch the Austin Peay State University lead back to 18.
At the 4:26 mark, the Governors once again stretched their lead to 20, when Brianah Ferby pulled down an offensive rebound and proceeded to knock down her lone three-pointer of the contest. After a Kemia Ward layup with 3:07 left in the quarter gave the Govs their final 20-point advantage of the contest; Chattanooga closed out the third quarter on a 13-3 run, and Austin Peay State University took a 56-46 lead into the final period.
Reminiscent of the Governors last outing against Southern Illinois, an untimely stretch of cold shooting plagued Austin Peay in the fourth quarter. Chattanooga cut the Austin Peay State University lead to one with 1:55 left to play. The lead would not last beyond the next Chattanooga possession as Dena Jarrells converted a layup to give the Mocs their first lead since the 8:55 mark in the first quarter – when they led 3-0.
With less than a minute to play, the Governors took the lead back on a second-chance layup by Nina De Leon Negron. But a technical foul on the Austin Peay State University bench gave Chattanooga a pair of free throws, which they converted to retake the lead, 63-62, and set up the late-game drama.
The fourth quarter. Chattanooga outscored Austin Peay State University 19-8 in the final ten minutes, which set the stage for Anna Walker’s heartbreaking game-winning basket.
Austin Peay State University now trails Chattanooga, 8-32, in the all-time series.
With 10 three-pointers against the Mocs, the Governors have connected on double-digit triples in three of the first four games this season.
Brandi Ferby led the APSU Govs in scoring for the second-straight contest and has scored in double-figures in eight of Austin Peay State University’s last 11 games.
Myah LeFlore led the Governors with a career-high three assists.
Quotably, APSU Coach David Midlick
On the fourth quarter
“Off the top of my head, we had too much dribbling and not enough movement on the offensive end. I think when a team makes a run, you have to play the game that we have coached and just make simple plays. Our offense is built on ball movement and cutting, I thought we got pretty stagnant in the fourth period and that was the difference. Our defense was good enough, but we got beat on some stick backs and to the basket in the fourth, but overall holding them [Chattanooga] in the 60’s wasn’t bad.”
On the Govs balanced offense
“A balanced attack is hard to scout and hard to play against, but I do think we need to find a go-to player or two – someone who is not afraid to make some plays and have the ball in her hands. But, balanced scoring is definitely what we are looking for.”
On the non-conference slate
“It has exposed what I have been talking about in practice. We have to get better as a team on the offense end, and not rely on the dribble and one-on-one stuff as much. Defensively, some of those drives by Chattanooga in the fourth started at the top of the key, and when a teammate gets beat, you have got to be there to help. So I thought we did some good things, and we will be ready to go Saturday against Murray State.”
Chattanooga 65, Austin Peay 64
Up Next for APSU Women’s Basketball
Austin Peay State University Women’s Basketball will kick off conference play and wrap up play before taking a break for the holidays when they travel to Murray State on Saturday, December 19th for a 2:00pm CT tilt with the Racers.