Austin Peay (5-2 | 3-0 OVC) at SIU Edwardsville (3-3 | 0-1 OVC)
Thursday, January 7th, 2021 | 1:00pm CT
Edwardsville, IL | Vadalabene Center
Clarksville, TN – Looking to start Ohio Valley Conference play 4-0 for the first time since 2004, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball is set to square off with SIU Edwardsville on Thursday, January 7th, 2020 at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Illinois. The tip-off is at 1:00pm CT.
The Governors are currently on a five-game road swing, and Thursday’s game at SIUE marks the second leg of that road trip.
Austin Peay State University will still travel to Eastern Illinois, UT Martin, and Southeast Missouri before returning home on January 21st against Tennessee Tech.
Thursday’s game against SIUE was originally scheduled for a 5:00pm tip-off at the Vadalabene Center, but when the men’s basketball game between the Governors and Cougars was postponed, the women’s start time was moved up.
About the SIU Edwardsville Cougars
After a 12th-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season in 2019-20; the OVC’s coaches and SIDs tabbed SIUE to finish 11th in the 2020-21 Preseason Poll, and the league’s media picked the Cougars to finish 12th in their preseason poll.
Entering her 9th season at SIUE, head coach Paula Buscher returns nine letterwinners and four starters from a team that finished with a 3-26 mark overall and a 1-17 record in conference play.
This season Buscher’s team is built on defense and rebounding, as they currently led the OVC in rebounding offense (41.8 rpg) and rebounding margin (+6.3), and rank second in offensive rebounds (15 orpg). The Cougars also rank fourth in the conference in blocked shots (5 bpg) and steals (9.7 spg) this season, and are the fourth-best team in the league in terms of scoring defense (62 ppg).
Allie Troeckler leads the Cougars in all facets of the game, she ranks 14th in the conference in scoring (11.8 ppg), eighth in rebounding (7.7 rpg), and third in blocked shots (1.5 bpg). However Troeckler does not just rebound on the defensive end, she is tied for third in the league and averages 3.7 offensive rebounds per game.
Sophomore forward Mikayla Kinnard is another offensive threat for SIUE, she averages 11.5 points and 2.8 assists per game, while shooting a team-high 50 percent from the floor. Ajulu Thatha also averages 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the Cougars this season.
APSU Series History against SIUE
This is the 22nd meeting in a series that dates back to 2008; Austin Peay State University trails in the all-time series, 7-14
In Austin Peay State University’s second “Education Day” game of last season, the Governors were not bothered by the matinee tip-off and led wire-to-wire on the way to a 79-62 win at SIUE on December 20th, 2020, at the Vadalabene Center.
After Austin Peay State University controlled the opening tip, Maggie Knowles and Ella Sawyer both drilled three-pointers to give the Govs a lead which they would not relinquish for the next 40 minutes. Sawyer and Knowles would go on to be 2 of the 6 Governors that scored in double-figures against the Cougars; as Knowles hit four triples and scored 12 points, while Sawyer scored 11 points and dished out five assists.
D’Shara Booker (12 points), Arielle Gonzalez-Varner (10 points), Brandi Ferby (10 points), and Shay-Lee Kirby (10 points) were the final four Governors in double-figures — marking the first time since Jan. 2, 2019, that six Govs scored in double-figures in a single game.
Brandi Ferby also led the APSU Govs with a team-high six assists and Kirby grabbed a career-high six rebounds to lead the way on the glass.
For SIUE, Mikala Hall and Allie Troeckler each pulled down seven rebounds and led the Cougars with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Austin Peay State University is off to its best start in Ohio Valley Conference play since David Midlick‘s first season at the helm in 2016.
Last time out the Govs held Tennessee State to just 37 points, marking the first time in 19 years and only the fourth time in program history that they have held an opponent under 40 points in a single-game.
Austin Peay State University has won three-straight games against SIUE, which is the Govs longest winning streak against the Cougars in the 13-year series history.
In last season’s trip to the Vadalabene Center, six Governors scored in double-figures: Maggie Knowles (12), D’Shara Booker (12), Ella Sawyer (11), Arielle Gonzalez-Varner (10), Brandi Ferby (10), and Shay-Lee Kirby (10).
Through seven games this season, the Governors rank third in the OVC in scoring offense (70.1 ppg) and second in scoring margin (+7.4 points).
The APSU Govs ranks second in the OVC in steals per game (10.9), led by Brianah Ferby who ranks second in the league in steals (20) and steals per game (2.86).
After forcing exactly 26 turnovers in back-to-back games against Murray State and Eastern Kentucky, the APSU Govs forced 23 turnovers last time out against Tennessee State.
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 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.