Austin Peay (7-2 | 5-0 OVC) at UT Martin (3-3 | 2-1 OVC)
Thursday, January 14th, 2021 | 5:00pm CT
Martin, TN | Elam Center
Clarksville, TN – Entering the final week of a five-game road swing, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball has a chance to continue their best start to Ohio Valley Conference play since 2003 when they take on the OVC’s preseason favorite UT Martin in a 5:00pm, Thursday contest at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center in Martin, Tennessee.
At 5-0 to start OVC play, the Govs lead the OVC and are on their first-five-game conference winning streak since 2011.
Thursday’s contest is the fourth leg of a five-game road trip for the Governors, who will still travel to Southeast Missouri before returning home January 21st against Tennessee Tech.
With the postponement of the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball game at Southeast Missouri on Saturday, the start time of the women’s contest has been moved to a 1:00pm tipoff at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
About the UT Martin Skyhawks
After a first-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference, regular season in 2019-20; UT Martin was unable to capture the OVC Tournament Championship, falling to No. 3 seeded Southeast Missouri, 67-47, in the title game.
This season UT Martin was tabbed to win the league in both the OVC Coaches and SIDs Preseason Poll and the OVC Media Poll, receiving 32 of 37 first-place votes in the two polls. 12th-year head coach Kevin McMillan returns 13 letter winners and four starters from last year’s squad that posted a 22-10 mark overall and a 16-2 record in OVC play. Last season the Skyhawks went 13-1 at home, dropping only one contest to No. 6 Louisville, 71-63 (OT2) at the Elam Center.
This season UT Martin returns the 2019-20 OVC Player of the Year and the 2020-21 Preseason OVC Player of the Year, Chelsey Perry. Last season Perry ranked 3rd in the NCAA, averaging 23.1 points per game; this season she is averaging 27.2 points per game, which ranks second in the nation. Perry leads the OVC in three-point percentage (50%), ranks second in field-goal percentage (55.4%), and eighth in rebounding (8.2 rpg).
Last week Perry posted a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double on the road at No. 2 Louisville, before scoring a season-high 32 points at Tennessee State; which was good enough to earn her third OVC Player of the Week award this season.
Senior forward Maddie Waldrop is UT Martin’s other returning First-Team All-OVC performer from 2019-20, she averaged 12.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season. A 2020-21 Preseason All-OVC selection, Waldrop is averaging just 3.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 33.3 percent from the floor.
Louisville transfer Seygan Robins is UT Martin’s second-leading scorer this season, averaging 9.2 points per game. The redshirt sophomore guard is also dishing out 3.7 assists per game, which leads the Skyhawks and ranks fifth in the OVC this season.
APSU Series History against UTM
This is the 84th meeting in a series that dates back to 1976; Austin Peay leads the all-time series, 43-41.
Austin Peay State University knocked down a dozen three-pointers and held an 11-point lead at halftime, but they were unable to hold on and a late UT Martin rally knocked off the Governors, 65-61, on January 18th, 2020 in the Elam Center.
Maggie Knowles and Ella Sawyer led the Govs with 17 and 14 points, respectively, with Knowles connecting on five three-pointers and Sawyer hitting a trio of triples. Knowles also pulled down a team-high 6 rebounds, while Sawyer recorded 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Brandi Ferby also grabbed 6 rebounds for the Govs, while dishing out a team-high 5 assists. Brianah Ferby was the final Governor in double-figures, hitting three triples and scoring 11 points in the contest.
The OVC Player of the Year, Chelsey Perry, led UT Martin with 25 points and 12 rebounds; scoring 19 points and pulling down 9 rebounds in the second half alone. Tamiah Stanford also scored 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, she was the only other Skyhawk in double-figures.
Having started conference play 5-0, Austin Peay State University is off to its best start in the Ohio Valley Conference since the 2002-03 season.
With a win over UT Martin, the Governors could improve to 6-0 to start OVC play for the first time since the 2002-03 season, when Susie Gardener’s team went 16-0 in conference play.
For the fourth week this season, the Govs received votes in the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
Nationally the APSU Governors rank 18th in three-pointers per game (9.3), 20th in three-pointers attempted (259), and 26th in three-pointers made (84) — they lead the OVC in all three statistics as well.
Austin Peay State University is one of two teams in the OVC that rank in the top four in scoring offense (71.2 ppg) and scoring defense (62.3 ppg), because of that the Govs rank second in the league in scoring margin (+8.9).
Brandi Ferby ranks 10th in the nation and leads the conference with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.86.
Twin sisters Brianah Ferby and Brandi Ferby rank first (24 steals) and second (23 steals) in the OVC, respectively, in steals and lead an Austin Peay State University team that leads the OVC in steals (93) this season.
Maggie Knowles leads the OVC in three-pointers made (25), and would be tied for the NCAA lead in three-point field goals made per game (4.17) if she had played in 75 percent of APSU’s games.
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.