Cape Girardeau, MO – Early shooting woes once again plagued Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball; as the Governors dropped their second-straight contest, falling to Southeast Missouri, 74-61, Saturday at the Show Me Center, despite outscoring the Redhawks by two points in the second half of the game.
Austin Peay State University (7-4, 5-2) trailed by 15 points at halftime, but the Govs offense found its stride early in the second half, going on a 12-3 run that started with a Brandi Ferby free throw at the 8:26 mark in the third quarter.
On the ensuing defensive possession, Tahanee Bennell poked the ball loose around the half-court line and led a fast break where she found Kemia Ward for the hoop and the harm. Ward knocked down the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play and trim the Redhawk’s advantage to just eight with 5:08 left in the period.
With 3:48 left in the third quarter, a D’Shara Booker layup cut the APSU Govs deficit to eight points again, thanks in part to Austin Peay outscoring Southeast Missouri, 16-7, to start the second half. But that was as close as the Governors would get and the Redhawks used the final three minutes of the third period to stretch their advantage back to 13 points.
The front half of the fourth quarter belonged to Southeast Missouri, as Tesia Thompson scored 11 of her game-high 33 points to build Southeast Missouri’s biggest lead of the contest – 22 points with 3:49 left to play. But the Governors never went away, as Nina De Leon Negron and Kirby drilled three-pointers on the final two offensive possessions of the contest to shrink the deficit to 13 points at the final buzzer.
The first quarter of the contest also belonged to Southeast Missouri, the Redhawks took advantage of the Governors untimely cold shooting to build a 23-12 lead after ten minutes of action. In the second quarter, the Governors used a pair of Ella Sawyer three-pointers to stay in the contest but shot 16.7 percent from the floor and saw Southeast Missouri extend the lead to 15 points at halftime.
The first half. Austin Peay State University shot 18.2 percent from the floor and 20 percent from the three-point range, while Southeast Missouri shot 52.2 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from the three-point range in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
The APSU Govs would go on to outscore the Redhawks by two points in the second half, but the 15-point lead that Southeast Missouri was able to build in the first half was the difference.
Austin Peay State University Notably
Austin Peay State University dropped its third-straight game to Southeast Missouri, but the Governors still lead the all-time series, 34-30.
Tahanee Bennell scored 11 points to lead the APSI Govs in scoring for the second time this season and the fifth time in her career.
D’Shara Booker continued to lead the Governors on the glass, pulling down 8 boards to lead the team in rebounding for the fourth time this season and the 10th time in her career.
Booker scored in double-figures for the third time this season and narrowly missed out on her career’s first double-double once again – 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Ella Sawyer matched her season-high with 4 assists and lead Austin Peay State University in helpers for the second time this season and the 12th time in her career.
Austin Peay State University knocked down 9 three-pointers, and for the first time, this season the Govs made less than 10 three-pointers in back-to-back games.
Despite playing the OVC’s second-best shot-blocking team, the APSU Governors blocked three shots in the contest and the Redhawks were only able to block a pair of shots.
Austin Peay 61, Southeast Missouri 74
Up Next for Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team wrapped up its season-long five-game road trip at Southeast Missouri and will now play a season-long five-game homestand. The Governors will kick off the homestand with a 4:30pm, January 21st contest against Tennessee Tech, before squaring off with Jacksonville State, January 23rd. The following week the Govs will welcome Murray State, Belmont, and Tennessee State to the Winfield Dunn Center.
For news and schedule updates, check back at LetsGoPeay.com or follow the Governor women’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayWBB).