Cookeville, TN – Trailing by double-digits early in the fourth quarter, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball battled back to make it a two-possession game with less than a minute left to play, but the Governors ran out of time and fell to Tennessee Tech, 62-57, Thursday in the Hooper Eblen Center.
It wasn’t a particularly fast start for Austin Peay State University (12-9, 9-7), who fell behind 7-0 out of the gate, but a driving layup from Ella Sawyer and a quick three-pointer by Shay-Lee Kirby had the Govs right back in it with 6:27 left in the first quarter.
With 3:07 left in the first period, Tahanee Bennell drilled a deep three-pointer and Brianah Ferby got to the basket for layups on back-to-back possessions to give the APSU Govs their first lead of the contest, 14-13.
But a Mackenzie Coleman three-pointer with 46 seconds left in the opening frame gave Tennessee Tech (14-8, 12-7) a 16-14 lead after ten minutes of action.
Trailing by one with 8:38 left in the third quarter, Maggie Knowles buried her first three-pointer of the game to give the Govs a two-point advantage.
After Tennessee Tech hit a triple of their own to retake the lead, D’Shara Booker got to the basket for a layup on back-to-back possessions to give Austin Peay State University its biggest lead of the first half, 24-21.
With the game timed at 26 and 5:32 left before halftime, Tennessee Tech’s Jordan Brock knocked down a three-pointer to kick off a 13-3 run that would take the Golden Eagles into the locker room with a 36-29 lead over the Governors.
In the third period field goals were not falling at a particularly high clip for either squad and the Golden Eagles used the free throw line to build an 11-point lead with 1:35 left in the frame. But with 1:13 left in the period, Nina De Leon Negron threaded the needle with a perfect bounce pass to a cutting Sawyer to trim the deficit to 47-38 at the end of the quarter
To start the fourth period neither team was able to find the bottom of the net until an Anna Jones layup with 7:12 left in the game gave Tennessee Teach an 11-point advantage once again. For the next three minutes the Golden Eagles had an answer for every Austin Peay State University bucket, trading point-for-point until Tennessee Tech held a 53-42 lead with 4:29 left in the contest.
The APSU Govs started to make a run with Knowles and Kasey Kidwell hitting three-pointers on back-to-back possessions, but each Austin Peay State University triple was followed by a pair of made Tennessee Tech free throws. With seven seconds left in the game, Booker pulled down an offensive rebound and went back up for the hoop and the harm.
However, Booker missed the free throw, and the Governors comeback ran out of steam in the penultimate game of the regular season.
The free-throw line. Tennessee Tech was able to get to the charity stripe 17 times and knocked down 14 free throws. Austin Peay State University only shot 13 free throws in the contest and converted six of them.
D’Shara Booker led the Governors with 10 points and 6 rebounds, it is the fourth time this season she has led the team on the scoresheet and on the glass in a single game.
Booker has now scored in double figures in five-consecutive games – the longest such streak of her career.
Ella Sawyer led the Govs with four assists, she has led Austin Peay State University in helpers in six of the 12 games she has played in this season.
Tennessee Tech shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, the APSU Governors are now 0-3 when their opponent shots 50 percent or better in a contest.
Austin Peay 57, Tennessee Tech 62
Next Up For Austin Peay State University Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will wrap up the regular season with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest at Jacksonville State. The Governors have already locked up a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, but could still be anywhere from the No. 3 to the No. 7 seed depending on how the final day of the regular season unfolds.