Clarksville, TN – Graduate transfer Karle Pace and freshman Lyric Cole led Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team with 14 points apiece in a 67-44 exhibition win against Freed-Hardeman, Tuesday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Leading 13-8 with less than five seconds left in the first quarter, Nina De Leon Negron stole an inbound pass and hit a wide-open layup as time expired to give the Governors a seven-point advantage.
Cole stretched the lead to 11 on a put-back layup less than a minute into the second quarter, but the Lady Lions outscored Austin Peay 16-9 to close out the second quarter cutting the Governors lead to 28-24 at halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, a Pace three-pointer jump-started a 15-2 half-opening run that saw the Govs stretch their lead to 17 with 4:35 left in the third quarter. However, Freed-Hardeman was able to trim the Austin Peay advantage to 14 at the end of the third quarter.
After a Kaylee Odom layup cut the Lady Lions’ deficit to a dozen early in the final frame, Liz Gibbs scored two of her eight points to start a 14-1 run for the Governors. Pace drilled her second, and final, triple of the night with 6:36 left in the game before a Shay-Lee Kirby three with 5:16 on the clock put the Governors up by 23.
Austin Peay built its lead to game-high 26 points on a D’Shara Booker layup with 1:25 left in the contest. Freed-Hardeman was able to get three points back on their final possession, as the Governors completed a 39-20 second-half outburst and rolled to a 23-point victory in first-year head coach Brittany Young‘s preseason debut.
Points in the paint. A Governors team with an arsenal of three-point shooters outscored Freed-Hardeman 44-20 in the paint. Austin Peay State University shot 53.8 percent from the floor – which would’ve been the APSU Govs best single-game mark a season ago – capitalizing on their chances around the rim.
Karle Pace averaged 12.6 points per game in her career at Eastern Illinois, she scored 14 points in her Austin Peay State University debut.
Pace dished out at team-best three assists, she averaged 2.6 assists per game in her first four collegiate seasons.
Ella Sawyer led the APSU Governors with what would have been a career-high six steals.
Nina De Leon Negron and Pace picked up four and three steals, respectively, as the Governor defense posted 15 takeaways.
APSU was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.
Austin Peay State University outscored Freed-Hardeman, 27-17, on points off of turnovers.
APSU Quotably, Coach Brittany Young
Opening thoughts… “We were a little tight in the first half, I don’t know if it’s because we had fans in here for the first time. We were a little bit looser on the road and sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes you’re on the road and it’s not as much pressure, so we were a little more relaxed in our scrimmage Saturday, but the thing I will say is that I am proud of the fight we had in the second half. We talked about some things that we needed to improve during halftime – our turnovers, giving up offensive rebounds – we talked about those things specifically and I think we came back and executed the game plan in the second half.”
On learning a new system… “It’s all a process. It’s a new system. Everything is new for everyone. So, we are just trying to get comfortable with the system, the turnovers are a part of that. The chemistry with each other, and also the timing is very important. I thought in the second half the turnovers didn’t kill us because they didn’t lead to transition points. But overall, 21 turnovers, I’ve got to find some things to pick at and that’s a little too much for me.”
On Lyric Cole… “We drew up the first play to go into her early. We showed her some things on film, and I’m just so proud of her, because she took that information and put it into use tonight. I didn’t realize she had 14 points, I knew she was having a pretty solid night, but thrilled for her. Great kid, great player, but an even better person. I’m happy for her.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
Brittany Young will make her regular-season debut when the Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team travels to Evansville for a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest at Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
The Governors will return to the Dunn Center for their regular-season home debut when they host a 6:00pm, November 12th showdown with Pikeville.
For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter or Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Freed-Hardeman 44, Austin Peay 67