Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young picked up her first-career win as the Governors beat Pikeville, 78-49, in their home opener, Friday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Austin Peay (1-1) dominated Pikeville in the paint, outscoring the Bears, 60-24, around the rim. The Govs shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the contest and were once again led in scoring by transfers Karle Pace and Yamia Johnson with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Another Johnson bucket with 26 seconds in the quarter gave the Govs a 18-14 lead at the end of the first ten minutes of action.
The second quarter saw Austin Peay extended its lead, with Karle Pace scoring six of her game-high 18 points in quarter. Johnson also tacked on four more points in the frame, before a Shay-Lee Kirby three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Governors a 14-point advantage, 39-25, at halftime.
After a Johnson jumper opened the second-half scoring and gave the Govs a 16-point lead, Pikeville matched Austin Peay bucket for bucket for most of the third quarter. A D’Shara Booker layup with 1:20 in the quarter gave the Governors an 18-point advantage – their biggest of the game so far – but the Bears scored on their next trip down the floor to bring the deficit back down to 16.
Pace wrapped up the third quarter with a free throw with 43 seconds left to give the Govs a 58-41 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Austin Peay held Pikeville scoreless for the first 4:33 of the fourth quarter and held the Bears without a field goal in the final ten minutes of the contest. Pikeville was able to convert eight times at the charity stripe, but the trio of Lyric Cole, Nina De Leon Negron, and Pace combined to score all 20 of the Govs fourth-quarter points and bury the Bears in the final frame.
Pace opened the final quarter with her first three-pointer of the night, before assisting on a Cole layup the next trip down the floor. After a Pace layup with 6:17 on the clock, De Leon Negron stole a pass, leading to another Pace layup to stretch the lead to 28 points.
With 4:39 left in the game, De Leon Negron went on a 5-0 run of her own, drilling a three-pointer and converting a fast-break layup after stealing a Pikeville pass, giving the Governors a 34-point lead – their largest of the night – with 4:07 left to play. After Cole broke into double-figures with ten points on the Governors final bucket of the night, Pikeville knocked down four-straight free throws to close the game, but Austin Peay cruised to their first win of the season in a 29-point rout.
Points in the paint. Austin Peay State University outscored Pikeville, 60-48, in the paint. Take away all the points the Govs scored outside of the paint, and they still win by 11 points, 60-49.
Austin Peay State University scored 60 points in the paint, which would have been its best single-game performance a season ago, topping a 42-point performance in the paint against Murray State (1/25/21).
Brittany Young picked up her first career win as a head coach in her first game in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Austin Peay State University improved to 1-0 all-time against Pikeville, winning its first-ever meeting with the Bears.
The APSU Govs shot 55.6 percent from the floor, that is the first time they have shot over 55 percent in a single game since they shot 56.7 percent against Kentucky Wesleyan (11/5/19).
Yamia Johnson scored 16 points – her best performance as a Gov – and shot 70 percent from the floor.
Freshman Lyric Cole scored a career-high 10 points in her Dunn Center debut.
Cole also led APSU on the glass with a career-best eight rebounds.
Nina De Leon Negron scored nine points and matched her career-high with a team-best six assists.
Pace also dished out a team-high six assists and was one off her career-high in helpers.
Shay-Lee Kirby pulled down a career-high seven rebounds, with two of her boards coming on the offensive end.
Austin Peay State University scored 32-points off the bench and held Pikeville’s reserves to just six points.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
On her first career win… “It’s always a great thing anytime it’s the first of anything, I think it’s always special. Our team has been working hard, we were hoping we got this win on Tuesday night in Evansville, but it wasn’t in the cards for us. We talked about coming out, working, and continuing to get better every day. So, I am excited that the team could also get its first win of the season tonight.”
On scoring in the paint… “I think it’s definitely a focus. We talked a lot about that. Taking threes is great, it’s a great part of basketball, but we would rather those threes come on inside-outside action. We want to establish the paint first and foremost. So, I know it’s very different. It’s very different for the team and it’s a big adjustment, but we want to be efficient when we shot threes and I think that happens when you have inside-outside plays and that has been a big emphasis so far.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will wrap up a quick two-game homestand when it hosts a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest against North Alabama in the Dunn Center.
APSU will then embark on a three-game road trip that starts with a 2:00pm, November 20th matchup with Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter or Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Pikeville 49, Austin Peay 78