Asheville, NC – For the second-straight game, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team never trailed, as the Governors used a dominant defensive performance and a season-high 20 points from Karle Pace to rout UNC Asheville, 76-50, Thursday at Kimmel Arena.
With the game tied at 8-8 and 4:59 left in the opening quarter, Yamia Johnson was the first Governors besides Pace to find her way onto the scoreboard when she buried a three-pointer to give the Govs a lead which they would hold for the rest of the contest.
The Bulldogs were able to get the Austin Peay advantage to a single point twice in the first quarter, but that was the closest they would get, as the Governors stretched the lead to five points after Ella Sawyer’s second three-pointer of the night with 1:14 left in the frame.
UNC Asheville connected on a single free throw after the Sawyer triple, but Johnson closed the first quarter with a turnaround, fade-away shot at the buzzer to give the Govs a 21-15 lead after ten minutes of basketball.
In the second quarter, Austin Peay State University outscored UNC Asheville, 29-6, going 11-of-15 (73.3%) from the floor and 4-of-6 (66.7%) from three-point range, while holding the Bulldogs to just a single field goal in the quarter.
Johnson scored the first five points of the second period, drilling a triple and converting a fast-break layup off a pair of assists from Sawyer. After a Pace jumper and a Liz Gibbs layup put the Governors up 30-15, the Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard when Kai Carter connected on a three-pointer for the first of her team-high 15 points.
UNC Asheville scored its final point of the second period when Amanda Blake connected on a free throw with 3:25 left on the clock. The Governors closed the first half on a 10-0 run that started with a Nina De Leon Negron triple and saw freshmen Lamiah Walker and Kaiden Glenn each score their first collegiate points, with Walker knocking down a free throw and Glenn scoring on a layup in her Austin Peay debut.
After a De Leon Negron steal and fast-break layup with seven seconds on the clock wrapped up the first-half scoring, Austin Peay led 50-21 at the break.
Austin Peay State University pushed its lead above 30 for the first time when Lyric Cole scored her first two points of the night on the first possession of the third quarter, putting the Govs up 51-21 just 17 seconds into the second half. After a Carter layup cut the Govs’ lead by two points, Asheville, North Carolina native Kasey Kidwell scored her first two points of the game to put the Govs back up by 31 at the 7:59 mark in the third quarter.
The Governors and Bulldogs traded baskets for the remainder of the third quarter, but Austin Peay was still in complete control, leading 63-37 at the end of the period.
With a 76-44 lead, Austin Peay did not score again in the final 3:25 of the contest, but held on to pick up its second-straight wire-to-wire win, beating UNC Asheville by 26 points.
There are a number of things to choose from, but Austin Peay State University’s 29-6 run that spanned the entire second quarter is the difference. Johnson and De Leon Negron scored nine and eight points, respectively, in the second period, while UNC Asheville was held to just six points as a team in the quarter.
Austin Peay State University picked up its second-consecutive wire-to-wire win and has not trailed since it fell to Tulsa, 69-61, at the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament on November 27th.
The Governors made a season-high 12 three-pointers and shot a season-best 48 percent from three-point range.
Austin Peay State University’s 12 triples are its best single-game total since it connected on 14 three-pointers against Trevecca (11/28/20).
The APSU Govs improved to 5-0 this season when they score more points off turnovers than their opponent, outscoring the Bulldogs, 14-2, in that category.
Austin Peay State University outscored UNC Asheville, 28-16, in the paint, the Govs are now 4-0 when they score more points in the paint than their opponent.
Karle Pace led the Governors with a season-high 20 points, which is her best scoring performance since she posted a career-high 32 points against Eastern Kentucky (1/16/21) while playing for Eastern Illinois.
Yamia Johnson was the Governors’ second-leading scorer with 17 points, she has scored in double-figures in all eight games she has played for Austin Peay.
Ella Sawyer scored a season-high 12 points and dished out six assists, she has 14 total assists in the Govs’ last two contests.
Nina De Leon Negron led the Governors with a career-high eight assists, she leads Austin Peay with 33 assists this season.
De Leon Negron, Sawyer, and Lyric Cole all grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead the way on the glass.
Freshman Lamiah Walker scored her first three collegiate points, she also dished out the first two assists of her career.
Kaiden Glenn made her Austin Peay State University debut, recording two points, a rebound, and a steal in 5 minutes of action.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
“I thought it was a solid team win overall, especially with a lot of the adversity we have been faced with this past week. We have been talking about next woman up, next player up. No matter how many we have, no matter who it is, just still trying to find a way to get a win. So, I am proud of the fight, grit, and toughness I saw out of our team.”
On the defensive effort
“Like I told the team, that’s who I am as a coach and they are going to reflect who I am. They have been buying into it, so all the credit is to them. They come in, they play hard and we push them hard as a staff, but they have been responding. So, we want our identity to be based on defense, because shots may come and go, we actually shot the three exceptionally well today, but we don’t want to hang our hat on that. Even if our three-point shots are falling, we want to be able to sit down and defend and limit teams overall.”
On the Govs’ freshmen
“I am happy for both Lamiah and Kaiden. I know how it is, it’s hard to come in every day and be patient and wait your turn. We lost a couple of players that we knew weren’t traveling with us this week, but we talked about being ready to step up and play a role when your number is called and they both did that. I am happy for them.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team wraps up its trip to North Carolina when it plays a Saturday game at Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs. The tip-off is at 2:00pm CT. APSU then plays their final game before Christmas when they host a Tuesday contest against UT Southern in the Winfield Dunn Center. The game is slated to start at 2:00pm CT.
For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter or Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Austin Peay 76, UNC Asheville 50
Austin Peay Players
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UNC Asheville Players