Clarksville, TN – Trailing by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team was able to cut the deficit to just five points with just over a minute remaining in the contest, but the comeback ran out of steam and the Governors fell to UT Martin, 70-62, in their Ohio Valley Conference opener, Thursday, at the Winfield Dunn Center.
With the score tied at 9-9 after a Lyric Cole layup and a pair of UT Martin three-pointers, the Skyhawks went on a 6-0 run – building a lead which they would not surrender – that ended with a Pipkin layup with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
D’Shara Booker and Nina De Leon Negron halted the run with back-to-back layups, bringing the Governors back within two points, 15-13, with 55 seconds left in the quarter. However, UT Martin got the final points of the period, with Kyannah Grant converting a layup with 38 seconds left to give the Skyhawks a 17-13 lead after ten minutes of basketball.
The second quarter saw Austin Peay State University’s offense go cold, with Kidwell knocking down a three-pointer with 3:58 left before the half for the Governors only points in the period. On the other end, UT Martin used the Govs’ unfortunate cold spell to build a 12-point, 28-16, lead at halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, UT Martin got five-straight points from Pipkin and pushed their lead to 33-16 with 8:52 left in the third quarter. Trailing by 17 points, Shay-Lee Kirby buried a three-pointer and then converted a fast-break layup after a Sawyer blocked a shot, trimming the UT Martin lead to 37-25 at the 6:32 mark in the third quarter.
After a Pipkin layup, Sawyer connected from three-point range, cutting the UT Martin lead to 11 points, 39-28, with 5:44 left to play in the third period. Austin Peay would cut the UT Martin lead to 11 points twice more in the third quarter, but the Skyhawks closed the final 4:34 of the period on a 9-2 run and led, 52-34, after 30 minutes of action.
After a Yamia Johnson jumper to open the final period, UT Martin built its biggest lead of the day, 54-36, after Pipkin converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 8:43 left in the contest.
Trailing by 19, the Governors went on a 15-4 run that lasted 3:36 and saw Johnson score eight of team-high 14 points. Kirby capped off the run with her first three-pointer of the night and the Govs trailed, 59-51, with 4:40 left to play in the contest.
Still trailing by eight points with 1:12 left to play, Sawyer knocked down another triple to shrink the UT Martin lead to just five points, 64-59. However, that was as close as the Governors would get, as the Skyhawks converted their free throws down the stretch, ending Austin Peay’s four-game winning streak.
Free throws and the second quarter. UT Martin outscored Austin Peay State University, 11-3, in the second period. The Skyhawks also knocked down 15 free throws and shot 88.2 percent from the charity stripe, while the Governors went just 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
Austin Peay State University saw its four-game winning streak come to an end and trailed in a game for the first time since it fell to Tulsa, 69-61, on November 27th.
Austin Peay State University opened OVC play against UT Martin for the first time in program history, the Govs are 2-2 in their last four OVC openers.
APSU falls to 43-44 all-time against UT Martin, the Skyhawks have won the last eight meetings with the Govs – including four straight in the Dunn Center.
The Skyhawks outscored the Governors, 34-28, in the paint, the Govs are 0-4 this season when their opponent outscores them in the paint.
UT Martin is the first team to score 70 points against Austin Peay State University this season.
Yamia Johnson led the Governors in scoring for the seventh time this season with 14 points, she has scored in double-figures in all 11 games she has played for Austin Peay State University.
Shay-Lee Kirby led the APSU Govs on the glass for the third time in her career with a career-high eight rebounds.
Kirby scored 11 points, she has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games she has appeared in after scoring 16 points last time out against Bellarmine, December 12th.
Nina De Leon Negron dished out a team-best five assists, she has led the Governors in helpers seven times this season.
Kasey Kidwell matched her season-high with 12 points and four assists.
Kidwell also recorded a career-best four steals.
APSU Quotably, Coach Brittany Young
On the OVC opener
“I think we will go back and look at the second quarter and see we were a little stagnant offensively. We ended up having some open looks but weren’t able to knock those down. There was not a lot of ball movement, we talked about that at halftime and made some adjustments, but that second quarter was critical. Even with that being said, I think we had a chance in the second half to still come back and have a chance to potentially take a lead. But when you look at us and what has helped us have a lot of success in the nonconference season is our defense. 70 points are probably the most points we have given up all year, if I can think about it correctly, I am not sure another team has gotten 70 on us. We have got to get back to the drawing board and defensively is where it starts.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team hits the road for the first time in OVC play when it travels to Southeast Missouri for a Saturday contest at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The tip-off is at 2:00pm.
The Governors then return home to host a Monday, January 6th game against SIU Edwardsville for a 5:00pm tip-off and a January 8th game against Morehead State with a tip-off of 1:30pm.
For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter or Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
UT Martin 70, Austin Peay 62