Nashville, TN – After a slow start, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team was able to overcome a double-digit Belmont lead and tie the contest in the second quarter, but the Governors were never able to take the lead and fell to a late Bruins charge, 65-46, in Ohio Valley Conference action, Thursday, in the Curb Event Center.
After trading baskets to start the game, Belmont (8-5, 4-0 OVC) went on an 11-0 run and took a 13-2 lead with 4:39 left in the opening quarter. Liz Gibbs halted the Belmont and sparked an 8-0, quarter-closing run for the Governors with a driving layup at the 4:06 mark in the first quarter.
After the Gibbs bucket, Shay-Lee Kirby drilled a three-pointer and Johnson buried three free throws, bringing Austin Peay State University back within three points, 13-10, at the end of the first period.
It appeared as though the APSU Govs would keep the momentum when Karle Pace converted a layup to open the second quarter, but Belmont’s Madison Bartley knocked down a three-pointer and converted a layup of her own for five of her game-high 18 points to push the Bruin’s lead back to six points at the 7:28 mark.
Trailing by five after Belmont’s Destinee Wells scored her first points of the contest, D’Shara Booker scored back-to-back buckets in the post and the Govs trailed by just one, 21-20, with 4:52 left before the half. Austin Peay State University was finally able to tie the contest at the 2:50 mark in the second period when Johnson buried a pair of free throws, but the Bruins closed the first half on a 7-0 run and led 30-23 at halftime.
Austin Peay State University opened the second half on a 4-0 run, with Lyric Cole and Kasey Kidwell hitting layups to trim the deficit to just three points, 30-27. But a second-chance three-pointer for Wells sparked a 9-0 Belmont run and the Bruins pushed their lead back to a dozen, 39-27, with 5:49 left in the third period.
Trailing by 13 points with 8:44 left in the game, Johnson scored four-straight points to bring APSU back within nine, 48-39, with 6:40 left to play. But the Govs were never able to get any closer and Belmont pushed its lead to as many as 22 points in the final period to stay unbeaten in OVC play.
Turnovers. Austin Peay State University turned the ball over 21 times, Belmont turned the ball over 13 times. The Governors scored 13 points off turnovers, the Bruins scored 25 points off turnovers.
The Governors matched their season-high with 16 made free throws on a season-high 26 free throw attempts.
Yamia Johnson led the APSU Govs in scoring for the eighth time this season with 15 points, she has scored in double-figures in 14-straight games to begin her Austin Peay career.
Johnson knocked down a career-best 11 free throws on a career-high 13 free throw attempts.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
Opening thoughts… “I thought we had a pretty solid game plan and we kind of got off to a shaky start, to be honest. Against a team like Belmont, you can’t spot them an eight-to-ten-point lead in the first quarter, because now you are fighting to just get back. We brought the game pretty close, but then you are fighting an uphill battle and that kind of got us off initially… 21 turnovers, which led to 25 points, it’s tough to beat a team like this with those types of mistakes.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
Austin Peay State University women’s basketball will host a Saturday game against Eastern Illinois that starts at 1:30pm and a Monday game against SIU Edwardsville in the Winfield Dunn Center with a start time of 6:00pm.
After the two-game homestand, the Governors hit the road for a January 20th contest against UT Martin in the Elam Center beginning at 5:30pm. For news and updates on everything Austin Peay State University women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Austin Peay 46, Belmont 65
Austin Peay Stats
DE LEON NEGRON