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APSU Women’s Basketball holds off Eastern Illinois for 75-72 win at the Dunn Center

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – A season-high 26 points from Yamia Johnson propelled the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team back into the win column, as the Governors took down Eastern Illinois, 75-72, in Ohio Valley Conference action, Saturday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.

Austin Peay (10-5, 3-2 OVC) graduate student Karle Pace spent the first four years of her collegiate career at Eastern Illinois (6-8,1-2 OVC), but the Clarksville native scored 15 points to help the Govs knock off her former squad. D’Shara Booker also added a season-high 14 points, helping the Governors improve to 6-1 at home this season.

Eastern Illinois jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with an Abby Wahl layup on the opening possession and a Kira Arthofer layup for the first two of her 17 points just 1:15 seconds into the contest. Lyric Cole got the Governors on the scoreboard with a layup at the 8:28 mark, but Arthofer answered with back-to-back buckets and the Panthers led, 8-2, with 5:57 left in the opening quarter.
After a Wahl triple put Eastern Illinois ahead by seven points, Pace got her afternoon started with a jumper in the paint, cutting the deficit to 11-6 with 4:26 left in the first period. But Eastern Illinois’ Lariah Washington answered with four-straight points – the first of her team-high 26 points – to give the Panthers their biggest lead of the game, 15-6, with 3:09 left in the first quarter.

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Liz Gibbs. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Trailing by nine, Liz Gibbs and Johnson each hit two-point jumpers to bring the Govs back within five points, but Eastern Illinois’ Julia Bengtson hit a three-pointer with 1:32 left in the opening period to give the Panthers an 18-10 lead after ten minutes of action.

After a Wahl jumper put Eastern Illinois back ahead by eight points, 20-12, with 8:43 left in the second quarter, Booker scored six-straight points to spark a 16-4 Austin Peay run that lasted 4:49 and gave the Governors a 28-24 lead with 3:38 left in the half. Once the Panthers halted the Govs’ run, Johnson went on a 6-0 run all by herself to give Austin Peay its biggest advantage of the first half, 34-26, with 1:25 left on the clock.

The Govs and Panthers traded buckets for the remainder of the first half, but Austin Peay outscored Eastern Illinois, 27-13, in the second quarter and led, 37-31, at halftime.

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Ella Sawyer. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Like the first half, Eastern Illinois started quick and went on a 9-2 run to open the second half, retaking the lead, 40-39, on a Washington layup at the 6:28 mark in the third quarter. Washington scored nine-straight points for the Panthers before a Jordyn Hughes triple gave Eastern Illinois its biggest lead of the second half, 50-44, with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

Austin Peay State University was able to get back within one point twice in the final two minutes of the third period, but the Govs were unable to retake the lead and trailed 54-53 with 10 minutes left to play.

After a pair of free throws gave the Panthers a 56-53 lead with 9:22 left in the contest, Johnson went on another run all by herself, scoring seven-consecutive points over 1:20 to give Austin Peay State University a 60-56 advantage. Washington was able to halt the Johnson run and cut the Governors’ advantage back to a single point with 6:37 left in the contest.
But the Governors had an answer, a 10-0 run that was sparked by back-to-back Booker layups and was capped off by back-to-back triples from Ella Sawyer and Pace, giving Austin Peay State University its biggest lead of the game, 70-59, with 4:10 left in the game.
Eastern Illinois was able to outscore the APSU Governors, 13-5, in the final 3:53 of the contest, but a long Johnson three-pointer with 58 seconds left on the clock was the difference, as Austin Peay State University held on for a three-point victory and picked up its third OVC win of the season.

The Difference 

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - D'Shara Booker. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)D’Shara Booker. The redshirt junior forward scored a season-high 14 points off the bench, going 6-for-7 (.857) from the floor and blocking a shot in the contest.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, native was the catalyst for Austin Peay State University’s two biggest runs, scoring six-straight points to start a 16-4 run in the second quarter and then scoring four-straight points to spark a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter.

APSU Notably 

Austin Peay State University snapped a three-game losing streak at home to Eastern Illinois and beat the Panthers in the Dunn Center for the first time since December 30th, 2017.

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Karle Pace. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)APSU improved to 31-23 all-time against Eastern Illinois, the Govs also hold a 13-12 lead in games played in Clarksville.

Austin Peay State University improved to 6-1 at home this season, the Governors have now won back-to-back games on Dave Loos Court.

APSU went 27-of-47 from the floor, shooting a season-best 57.4 field-goal percentage – that is the Govs’ best single-game field goal percentage since they shot 58.3 percent from the field against Tennessee State (2/4/2017)

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Nina De Leon Negron. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Austin Peay State University’s bench scored a season-high 47 points.

The Governors outrebounded Eastern Illinois, 28-26, improving to 6-2 this season when they win the battle on the glass.

Eastern Illinois’ 72 points are the most the Govs have given up this season, topping a 70-point outing by UT Martin, December 30th, in the OVC opener – the Govs defense has only surrendered 70-plus points twice this season.

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Yamia Johnson. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Yamia Johnson scored a season-high 26 points, her best single-game performance since she scored 29 points against Tennessee State (1/25/21) while playing for Jacksonville State.

Johnson has now led the APSU Govs in scoring a team-high nine times this season.

Johnson has now scored in double-figures in 15-consecutive games to begin her Austin Peay career. She is the first Gov with double-digit points in 15-straight games since Tearra Banks did it in 21-straight games from November 27th, 2016 to February 18th, 2017.  

Karle Pace scored in double-figures for the 11th time this season with 15 points.

2021-22 APSU Women's Basketball - Lyric ColeD’Shara Booker scored in double-figures for the second time this season with a season-high 14 points, her best single-game performance since she scored a career-high 21 points at Eastern Kentucky (2/22/2021).

Ella Sawyer led the Governors on the glass for the third time this season with a season-high nine rebounds – one off of her career-high.

Pace, Sawyer, Nina De Leon Negron, and Liz Gibbs also dished out a team-high three assists.

Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young

Opening thoughts
“When you go back and look at Thursday night’s game at Belmont, we didn’t give ourselves a chance because we had 21 turnovers and most of them were unforced. The first quarter, those first five minutes, we were kind of doing the same old thing. So, we just talked about making a decision to really want to come in here and compete today and if we were going to do that, we have to get back to being us. That means we take care of the basketball, we play sound defense, and I think when we did that in the second quarter, we were able to score 27 points. That happens because we were getting stops defensively, which leads to our offense.

On Yamia Johnson
“She is proven. She has done that in this conference for the last three years. I think the thing is, we might have more confidence in Yamia than she does, she is a very humble soul. She doesn’t want the spotlight, doesn’t want the shine, but she is just like a gentle giant. When we needed her the most tonight, she hit several big shots, I think that three just capitalized it all. But she came in and hit many big shots to help us take the lead.”

On Karle Pace playing her former team
“We didn’t want to make this different in any way. To be honest, the only conversation we had with Karle about this being her former team was right before the game started in the locker room and the only thing that was said was that we know how this is, an emotional game, but you don’t have to take it all on your shoulders. We have got your back. We know you want this one. Your teammates have your back, do it together with them. You don’t have to take the weight of that on yourself.”

Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball

The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team is back at home for a rescheduled 6:00pm, Monday contest against SIU Edwardsville in the Winfield Dunn Center. Monday’s game against the Cougar will have free admission to all fans.

The Governors then hit the road for a 5:30pm, Thursday contest against UT Martin at the Elam Center in Martin and a 1:00pm, Saturday contest against Tennessee State at the Gentry Center in Nashville.

For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.

Box Score

Eastern Illinois 72, Austin Peay 75

  1 2 3 4 Total
Eastern Illinois 18 13 23 18 72
Austin Peay 10 27 16 22 75


Eastern Illinois Stats

16 7-13 0-1 2-2 4 4 3 3 39
7 2-4 1-1 2-2 3 2 4 1 28
7 3-6 1-3 0-0 4 3 2 2 32
26 10-17 1-4 5-5 3 3 2 1 37
7 3-13 1-4 0-0 7 2 2 3 33
3 1-4 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 2 18
2 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 5
4 1-1 0-0 2-2 2 0 1 0 6
0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2
  3   0 1  
GAME PCT 46.7 29.4 100.0    


Austin Peay Stats

15 6-12 2-5 1-1 4 3 2 2 31
4 2-3 0-1 0-0 1 3 0 0 29
4 1-5 1-3 1-2 9 3 3 3 25
1 0-4 0-2 1-2 1 2 0 2 11
4 2-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 3 1 18
14 6-7 0-0 2-4 0 0 2 0 22
1 0-1 0-1 1-2 2 0 2 1 11
26 8-10 3-4 7-8 4 2 1 2 26
6 2-2 0-0 2-2 2 3 2 3 27
  3   0 1  
GAME PCT 57.4 37.5 71.4    


Team Comparison

FG% 47% 57%
FGs 28-60 27-47
3FG% 29% 38%
3FGs 5-17 6-16
FT% 100% 71%
FTs 11-11 15-21
TOs 13 15
PtsOffTO 17 11
TotReb 27 28
DefReb 19 24
Off Reb 8 4
2ndChPts 7 4
BenchPts 9 47
PtsPaint 40 36
FstBkPt 10 0
Blocks 1 1
Steals 10 7
Assts 14 16
Times Tied:   2
Time Tied:   0:58
Lead Chg:   3
LeadTime 23:10 15:53

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