Morehead, KY – Trailing by 10 points at the 8:25 mark in the third period, the Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team closed the game on a 39-19 run and used the 20-point swing to pick up a 71-61 win over Morehead State, Saturday, in Ohio Valley Conference action at Johnson Arena.
For Morehead State (1-21, 0-12 OVC), it was a pair of 20-point scorers with Terri Smith and Julan McDonald scoring 23 and 22 points, respectively, to lead the way. Jada Claude was the final Eagle in double-figures, scoring 12 points in the contest.
It was a fast start for the Governors, with Shay-Lee Kirby and Ella Sawyer layups on the first two possessions of the game building a 4-0 lead at the 9:04 mark in the opening quarter. Leading by two points, 6-4, with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter, Austin Peay State University went on a 6-0 run that started with a pair of Johnson free throws and ended with a pair of Booker layups to give the Govs a 12-4 lead 2:13 later.
But as quickly as the Governors built the eight-point advantage, Morehead State closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run to trim the APSU lead to just one point, 14-13, after 10 minutes of action.
The Eagles opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run and built an 18-14 lead just 52 seconds into the frame. But it was Pace who had an answer for the Morehead State run, hitting a pair of three-pointers and a jumper to go on an 8-0 run by herself and put the Govs ahead, 22-18, with 6:36 left before the half.
Following the Pace run, Claude and Smith knocked down threes on back-to-back possessions to retake a 24-22 lead for the Eagles. A Pace layup at the 5:01 mark in the second quarter tied the contest, but 11 seconds later, Smith connected on another triple, and Morehead State led by three points, 27-24. The Governors and Eagles traded baskets for the next four minutes before a Cole layup tied the score at 32 with 44 seconds left before the half.
However, Morehead State was able to take a two-point advantage, 34-32, into the locker room after Freddy Adams knocked down a pair of free throws with just 12 seconds left in the opening half.
The Eagles came out of the break firing and went on a quick 8-0 run to build their biggest lead of the game, 42-32, just 1:35 seconds into the second half. Trailing by 10, the APSU Govs came to life, starting with back-to-back buckets from Booker and Johnson to cut the deficit to six points at the 7:22 mark in the third.
After Johnson and Pace both hit a single free throw, Pace capped a 9-0 Austin Peay State University run with a three-pointer, and the APSU Govs trailed by just a point, 42-41, with 6:10 left in the third period. But that was as close as the Governors would get at the time and an 8-2 Morehead State run took their lead back to seven points, 50-43, with 2:31 left in the third.
Down by seven points, Liz Gibbs and Johnson converted old-fashioned three-point plays on back-to-back possessions, and all of a sudden, the APSU Govs trailed by just one, 50-49, with 36 seconds left in the third quarter. On the final possession of the third period, Austin Peay State University took its first lead, 51-50, of the second half when Johnson buried a jump shot as the buzzer sounded.
Like Morehead State in the third quarter, the Governors went on an 8-0 run to open the fourth period and built a 59-50 lead at the 6:32 mark. Cole led the Govs on the quarter-opening run, scoring six points on the run to help Austin Peay State University build the nine-point advantage.
After an 8-2 Morehead State run cut the Governors lead to three points with 2:13 left in the contest, Austin Peay State University scored five quick points with a pair of Pace free throws and a three-point play from Johnson pushing the lead back to eight, 66-58, with 55 seconds left on the clock.
A Smith three-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game was the final points of the day for the Eagles, as Pace and Sawyer knocked down free throws down the stretch to give the Governors a 10-point victory and complete the season sweep of Morehead State.
Second-chance points. Austin Peay State University grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and turned those boards in 20 second-chance points. On the other end, the APSU Govs held Morehead State to just seven offense boards and three second-chance points. That’s a 17-point advantage for the Governors in second-chance points.
Austin Peay State University won its fifth-straight game against Morehead State and improved to 43-41 in the all-time series.
Austin Peay State University won its 13th-straight game against teams from the state of Kentucky, it is the third time the Govs have beat Morehead State during that streak.
The APSU Govs scored 40-plus points in the paint for the fifth time this season and outscored the Eagles, 44-14, in the paint. The Governors are 12-1 this season when they win the battle in the paint.
Morehead State outscored Austin Peay State University, 16-13, in points off turnovers and the Govs won for just the fourth time this season when getting outscored in points off turnovers.
Austin Peay State University scored 20 second-chance points, which is their best single-game mark since scoring 24 second-chance points in the season-opening contest at Evansville. The Govs are 8-3 when they score more second-chance points than their opponent.
Pace has led Austin Peay State University in scoring in four of the last five games and nine times this season.
Pace knocked down all three of Austin Peay State University’s three-pointers, it was her seventh game with at least three three-pointers this season.
Pace and Kasey Kidwell both dished out a team-best four assists, Pace has led the team in assists eight times this season and it is the first time this season Kidwell has led the team in helpers.
Yamia Johnson posted her fifth collegiate double-double and her second as a Governor with 17 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
Johnson’s team-high 11 rebounds marked the fifth time she has led the Govs on the glass this season.
D’Shara Booker scored 10 points and has scored in double-figures in five of APSU’s last seven contests.
Lyric Cole also scored 10 points; it was her sixth game with double-digit points this season.
Ella Sawyer pulled down seven rebounds, she has grabbed at least five boards in eight of the last 10 games.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
“A win is definitely a win. I think I always say, we would rather learn lessons winning rather than losing, but an ugly win here tonight. We were able to pull it out, but not our best day of basketball overall.”
On her message to the team
“Every game is important. Every game is significant. We talked about that prior to coming in here. I told the team that the energy you have for the Belmont, Tennessee Tech, and Murray State, you have got to give that energy to every opponent. You have to have that same level of respect and I told them that this was a team hungry for a win. They compete for 40 minutes every night and this is not a cakewalk. You have to come in and play and I think when we got off to a quick start, I don’t know if we thought they were going to lay down or what, but again we are a young group in terms of being together, even though we have experienced players and we have to learn how to win.”
On the Govs in the post
“We always want to establish ourselves inside. We thought that we had opportunities early, but our post players weren’t really working to take advantage of that. Lyric sat most of the third quarter, she took a little hit to the face early in the game and I think it maybe threw her out of her rhythm. But we talked about it in the fourth quarter and I told her it’s 10 minutes, give us everything you got for 10 minutes and we saw a huge spark from her. The effort she gave us in the fourth was huge.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team returns to the Winfield Dunn Center to host a Thursday game against Southeast Missouri that starts at 5:00pm, and a Saturday game against Tennessee State that tips off at 1:30pm.
After the two-game homestand, the APSU Govs hit the road for four of their last five contests, starting with a February 14th game at UT Martin that begins at 6:00pm. For news and updates on everything Governors women’s basketball, follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com
Austin Peay 71, Morehead State 61
Austin Peay Stats
DE LEON NEGRON
Morehead State Stats
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