Clarksville, TN – It was Military Appreciation Night, and the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team executed a rout with military precision – stifling, stymying, and flat out shutting down Southeast Missouri as it rolled to a 41-point, 79-38 Ohio Valley Conference victory, Thursday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
The Redhawks first point of the game was followed by an 11-3 APSU run that started with a Karle Pace jumper at the 6:14 mark, ended with a Lyric Cole second-chance layup 2:48 later, and the Govs led 15-4. After Southeast Missouri’s Denay Watson scored to end the run, the Governors closed the first quarter on another 5-0 run and built a 20-6 lead after 10 minutes.
Southeast Missouri opened the second-quarter scoring with a Kennedi Watkins free throw 53 seconds into the frame, but that point was followed by another Austin Peay State University run, this time a 7-0 spurt that built a 27-7 lead with 7:25 left before the half. Watson halted the Govs’ run with a layup that cut the deficit to just 18 points, but Karle Pace answered that with three of her team-high 17 points and Austin Peay State University had its biggest lead of the first half, 30-9, at the 6:45 mark.
Trailing by 21 points, Southeast Missouri went on a run of their own and scored eight-straight points to trim the Austin Peay State University lead to 30-17 with 2:53 left in the second period. The Govs were able to extend their lead again before halftime and a Nina De Leon Negron layup with 19 seconds left on the clock gave Austin Peay State University a 36-19 advantage that it would take into the break.
The second half started just about as well as it could for the APSU Govs. Pace and Yamia Johnson buried back-to-back three-pointers to open the period and spark an 11-0, quarter-opening run. The 4:48 run came to an end with back-to-back baskets from Johnson and pace and the Governors held a 28-point, 47-19, lead at the 6:12 mark in the third quarter.
The Governors kept their foot on the gas for the remainder of the third quarter and were able to build a 34-point, 59-25, lead at the end of the third period.
Southeast Missouri opened the third quarter on a 6-1 run and cut their deficit to 29 points after a Diona Reed layup with 8:00 left in the contest. After a pair of Kemia Ward free throws, the Governors stretched their advantage back to 34 points when Sawyer connected from three-point range with 7:20 left on the clock.
The Governors’ lead topped 40-points for the first time when Sawyer knocked down a jumper with 1:37 to play. The lead swelled to 44-points – the biggest of the night – with 53 seconds left when Shay-Lee Kirby buried a three-pointer. The Redhawks were able to get the final points of the game on a three-pointer with 35 seconds left, but Austin Peay State University rolled to its third-straight OVC win and its sixth-straight win in the Dunn Center.
It was an all-around dominant performance for Austin Peay State University, but the Govs really controlled the glass. The Governors outrebounded Southeast Missouri, 49-24, and outscored the Redhawks, 18-7, in second-chance points.
The Governors improved to 19-14 all-time against the Redhawks in Clarksville with their first win against Southeast Missouri in the Dunn Center since a 56-54 win on February 21st, 2019.
APSU won its sixth-straight home game and improved to 10-1 in the Dunn Center this season. The Govs’ 10 wins are tied for the best mark in the OVC this season and their .909 winning percentage on Dave Loos Court is the top mark in the league this season.
APSU never trailed against Southeast Missouri and picked up its seventh wire-to-wire win of the season.
The Govs outrebounded Southeast Missouri, 49-24; the +25 rebounding margin is Austin Peay State University’s best single-game mark this season.
APSU outscored SEMO, 20-6, in the paint and improved to 12-1 this season when it scores more points in the paint than its opponent.
The APSU Govs held Southeast Missouri to just 13 made field goals in the contest, that is their best single-game defense effort since holding Tennessee State to just 12 made field goals on Jan. 4, 2021.
Karle Pace scored 17 points to lead the Govs in scoring for the third-straight game and the 10th time this season.
Yamia Johnson scored in double-figures for the team-best 21st time this season with 16 points.
Ella Sawyer scored in double-figures for the fourth time this season and matched her season-high with 12 points.
Lyric Cole grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to lead Austin Peay State University on the glass for the team-leading 11th time this season.
Nina De Leon Negron also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
De Leon Negron, Sawyer, and Kasey Kidwell all dished out a team-best three assists in the contest.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
On what led to tonight’s win
“I think it was just being focused and locked in on the game plan. I thought that we definitely had a good pulse of what they wanted to run and how they wanted to attack us, and I thought that we bought into that. I think offensively, shots fell for us tonight, and we are a team that when shots do fall, it helps us to feel good. But we have been trying to challenge the team with really buying into the defensive end of the floor and finding some energy from that. So, I think when I look at the box score, even more so than the offense, I am pleased with our defensive effort overall.”
On the defense and rebounding
“We knew if we defended their sets the way we originally planned, then transition defense and rebounding would become keys. I think we were pretty solid in transition limiting those points from them and I think we did a very good job limiting them to one shot. I think a team like that, when we do those two things, it just made it difficult to score. So, all praises to our young ladies for buying into the game plan we gave them.”
On her team moving forward
“I think that for our team, we are a team that has never collectively been in the situation that we are right now, where we are having a chance to compete for a championship in the OVC. So, it is trying to help teach our young ladies how to win games and we talked about just focusing on one game at a time, and SEMO was our next opponent up. They can’t focus on Tennessee State. They can’t focus on UT Martin. We can only focus on the opponent at hand and if we take every game one-by-one, we should put ourselves in a position to be very successful at the end of the season.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team continues a stretch of five games in ten days when it hosts a Saturday contest against Tennessee State in the Dunn Center that starts at 1:30pm. APSU then travels to UT Martin for a Monday contest that beings at 6:00pm before visiting Murray State for a Wednesday contest with a 5:00pm tip-off.
Southeast Missouri 38, Austin Peay 79
Southeast Missouri Stats
Austin Peay Stats
DE LEON NEGRON
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