Clarksville, TN – Coming off one of the best defensive performances in program history, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team was even better in the encore, holding Tennessee State to just 37 points – the fewest points the Governors have allowed against a Division I opponent this season – in a 57-37 Ohio Valley Conference victory, Saturday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
The scoring picked up in the quarter’s final two minutes as Governors built an 8-5 lead when Sawyer found Lyric Cole for a layup with 45 seconds left on the clock. But Tennessee State (11-14, 6-8 OVC) was able to get the quarter’s final points when Gia Adams knocked down a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining and Austin Peay State University led, 8-7, after 10 minutes.
The APSU Govs opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run with a Kasey Kidwell layup and a Karle Pace three-pointer stretching the lead to 13-7 with 7:30 on the clock.
Trailing by six, the Tennessee State offense finally found a bit of a rhythm and went on a 6-1 burst to bring the score back within a single point, 14-13 with 5:07 left before the half.
After the teams traded baskets, Pace drilled back-to-back threes to give the Govs their biggest lead of the first half, 22-15, with 1:26 left before the break. But the Pace triples were the Governors final points of the half as the Lady Tigers were able to trim the deficit to four points, 22-18, at the half.
After Tatyana Davis opened the second half with a layup for two of her team-high 11 points, Austin Peay State University went on a 12-0 run that spanned the game’s next 7:14. The run started with a pair of Sawyer three-pointers and the Govs led, 28-20, at the 7:36 mark.
After four-straight points from Cole, the APSU Govs’ advantage was 12 points with 5:09 left in the third. Yamia Johnson knocked down a pair of free throws to cap the run and stretch the Govs led, 34-20, with 2:27 left in the frame.
Tennessee State was able to get the deficit back to 12 points with less than a minute left in the third period, but a Liz Gibbs layup with 14 seconds on the clock gave the Governors a 14-point lead, 37-23, at the start of the fourth period.
After four-straight points to open the fourth quarter Austin Peay State University led by 18 points with 8:33 left in the game. Tennessee State responded with a 9-1 run that was capped by a Davis three-pointer, trimming the Austin Peay State University advantage to 44-32 with 6:12 left in the game.
But that was as close as the Lady Tigers would get, as the Govs went on an 11-1 run that ended with four-straight points from Shay-Lee Kirby ad gave Austin Peay State University its biggest lead of the game, 55-33, with 1:50 left to play.
Tennessee State was able to convert some free throws down the stretch, but it was too little, too late as the Governors cruised to their fourth-straight OVC win and their seventh-straight win on Dave Loos Court.
Three and D. Austin Peay State University hit six three-pointers and held Tennessee State to just a single triple in the contest. The Governors outscored the Lady Tigers, 18-3, from three-point range in the contest.
APSU won its fifth-straight game against Tennessee State in the Dunn Center and improved to 24-11 all-time against the Lady Tigers in Clarksville.
With 17 wins in her debut season, Brittany Young is tied with Susie Gardner (1996-97) for the fourth-most wins by an Austin Peay State University head coach in their first season.
Young has also won 11 OVC games in her first season at the helm, which is the third-most by an APSU head coach in their first season.
In back-to-back games, Austin Peay State University has held Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State to 38 and 27 points, respectively. This is the first time in program history that the Govs have held back-to-back opponents under 40 points in program history.
Austin Peay State University held Tennessee State to just 13 made field goals after holding Southeast Missouri to just 13 field goals, Thursday. Prior to the last two games, the last time the Governors held an opponent to just 13 made shots from the field was when they held Tennessee State to 12 made field goals in a 62-37 win on January 4th, 2021.
The Governors won their OVC-leading 11th home game of the season, their .917 winning percentage at home is also the top mark in the league.
APSU improved to 4-0 this season when it plays teams for a second time.
Playing against a team that ranks fourth in the NCAA and forces 23.8 turnovers per game, Austin Peay State University only turned the ball over 18 times and forced Tennessee State to turn the ball over 19 times. The APSU Govs also outscored the Lady Tigers, 16-6, in points off turnovers and improved to 13-1 when it scores more points off turnovers than its opponent.
The Governors outscored Tennessee State, 24-18, in the paint and improved to 13-1 when they win the battle in the paint.
Pace also knocked down three three-pointers, marking the eighth time this season she has hit at least three triples in a game.
Pace dished out a team-best five assists and led the Governors in helpers for the ninth time this season.
Ella Sawyer scored in double-figures for the fifth time this season with 10 points; she has posted double-digit points in back-to-back games for the first time since she scored in double-figures in the four-straight games during the final three games of her freshman season and the first game of her sophomore season.
Sawyer matched her season-high with nine rebounds – one shy of her career-high and her first-career double-double.
Lyric Cole blocked two shots for the second-straight game, marking the first time in her career she has recorded multiple blocks in back-to-back games.
Quotably, APSU Coach Brittany Young
On the Austin Peay defense… “Overall, our defensive effort for the majority of the season wasn’t quite what we were looking for. We really wanted to buy into a team defensive concept. Our young ladies have a good rapport with each other, they get along well, and we thought more of a gap team defense is something that could be beneficial for us. I would say the last two games are pretty representative of the way that we wanted to play all season long. I think it is just our young ladies buying into playing together, making sure they are in the gaps, limiting the other team to one shot, and I think those are the thing you are seeing in the last two games we had.”
On Gerlonda Hardin and the other women’s basketball alumna in attendance… “We made sure on Friday morning, before we got into film, that we printed out her bio so that our young ladies could read about her and understand what she did. It was just so special that the last team to really win it all at Austin Peay, many of those members are here today. We were fortunate enough to bring them back in the locker room and they were just telling our young ladies what it takes to achieve that type of success, and the great thing is it’s not like they are giving them some magic formula that is impossible to obtain. Really it is just continue to do the things you do, trust each other, push each other, and you can achieve the same things they did. I think just having them here and having them share their stories, that’s huge for our program moving forward.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team continues its stretch of five games in ten days when it travels to UT Martin for a rescheduled Monday contest that begins at 6:00pm at the Elam Center in Martin, Tennessee. The Governors then hit the road again for a Wednesday game against Murray State at the CFSB Center in Calloway County, Kentucky that starts at 5:00pm.
Then the Govs return home for the home finale and Senior Day when they host Tennessee Tech for a February 19th, 1:30pm, a contest in the Dunn Center.
Tennessee State 37, Austin Peay 57
Tennessee State Stats
Austin Peay Stats
DE LEON NEGRON
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