Evansville, IN – For the first time since 2012, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team picked up a win at the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Championship, snapping an eight-game drought with a 67-53 win over No. 8 Tennessee, Thursday, at the Ford Center.
Austin Peay (19-10, 11-7 OVC) was led in scoring by Yamia Johnson, who scored a game-high 17 points off the bench. D’Shara Booker also came off the bench for the Governors and posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
The Davis bucket was the final points of the first quarter for Tennessee State, with Booker coming off the bench to score her first bucket and kick start a 7-0 quarter-closing run for the Govs. After the Booker layup, Johnson hit a three-pointer and got to the rim for a layup, tying the game, 13-13, at the end of one.
Austin Peay State University started the second quarter by turning its 7-0 run into a 17-0 run, with Johnson and Shay-Lee Kirby drilling triples on the first two possessions of the period to jump-start scoring. With 6:42 left before the half, Booker capped off the 17-0 run with a layup that gave the Governors a 23-13 lead.
OVC Freshman of the Year Gia Adams halted the Austin Peay State University run with a layup at the 6:16 mark in the second period and Tennessee State went on a quick 5-2 run to bring the APSU Govs back within seven points, 25-18. But that was as close as Tennessee State would get for the remainder of the game, with Booker quickly scoring five unanswered points to stretch the lead back to a dozen, 30-18.
The Lady Tigers trimmed the Austin Peay State University advantage to nine points with 1:01 left on the clock, but Nina De Leon Negron wrapped up the first-half scoring with a layup to put the Govs ahead, 36-25, and stretch the lead back to double-digits, where it would stay for the remainder of the contest.
The Governors opened the second half on a 6-0 run, quickly building a 17-point, 42-25, advantage at the 8:00 mark in the third quarter. With 2:21 left in the third period, Johnson pushed the Govs lead to 20 points, 48-28, for the first time in the contests with a pair of free throws.
Then it was four-straight points from De Leon Negron that gave Austin Peay State University a 52-28 lead with just 1:25 left in the third. But the Lady Tigers scored the final four points of the frame and the APSU Govs led, 52-32, with 10 minutes of basketball left.
A Karle Pace three-pointer and a pair of Johnson free throws made up a quick 5-0 run to open the final period and gave Austin Peay its biggest lead of the game, 57-32, with 8:13 left to play. But an untimely cold spell struck the Governors and Tennessee State was able to trim the lead to just 10 points, 63-53, with 36 seconds left in the game.
However, the Lady Tigers were unable to get the lead back within single digits and Pace knocked down four-straight free throws to close the game and give Austin Peay State University a 14-point victory.
Booker also grabbed a team-leading 10 rebounds off the bench and Kasey Kidwell led the Govs with three assists off the bench in just 10:39 of action.
Austin Peay improved to 19-10 in Brittany Young‘s first season at the helm, she now has sole possession of the third-most wins by a head coach in their first season in program history.
Young becomes the second coach in program history to win their OVC Tournament debut, joining Andy Blackston, who won the 2004 OVC Tournament in his first season at the helm.
The Governors snapped an eight-game losing streak in the OVC Tournament.
APSU picked up its first-ever OVC Tournament win in the Ford Center and improved to 1-4 since the event moved to Evansville, Indiana.
Austin Peay State University won its ninth-straight game against Tennessee State and improved to 41-28 in the all-time series.
APSU’s 19 wins are the best single-season mark since the 2003-04 team won 23 games during their OVC Championship season.
The Governors outscored Tennessee State, 34-22, in the paint and improved to 15-4 this season when they win the battle in the paint.
The Govs’ bench scored 33 points; it is the 15th time this season the reserves have scored 30-plus points.
Yamia Johnson led the APSU Govs in scoring for the third-straight game with 17 points, which is her best scoring performance against Tennessee State this season.
Johnson has scored in double-figures a team-leading 24 times and has led the Govs in scoring a team-high 14 times this season.
D’Shara Booker’s 13-point, 10-rebound double-double is her second of the season and the third of her career.
Booker’s double-double is the first by a Governor in the OVC Tournament since Leslie Martinez recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Murray State on March 1, 2012.
With 10 rebounds, Booker matched Lyric Cole for the most game with double-digit rebounds – three – this season.
Karle Pace scored in double-figures for the 22nd time this season with 14 points.
Kasey Kidwell dished out three assists to lead the Governors in assists for the third time this season and the 13th time in her career.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team is set to advance to the semifinals of the OVC Tournament for the first time since 2011, when they fell to Tennessee Tech, 65-56, on March 4th that Municipal Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The Governors will play a 1:00pm, Friday game against top-seeded Belmont, who has knocked Austin Peay State University out of the tournament in each of the past two seasons.
The APSU Govs are 0-2 all-time against the Bruins in the OVC Tournament, but both of those losses came in the quarterfinals. Friday’s contests will be the first-ever meeting between the in-state rivals in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament.
Tennessee State 53, Austin Peay 67
Tennessee State Stats
Austin Peay Stats
DE LEON NEGRON
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