Lexington, KY – For just the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2004, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team has won 20 games in a season, with the Governors taking down Furman, 73-59, in the consolation bracket of the Women’s Basketball Invitational, Saturday, at the Clive M. Beck Center on the campus of Transylvania University.
Furman (19-14, 10-4 Southern Conference) got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 10-2 run and building an eight-point lead at the 6:31 in the opening period. After an Ella Sawyer layup got the Govs back on the scoreboard, the Paladins answered with four-straight points and built their biggest lead of the game, 14-4, with 5:03 left in the first quarter.
Trailing by 10 points, back-to-back buckets from D’Shara Booker jump-started a 13-3, quarter-closing run for the Governors that spanned the final 4:37 of the frame. Karle Pace capped off the run with a layup at the buzzer for two of her 12 points, tying the score at 17-17 at the end of the first period.
Pace then gave Austin Peay State University its first lead of the contest when she opened the second-quarter scoring with a three-pointer at the 6:49 mark. After trading buckets for the majority of the second period, Furman cut the Govs’ advantage to just one point, 30-29, when Tierra Hodges converted a layup for two of her team-high 23 points with 1:20 left before halftime.
But Johnson closed the first half on a 4-0 run all by herself, knocking down a pair of free throws before hitting a turnaround jumper in the paint at the buzzer to put Austin Peay ahead, 34-29, at the break.
After the Paladins got a bucket to open the second half, Kasey Kidwell went on a 5-0 run, knocking down a pair of free throws before drilling a three-pointer to put the Govs in front by eight points, 39-31, at the 7:27 mark. With 5:41 left in the third quarter, Shay-Lee Kirby gave Austin Peay its first double-digit advantage, 45-35, of the day when she drilled a triple for her first three points of the contest.
With just under a minute left in the third quarter, Furman trimmed the Govs’ lead to just seven points, but Kidwell knocked down a triple for three of her 11 points and Johnson hit another shot at the buzzer to take a 54-42 lead at the end of the period.
Furman opened the fourth quarter on a 13-1 run and cut Austin Peay State University’s 12-point lead to just two points, 57-55, with 6:25 left on the clock. With 6:01 left to play, Johnson halted the Paladin’s run with another three-pointer, putting the Govs back ahead by five, 60-55.
Leading by five, Booker knocked down a turnaround jumper in the lane for two of her 10 points and Johnson knocked down a pair of free throws, stretching Austin Peay State University’s lead back to nine points, 66-57, at the 2:52 mark in the fourth period. Then with 1:54 left to play, Pace hit a floater in the lane, taking the APSU Govs’ lead back to double-digits, 68-57, where it would stay for the remainder of the contest.
Trailing by 11 points, Furman began fouling the Governors in an attempt to extend the game, but Austin Peay State University converted its free throws and stretched its lead to 14 points by the time the final horn sounded.
Three-point shooting. Austin Peay State University went 10-for-22 from three-point range, while Furman went just 1-for-14 from behind the arc. The Govs are a perfect 4-0 this season when they connect on double-digit three-pointers.
APSU has won 20 games in a season for the fourth time in program history and for the first time since the 2003-04 team with 23 games en route to an OVC Championship.
Head coach Brittany Young joins LaDonna Wilson, Susie Gardner, and Andy Blackston as the fourth coach in program history to lead their team to a 20-win season.
Young joins Blackston as the second Austin Peay State University head coach to win 20 games in their debut season.
APSU improved to 5-3 this season against first-time opponents.
Austin Peay State University shot 92.9 percent (13-for-14) from the free-throw line and matched its best single-game free-throw percentage of the season.
The APSU Govs knocked down double-digit three-pointers for the first time since hitting 10 triples against UT Southern (12/21/21), the Govs are 4-0 this season when they make double-digit threes.
APSU’s bench outscored Furman’s bench, 36-8, and the Govs improved to 18-10 when they score more bench points.
The Govs’ reserves scored 30-plus points for the 16th time this season.
The Governors outscored Furman, 17-9, in points off turnovers and improved to 15-5 when they win the points off turnovers battle.
Furman outscored the APSU Govs, 34-26, in the paint, and Austin Peay State University won for just the fourth time this season when getting outscored in the paint.
Yamia Johnson led the Governors with a season-high 29 points, her best scoring output since she scored 29 points against Tennessee State (1/14/21) while playing for Jacksonville State.
Johnson’s 29 points are the best scoring performance by a Governor since Arielle Gonzalez-Varner scored 32 points against Mississippi Valley State (11/19/18).
Johnson has led the Govs in scoring in a team-high 15 games this season, she also leads the team with seven 20-point games and 26 games in double-figures.
Johnson also led the Governors with a team-high six rebounds, she has led the way on the glass six times this season.
Johnson buried a season-best five three-pointers, which is tied with Karle Pace for the best single-game mark by a Gov this season.
Pace also scored in double-figures for the 25th time this season with 12 points.
Pace and Nina De Leon Negron each dished out a team-high five assists. Pace has led the Govs in assists 11 times this season and De Leon Negron has led the Govs in assists in a team-leading 15 games this season.
De Leon Negron has now recorded at least three assists in 23 of Austin Peay State University’s 32 games this season.
Kasey Kidwell scored in double-figures for the third time this season and the seventh time in her career with 11 points.
D’Shara Booker scored in double-figures for the fourth-straight game and the fifth time in the last six contests with 10 points.
Ella Sawyer grabbed five rebounds; she has pulled down at least three boards in 28 of 32 games this season.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will wrap up head coach Brittany Young‘s debut season on Sunday at 1:30pm CT in the fifth-place game of the WBI against the winner of Davidson and Northeastern.
Austin Peay 73, Furman 59