Savannah, GA – Senior Liz Gibbs scored a team-high 12 points, including a go-ahead three-point play midway through the fourth quarter, to lead the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team to a 53-46 victory against Fairleigh Dickinson at the Hostilo Hoops Community Classic, Tuesday, at Enmark Arena.
Despite trailing throughout much of the first three quarters, Austin Peay (3-2) outscored Fairleigh Dickinson (3-2), 25-17 in the last 15 minutes, including 20-12 in the final quarter.
After the Knights jumped out to a 6-2 lead early in the first quarter, a pair of Tiya Douglas free throws followed by senior Jada Roberson’s first basket tied the game at six with 5:48 remaining. However, four turnovers and one made basket on five attempts stymied any APSU offensive momentum and sparked a 12-2 FDU run to end the frame.
The Knights continued to land shots early in the second quarter and led 22-12 – their largest lead of the afternoon – less than four minutes in.
Freshman Anala Nelson scored her first points of the day to end a four-minute APSU scoring drought. Nelson’s score followed by a pair of Mariah Adams free throws sparked a 6-0 APSU scoring run to trim FDU’s lead to 22-20, but Yamia Johnson’s back-to-back free throws to end the scoring run were the final points for APSU in the half as it trailed 26-20 at the break.
Austin Peay State University scored eight of its 12 second-quarter points off five FDU turnovers and held the Knights to just 2-for-12 from the field and 1-for-7 from three-point range in the frame.
Adams, Gibbs, and Roberson led all APSU scorers with four points in the opening half, while Adams also added a trio of assists and two steals in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Gibbs converted her first of two and-one opportunities 30 seconds into the second half, while graduate student Mahogany Vaught scored her first points of the afternoon to bring APSU within one and force the Knights to take an early second-half timeout.
Nelson scored the Govs’ first three-pointer 4:35 into the third quarter, while sophomore Kaiden Glenn’s three-pointer on the APSU’s succeeding possession gave APSU its first lead of the day at 31-29.
Austin Peay State University was unable to maintain its advantage, however, as FDU ended the penultimate quarter on a 5-2 run to take the one-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
After trading turnovers and missed shots to open the fourth quarter, graduate student Shamarre Hale returned the lead to APSU 90 seconds in, but the Knights answered with a fastbreak layup a minute later to regain the lead.
On the following possession, Hale found Gibbs on the wing, who drove in and pulled up over a trio of FDU defenders inside the paint, making the basket while getting fouled in the process. Gibbs converted the three-point play to give APSU a 36-35 lead, a lead it went on to hold for the remainder of the game. She then scored five-straight points for the APSU Govs, and they led 42-40 with 5:37 remaining.
Douglas scored her seventh point of the afternoon to give the Govs a four-point lead after FDU split a pair of free throws.
A layup by Fairleigh Dickinson’s Chloe Wilson trimmed APSU’s lead to 45-44 with under three minutes remaining, but graduate student Yamia Johnson answered with her three-pointer to give APSU a multi-score advantage.
The Govs went 2-for-2 from the field and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe to fend off any late FDU comeback attempt and secured their third win of the 2022-23 season.
The fourth quarter. Austin Peay State University made seven of its 10 shots from the field in a fourth quarter in which it outscored Fairleigh Dickinson, 20-12.
The APSU Govs also made both of their three-point attempts and made three of their four free-throw attempts. Defensively, the Govs held FDU to 38.5 percent from the field in the final quarter, including 0-for-3 from deep.
Inside the Box Score
Austin Peay State University’s win was its first against Fairleigh Dickinson and a team from the Northeastern Conference.
Mahogany Vaught earned her first start as a Governor against the Knights.
Liz Gibbs’ 12 points were tied for her most as a Gov, matching a 12-point outing against Southeast Missouri, January 1st.
Both of Gibbs’ free throws came during and-one opportunities.
Yamia Johnson improved to 20-20 from the charity stripe this season after going 4-for-4 against Fairleigh Dickinson.
The APSU Govs’ .500 three-point percentage was its highest in a game this season.
APSU’s 10 offensive rebounds were tied for its second most in a game this season, trailing only its 13 offensive boards against Cumberland in the season opener, November 7th.
The APSU Govs allowed a season-low seven made free throws in the win.
All nine Govs that appeared in Tuesday’s win found the scoring column. It was the second time.
Austin Peay State University’s 70 percent from the field in the fourth quarter is its most in a quarter this season.
Austin Peay State University has won 20-straight games, and 24 of its last 25, when it holds its opponent to under 50 points. The Govs have done such twice this season.
With head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young
Opening thoughts… “Just like yesterday, we got out to a slow start, but somewhere in the second quarter we hit a burst of energy. There are still some things that we have to work on that we have not been sharp with during these last two games; but overall, we were able to gut it out and get the win. I’d rather learn lessons in a win than a loss any day.”
On the perimeter defense… “Davidson was a team that shot the three ball well and we gave up a lot of uncontested shots to them. I cannot say that all of [Fairleigh Dickinson’s] 23 three-point attempts were uncontested, but I thought that as a whole, we did a much better job defending the three-point line.”
On the Govs’ efficiency… “Efficiency is a huge thing for us. I am pleased with the fact that we did only take eight three-point attempts as opposed to 23 because that is not who we are as a team, it is not our identity. We are an aggressive team, and we fight in the paint.”
On Liz Gibbs… “She is playing in front of a lot of people from home and she is feeling the love. Liz is a spark plug for us. Coach [Eryc] Pittman and I have recently been talking about getting her to the old her. She had a great postseason last year and offseason and preseason for us this year… The way she played tonight is what we saw all summer and all preseason.”
About the Illinois-Chicago Flames
2022-23 Record: 3-1 (0-0 MVC)
2021-22 Record: 2-25 (1-20 Horizon)
2021 Season Result: Illinois-Chicago entered the 2022 Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship as the No. 11 seed and had its season come to an end following a 55-46 loss to No. 6 Milwaukee in the tournament’s opening round.
Notable Returner: Jaida McCloud averaged 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Flames last season, earning her Second Team All-Horizon League honors. The 6-3 junior forward also hit 46.8 percent from the floor and 73.5 percent from the charity stripe during her sophomore season in Chicago.
Notable Newcomer: Josie Filer spent the first four years of her collegiate career at Omaha, averaging 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. This season, Filer leads the Flames with a .594 field-goal percentage and 14.7 points per game
Series History: First meeting
The Flames at the Hostilo Hoops Community Classic: The Flames opened the Hostilo Hoops Community Classic with a 63-51 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson. UIC plays Davidson Tuesday afternoon for its penultimate game of the tournament.
UIC already has eclipsed its win total from last season with three and is averaging over five more points, while surrendering nearly 12 fewer points per game.
Filer and McCloud are first and second on the team with 14.0 and 10.3 points per game, respectively this season.
Follow The APSU Govs
For news and updates throughout the Governors’ inaugural season as a member of the ASUN Conference, follow the women’s basketball team on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsWBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
After their game against the Flames, the Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team returns home and welcomes Gardner-Webb for a December 1st game in the Winfield Dunn Center. Tip-off is at 11:00am.
The game also is Comfy & Cozy Day. For Comfy and Cozy Day, Austin Peay STate University Athletics encourages fans to wear their pajamas, slippers, or comfiest outfits to watch the Govs take on the Bulldogs.