Clarksville, TN – Shamarre Hale missed just one shot from the field in a 19-point, 13-rebound performance, leading the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team to its seventh ASUN Conference win of the season in a 70-56 victory against Queens, Saturday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Hale went 6-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe to earn her third double-double of the season. Her 13 boards also were a season-best mark and one off her career high.
Austin Peay (12-7, 7-2 ASUN) earned its first wire-to-wire win of the season and posted its fifth-best field-goal percentage of the season at 48.9 percent.
The Governors’ defense set the tone early, forcing five-straight Queens (7-13, 2-7 ASUN) misses and jumping out to a 6-2 lead in the first three minutes.
Queens tied the game at eight with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter after former Gov and current Queens’ guard Kasey Kidwell hit back-to-back three-pointers. After a pair of Jada Roberson free throws on APSU’s next possession, both teams were held scoreless for over three minutes until Tiya Douglas ended the Govs’ scoring drought with a perfect trip to the line.
Austin Peay State University’s defense allowed just one Royals’ shot from the field following Kidwell’s second three-pointer, holding them to 1-10 from the field and forcing five turnovers in the opening quarter’s final 6:17.
The APSU Govs scored 10 of their 14 first-quarter points in the paint, with the other four coming via free throws.
After taking a 14-10 lead into the second quarter, the APSU Govs forced nine-straight Queens’ misses to start the quarter and did not allow a basket in the frame’s first six and a half minutes. Austin Peay State University jumped out to a then game-high nine-point lead after a pair of Yamia Johnson free throws gave it a 19-10 advantage with 6:56 remaining in the half. The Royals cut into their deficit with a pair of free throws to make it 19-12 APSU at the quarter’s media break.
A Hale layup followed by Johnson’s first of three triples gave the Govs their first double-digit lead.
After making its first shot from the floor in the quarter to trim APSU’s lead to 24-14, Queens made four of its next six shots to prevent the Govs from extending their lead heading into the half. The Royals trailed 32-22 after 20 minutes.
Hale led the game with nine points and six rebounds in 12 minutes in the first half, making all three of her shots from the field and the charity stripe, while she and Johnson combined for all 17 of APSU’s bench points.
Roberson’s third quarter-opening layup was answered by a Royals’ three-pointer to make it a nine-point game less than a minute into the second half; however, a 7-0 APSU run gave the Govs a 41-25 lead after forcing five-straight Royals’ misses.
Liz Gibbs entered the scoring column with a driving layup to extend APSU’s lead to 48-31 with 3:13 remaining. Following her triple, Gibbs went on to score the Govs’ final four points of the quarter with a pair of perfect trips to the free-throw line.
The Royals trimmed the Govs’ lead to as few as 11 points in the fourth quarter, but it was as close as they would get, after APSU made five of their 10 shots from the floor in the frame and held Queens to 33.3 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Queens ended the game on a 9-2 run, but it was not enough, as Austin Peay State University secured its 12th overall win of the season and seventh in ASUN Conference play.
Bench play. Austin Peay State University’s rotation outscored Queens’ 44-5. The Govs’ top three scorers – Shamarre Hale (19), Yamia Johnson (14) and Liz Gibbs (11) –all came off the bench in the win.
Inside the Box Score
Austin Peay State University improved to 2-0 against Queens and 88-74 against ASUN Conference opponents.
The Govs earned their first-ever ASUN regular-season sweep in the win.
APSU’s 70-point performance is its third-most this season and second-most against a Division I opponent.
Austin Peay State University has won 22-straight games – and 34 of its last 36 – when scoring at least 70 points.
Austin Peay State University’s 44 bench points are its second-most this season, trailing only 54 points from its supporting unit in the season opener, Nov. 7.
The Govs have scored at least 30 points in the paint in six-straight games after accumulating 36 points between the lanes tonight.
The APSU Govs’ 42 boards are tied for the most this season.
Shamarre Hale’s 13 rebounds were a season-high for the Chicago native and the most by a Gov this season.
Hale posted the sixth-best scoring performance by a Gov this season with 19 points. She now holds three of the top-six scoring outings this season.
Hale’s 85.7 field-goal percentage is tied for the second-best mark by a Gov this season. She now has the top four – and five of the top seven – shooting performances this season.
Yamia Johnson’s three triples were tied for her second-best outing this season. Her 14 points also were tied for her most in ASUN play.
Liz Gibbs scored in double-figures for the second time this season and the first since a 12-point outing against Fairleigh Dickinson on November 22nd.
Austin Peay State University earned its first wire-to-wire win of the season.
The APSU Govs used their 10th different starting lineup in Saturday’s win.
With head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young
Overall thoughts … “Any win in conference play is a good one. You just want to learn from wins and losses and continue to get better. This was a bounce-back win for us after an emotional loss to Liberty on Thursday. We turned the page after that. We came into practice yesterday and talked about a few things that each player could focus on moving forward to ensure that a loss like that does not happen again for us. We came out tonight and, as a unit, played very solid.”
On Shamarre Hale … “She is efficient. We reevaluated some things around Christmas and looked at a few of her numbers and came to the conclusion that she just needed more touches. We live in an era of basketball today where the youth does not grow up playing with true post players and don’t learn how to pass into the post, and we have been working on that since early into the year, it is just starting to click now. [Shamarre] has been playing phenomenally and leading us most games. I have said this all season, but I am sure glad she is on our team and we do not have to go against her.”
Looking ahead to next week… “Bellarmine and Eastern Kentucky are two talented teams. I watched EKU play Stetson earlier today and they shoot the three-ball extremely well and are very versatile. Even throughout the nonconference schedule, I knew they would be a team that would be competing for an ASUN title and none of that changes even though they have lost a few games in conference play. We will play them on their home court which will be a tough game, but first we’ll play Bellarmine and those are two very contrasting styles. They have two true post players that are very making name for themselves in the league, especially their freshman, [Gracie Merkle].”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team prepares for a two-game road trip to the Bluegrass State where the Govs will face Bellarmine and long-time rival, Eastern Kentucky. The Govs open their trip on Thursday at 4:00pm against the Knights in Louisville, before then facing the Colonels on Saturday at 3:30pm, in Richmond, Kentucky.