Richmond, KY – A season-high six Governors scored in double-figures, with all six also shooting 50 percent or better from the floor in the. Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team’s 82-69 ASUN Conference victory against Eastern Kentucky, Saturday, at Baptist Health Arena.
Austin Peay State University’s six in double-figures are its most in a game since February 2020, while its 82 points are its most under second-year head coach Brittany Young.
The Governors (14-7, 9-2) led by as many as 17 against the Colonels (13-11, 6-5 ASUN) and earned their third-straight wire-to-wire win of the season.
Gabby Zapata Smalls kicked off an efficient first quarter for APSU with back-to-back scores in the paint to put the Govs up 4-0 less than 90 seconds into the game. The Govs held the Colonels to 1-7 from the field out of the gate, until EKU’s Antionette Walker trimmed her team’s deficit to 6-4 with 5:29 remaining in the period.
A three-pointer by Yamia Johnson followed by Smalls’ third basket on as many attempts gave the APSU Govs a seven-point lead following the media timeout. Tiya Douglas’ first of four first-half three-pointers extended the lead to 20-11 later in the period.
After scoring the final basket of the first quarter, Eastern Kentucky scored eight-straight points to open the second and trim APSU’s lead to 22-21. Austin Peay State University’s next nine points came via Douglas triples, as the Fort Smith, Arkansas native’s trio of makes came on as many attempts all came within a minute.
Austin Peay State University did not allow an EKU basket for the final 6:22 of the second quarter and took advantage of nine-straight Colonels’ missed shots with a 12-1 quarter-ending run to lead 43-29 at the start of the second half.
Douglas led the APSU Govs with 13 points on career-tying four three-pointers, while both post players in Zapata Smalls and Hale tallied eight points and combined for 7-of-8 from the field.
EKU’s Walker had a game-high 20 points and seven boards at the break, but received little help from her supporting cast, who combined for just 17.6 percent from the field and an 0-for-7 clip from distance.
Walker led the Colonels to their best quarter following the half with 25 points and nine makes on 14 attempts to cut their 14-point deficit to just four points.
After Zapata Smalls split a pair of free throw attempts to begin the second half, a Jada Roberson mid-range jumper gave APSU its largest lead of the evening at 46-29.
The Colonels answered Roberson’s score with a four-minute, 13-4 run to bring them within eight at the quarter’s media timeout. Despite a two-point basket by Johnson following the break that re-extended APSU’s lead back to double-figures, EKU maintained momentum and made it a 54-51 game with 2:19 remaining in the frame after a Walker conversion at the charity stripe.
A pair of Anala Nelson free throws capped off a 4-0 APSU run, which was answered by another Walker free throw followed by an EKU basket at the buzzer to bring the Colonels back within four heading into the night’s final 10 minutes.
And then the Govs did what they have done throughout almost all of conference play: dominate the fourth quarter.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Mariah Adams led the Govs’ fourth-quarter charge with 10 points on three baskets and an unblemished four free throws.
A 7-0 EKU run over the next 3:18 brought the game back within two score, before a pair of Hale free throws followed by a Johnson triple gave the Govs a 73-63 advantage with 1:55 to play.
The Colonels’ lone field goal in the games final 4:01 came with under 45 seconds to play and ended a 5-0 APSU run.
After making its last five attempts from the line, Austin Peay State University secured its ninth ASUN Conference win and 14th of the season.
Balanced scoring. Six Governors scored in double figures with Anala Nelson just a point away at nine. All six also shot 50 percent or better from the field and garnered a plus/minus of at least 10. Outside of EKU’s Walker, the Colonels had just one player reach 10 points and combined for 32 percent from the floor.
Inside the Box Score
Austin Peay State University head coach Brittany Young tied Pam Davidson (1979-84) for the most wins by a coach in their first two seasons in program history at 34.
The APSU Govs earned its seventh-straight win against the Colonels and its third-straight against them on their home court.
Austin Peay State University has scored 70-plus points in three-straight games for the first time this season and the second time under Young.
The APSU Govs now have won 24-straight games when scoring at least 70 minutes, including. 28 of their last 29.
The Governors never trailed against the Colonels, earning their third-straight wire-to-wire win and 11th in the last two seasons.
The six Govs in double-figures are the most since six Govs also scored at least 10 points against SIU Edwardsville on February 20th, 2020.
Tiya Douglas’ four triples tied her career-best mark set earlier this season at Kennesaw State.
Douglas’ plus-25 plus/minus is a career-high for the guard and improves her season plus/minus to 96.
Mariah Adams led Austin Peay State University in scoring for the third time this season with 16 points. Her four assists also were a team-best mark – the 16th time she has led the team in assists.
The APSU Govs extended their streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 487 after Yamia Johnson’s triple with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter.
Austin Peay State University’s seven threes are tied for its second-most this season, trailing on an 11-triple performance in the season opener against Cumberland.
APSU has made seven threes in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
APSU’s 21 made free throws are its second-most this season, trailing only a 22-free throw outing against Queens on January 28th.
The Govs’ 17 assists are its second most this season, behind only 19 assists against Cumberland.
Austin Peay State University’s 82 points are its most under Young and the most since tallying 90 points against Trevecca on November 28th, 2020.
With head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young
On the offense… “Slowly but surely, our offense is coming around. Sometimes it just takes a little patience and just trusting the process. At halftime we had 13 assists these young ladies are understanding the system and where their teammates are going to be on every play. We want to continue to play good defense, but it’s always a fun game for the fans when we can win by scoring points as well.
On balanced scoring… “It shows our team’s sacrifice. In order to be a part of a team that is aspiring to win a championship, you cannot be a player that is trying to get your number every night. You have to allow the ball to find the open player. Some nights it is going to be your night, and others it won’t be. If we can play how did tonight consistently, we’ll be right where we want to be, we just have to continue to buy in to the style of play.”
On recent three-points success… “It is really just about finding teammates. Tiya [Douglas] has been open in the corner a lot and Yamia [Johnson] has been open a lot on the wing and Anala [Nelson] can knock down a few a night too. It is just about the ball finding them. This team has just become more comfortable with the offense and when that is happening – regardless of us facing a man or zone defense – the more comfortable we can become, there will be more room for success from the perimeter.”
On North Florida… “North Florida is a team that has played well this season. They beat Liberty at home. We have had a chance to walk them a lot. They are well-coached. Coach Darrick Gibbs was at UNF when I was an assistant at Stetson, so I know he is going to scheme well and have a great game plan. We are not going to come in with any cockiness, we just need to go in and defend the Dunn. That is our goal against both North Florida and Jacksonville next week.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team looks to defend its home court for the seventh and eighth time this season when it returns home for games against North Florida and Jacksonville.
The APSU Govs host the Ospreys for “Greek Night” and “Teacher Appreciation Night” on Thursday at 6:00pm, before facing the Dolphins on Saturday at 1:00pm for a “PEAYnk Out.”