Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team had a four-game winning streak come to an end after falling to Jacksonville, 55-52, in a game that featured a season-high 23 lead changes, Saturday, in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Gabby Zapata Smalls and Shamarre Hale led Austin Peay (15-8, 10-2 ASUN) with 12 points and combined to shoot for 78.5 percent from the field, while Mariah Adams added eight points and seven assists in the loss.
Both teams relied on their defense out of the gate, with the Governors and Dolphins (10-13, 4-9 ASUN) each scoring just a pair of baskets in the first seven and a half minutes of action.
After Anala Nelson scored a three-pointer on Austin Peay State University’s opening possession, the Govs were held scoreless for the next four minutes, but held the lead until a pair of JU free throws with 2:44 remaining in the opening quarter gave the Dolphins a 6-5 advantage.
Each of the next four possessions resulted in lead changes, with Yamia Johnson’s first of three three-pointers and a Hale layup both being answered by Jacksonville triples to give the Dolphins a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Austin Peay State University opened the second quarter with a game-best 9-0 run on three-straight makes from beyond the arc to force a Jacksonville timeout. The Dolphins scored six-straight points after the break to cut into the APSU Govs’ lead, but Zapata Smalls’ first basket of the half ended a five-minute scoring drought and extended Austin Peay’s lead to 22-18 with 2:24 remaining in the quarter.
The Dolphins took a 23-22 lead at the half after ending on a 5-0 run which was capped off by a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in the half.
Despite the Dolphins taking nine more shots from the field than Austin Peay State University, the Governors made only one less attempt at the half, but allowed 11 JU points off nine turnovers.
Ten of the 13 third-quarter baskets between the two teams resulted in either a tie or lead change, with the first lead change coming on a Tiya Douglas three-point play to open the quarter.
Zapata Smalls scored the final basket of the third quarter to bring the two sides to even at 37 apiece headed into the final 10 minutes.
Austin Peay State University maintained a lead through the first four minutes of the fourth quarter until a jumper by Jacksonville’s Shynia Jackson put it up 43-42 with 5:38 remaining.
Adams scored her third basket of the afternoon to shift the advantage in APSU’s favor, but the two sides traded one-score leads on each of the next six possessions.
A layup by Hale with 23 seconds remaining cut into a 51-48 JU advantage, and the Chicago, Illinois native answered a pair of Dolphins’ free throws with a perfect trip to the line to keep it a one-score game with less than 10 seconds remaining.
The Dolphins made 11th and 12th-straight free throws of the game after an intentional foul by Adams with eight seconds left. With time expiring, a Yamia Johnson game-tying three-point attempt was blocked and secured by the Dolphins.
Points off turnovers. Jacksonville scored 18 points off 17 Austin Peay State University turnovers, while the Govs scored just seven points off 11 JU turnovers.
Inside the Box Score
Austin Peay State University fell to 0-1 all-time against the Dolphins and 91-75 all-time against ASUN Conference opponents.
Austin Peay State University falls to fourth in the ASUN Conference standings following the loss.
The 23 lead changes are the most in a game this season.
Gabby Zapata Smalls led the Govs in scoring for the second-straight nine with 12 points.
Yamia Johnson scored in double-figures for the fourth time in the last five games.
Mariah Adams led Austin Peay State University in assists for the 18th time this season with seven dimes – her 11th game with at least five assists this season.
With head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young
Overall thoughts… “It was a tough loss overall. I’ll go back and watch the game film later tonight. They came out in a zone against us, and we just struggled to knock down shots tonight. We had some great looks against the zone, but just could not hit them… We talked about it at halftime, but their points off our turnovers were a big stat. They had 11 in the first half and got nine more and those are just big stats in a close game like this. I’ll take this one as the coach, but we need to be better.”
On the defense… “When you look at it, they scored 55 points, which means we were not too far away from our goal [48 points]. We just struggled to score points and that is what this one boils down to. We have to put more than 52 points on the board in order to win games.
On the message to the team… “We get knocked down but we won’t get knocked out. There are still a lot of games left and we will regroup. Our toughness and resilience will show from this point forward.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team continues a stretch of four-straight games against Sunshine State opponents next week on the road. APSU travels to DeLand, Florida on February 16th for a 6:00pm CT game against Stetson before facing league-leading Florida Gulf Coast on February 18th at 2:00pm CT.