Austin Peay (17-11 | 12-6 ASUN) at Florida Gulf Coast (30-3 | 17-1 ASUN)
Wednesday, March 7th, 2023 | 6L00pm CT
Fort Myers, FL | Alico Arena | Radio: WAPX 91.9 FM
Clarksville, TN – After earning its first postseason win as a member of the ASUN Conference, Sunday, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team prepares for a semifinals matchup against the ASUN Regular-Season Champions in No. 24 Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. The tip-off is at 6:00pm CT.
The fifth seed in the ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball Championship, Austin Peay (17-11, 12-6 ASUN) defeated fourth-seeded Eastern Kentucky, 73-55, in Clarksville in the quarterfinals following career outings by both Shamarre Hale and Anala Nelson. Hale led the APSU Govs with 23 points and 13 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action, while the freshman Nelson tallied 18 points and four boards in her postseason debut.
In advancing to Wednesday’s game, head coach Brittany Young became the first head coach in program history to advance to the semifinals of a conference tournament in each of their first two seasons, following the APSU Govs’ semifinals appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament last season.
With a win against the Eagles, Young would be just the second coach in program history to advance to a tournament championship, following only Andy Blackston who accomplished such during his first season at Austin Peay in the 2003-04 season.
The APSU Govs face Florida Gulf Coast (30-3, 17-1 ASUN) for the second time in 18 days after dropping a 55-42 decision to the Eagles Feb. 18 in Fort Myers. Hale led the Govs with 14 points as Austin Peay held the nation’s best three-point shooting team to a season-low five triples on 26 attempts.
Florida Gulf Coast still leads Division in three points made (11.9) and attempted (37.7) per game. The Eagles also lead the ASUN and rank top five in the country in scoring margin (+22.3, third) assist to turnover ratio (1.47, fourth), winning percentage (.909, fourth), field-goal percentage (48.2, fifth), assists per game (18.2, eighth).
The Eagles claimed their 11th ASUN Regular-Season Championship in the last 12 full seasons earlier this season and have won seven of the last eight ASUN Conference Championship titles.
An Austin Peay State University win would send it to the ASUN Championship which would be hosted by the winner of the No. 2 Liberty vs. No. 3 Lipscomb game, on March 11th.
Radio: WAPX 91.9 FM – Jahmar Perkins (PxP)
All Austin Peay women’s basketball games are aired on WAPX 91.9 FM. Pregame begins 15 minutes before tip and can be heard online at LetsGoPeay.com.
TV: ESPN+ — John Vittas (PxP) / Cindy Stein (Color)
All home and ASUN Conference games are live-streamed on ESPN+.
From The Jump
Austin Peay State University prepares for its first ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Semifinals in Wednesday’s 6:00pm (CT) contest against the Eagles.
The Governors fell to the Eagles 55-42, on February 18th, in Fort Myers. It was the only previous meeting between the two teams.
Head coach Brittany Young is the first head coach in program history to reach a conference semifinal round in each of their first two seasons.
Young was the fastest coach in program history to reach 35 wins, doing such in a February 9th win against North Florida. She now needs just three wins in her next 15 games to become the fastest coach to 40 wins.
Austin Peay looks for its second all-time win against a ranked opponent. The Govs’ last ranked win came in a 71-66 victory against No. 9 Georgia, on December 16th, 1997.
Shamarre Hale (23 points) and Anala Nelson (18 points) both had career outings in Austin Peay State University’s 73-55 win against Eastern Kentucky in the AUSN quarterfinals. Hale notched her fifth double-double of the season in the win, while Nelson’s 18 points are the most by a freshman in a postseason game in over 15 seasons.
Hale currently is on pace to break APSU’s single-season field-goal percentage record with her 69.0 percentage from the field.
Nelson, Mariah Adams, Jada Roberson, Tiya Douglas, and Gabby Zapata Smalls have started the last 10 games for Austin Peay State University and are 6-4 together this season. The group is the only starting lineup to have started more than four games.
The APSU Govs earned their 26th straight win when scoring over 70 points in Sunday’s victory against EKY. APSU is 8-0 this season when scoring at least 70 and have won 27 of their last 29 games when reaching the mark.
Austin Peay State University is on pace to set the program record in scoring defense (56.6), rebounding defense (31.5), field-goal percentage (.384), and three-point field-goal percentage (.263).
The APSU Govs average over 30 points per game in the paint and are 16-4 when outscoring their opponent between the lanes this season.
APSU is 16-3 when shooting a better percentage from the field than their opponent. They also are 16-6 when holding the opposition below 45 percent from the field.
With a win against FGCU, APSU would advance to their first-ever ASUN finals. It would be the program’s first championship appearance, regardless of conference, since 2010 when they defeated Eastern Illinois in the 2010 OVC title game.
About the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
2022-23 Record: 30-3 (17-1 ASUN)
Quick recap: The ASUN Regular Season Champions and No, 1 seed in the tournament, Florida Gulf Coast has won 12-straight games since dropping an 88-78 game at Liberty, on January 21st. The Eagles only other losses came against No. 2 Stanford and Duke – who currently is 13th in the Associated Press Coaches Poll.
What you need to know about them: They shoot the three-ball often and efficiently. They run a five-guard lineup most of the time, with all five players possessing prolific efficiency beyond the arc.
2021-22 Record: 30-3 (15-1 ASUN)
2021-22 Season Result: The Eagles defeated Jacksonville State in the ASUN Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight season where they upset No. 16 Virginia Tech in the first round before dropping an 89-65 decision to No. 13 Maryland.
Notable Returner: The ASUN Player of the Year, Tishara Morehouse leads the Eagles with 15.9 points per game. She also is second in the ASUN in three points (69), steals (66), points (524), and third in assists with 151.
Notable Newcomer: Alyza Winston leads the ASUN and ranks 13th in Division I with a 42.8 three-point percentage. The Third Team All-ASUN selection has scored in double-figures 27 times for FGCU this season.
Series History: 1-0, FGCU. 1-0, FGCU in Fort Myers.
Last Meeting: Austin Peay State University fell to No. 25 FGCU on February 18th in Fort Myers, Florida. Shamarre Hale led the Govs with 14 points, while Gabby Zapata Smalls tallied a team-high nine rebounds.
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
With a win in Fort Myers, the Austin Peay State University basketball team would travel to the winner of the No. 2-No.3 matchup between Liberty and Lipscomb for the ASUN Championship title, Saturday.