Fort Myers, FL – Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team had its inaugural ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball Championship run come to an end in the tournament’s semifinals following a 51-34 loss to No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast, Wednesday, at Alico Arena.
Austin Peay (17-12) held the ASUN’s top scoring and three-point to a season-low 51 points, and five triples, but was held to just 26.9 percent from the field itself and without a three-pointer for the first time since December 2006.
Shamarre Hale led the Governors in scoring for the 13th time this season with 14 points, while Jada Roberson’s team-best eight rebounds were one off her season-high set in January.
Florida Gulf Coast (31-3) and Austin Peay State University battled back and forth in a first quarter that was within one score for all but one possession. The Eagles maintained the slim advantage until an Anala Nelson layup with 48 seconds remaining put APSU up 9-8. Mahogany Vaught then followed Nelson’s score with her first basket and the final of the quarter, capping off a 7-0 scoring run in the final 3:57 of the frame.
The APSU Govs extended their scoring run from the first quarter to an 11-1 streak spanning nearly nine minutes following Hale’s second score of the game with 6:45 remaining in the half, which put APSU up by a game-high six points.
A quartet of FGCU free throws brought the game within two before the Eagles’ first field goal in over 10 minutes tied the game at 15 heading into the quarter’s media timeout.
After taking a 19-18 lead two minutes later, the APSU Govs were outscored 7-2 in the final 2:19 and trailed 26-21 heading into the third quarter.
After taking a 37-29 lead into the fourth quarter, FGCU scored five-straight points to open the fourth quarter and held its 13-point advantage for the first four minutes of the quarter. Following three straight missed shots by both sides, the Eagles extended their lead to 17 with 1:12 remaining and held the score until the final buzzer.
Turnovers. Austin Peay State University committed nine more turnovers than FGCU. The Eagles scored 18 points off the Govs’ 20 mishaps, while APSU scored eight points on 11 FGCU turnovers.
Inside the Box Score
Austin Peay State University fell to 0-2 all-time against Florida Gulf Coast and 0-3 in the Sunshine State this season.
The Governors fell in their second-straight semifinals game. This season is the first time since 2010-11 that APSU made back-to-back appearances in a semifinal.
With a layup midway through the second quarter, Mariah Adams notched her 1000th-career points.
Austin Peay State University had a streak of 495-straight games with a three-pointer come to an end after going 0-for-5 beyond the arch. The last time the APSU Govs were held without a triple before tonight was December 21st, 2006 –8,112 days ago.
Shamarre Hale led the APSU Govs in scoring for the 13th season time this season. Hale also tallied her 23rd-straight game of at least a 50.0 field-goal percentage.
With head women’s basketball coach Brittany Young
Overall Thoughts… “I am proud of my team. The way the conference tournament is set up is definitely an advantage for the higher seed. I think we saw that in our home game against Eastern Kentucky. We traveled yesterday, flew into Tampa and had a two-hour bus ride, but we had great energy in every shootaround and practice. I thought we came in and competed today. We would have liked for the game to have gone a different direction, but it didn’t. I am still just so proud of these young ladies and all they gave this season. We battled through a lot of adversity. We’ll continue to keep our ears open. There are still some postseason opportunities for our program.”
On exceeding expectations… “This team, more than many others, had to deal with a lot of adversity and it shows the resilience of our group as a whole. We constantly had to deal with changes throughout the season but they still were able to keep their composure and come in every day focused. We knew the preseason rankings did not mean anything. We finished fourth, but the competitiveness in us just looks at those opportunities we had to be in first or second. The status quo still is that we are a disruptive program. We do that defensively. As a whole, it does not matter what challenges are set before us, our goal is to break that glass ceiling.”
Graduate student guard Mariah Adams
On her leadership… “It means a lot to be a leader. The relationship that Coach Britt have from the past shows the trust and communication we have is on a different level. It means a lot to me to lead this team, especially with so many veterans, which shows that they trust me to trust them. I took a lot of honor in that with both my teammates and coaching staff.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Basketball
The Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team will wait to see if its season continues in a national postseason tournament for the second-straight season. The Governors could make their first-ever trip to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament which begins March 14th-15th. The WNIT selection show is at 8:00pm, Sunday.
The APSU Govs also could make their second-straight trip to the Women’s Basketball Invitational which begins March 18th in Lexington, Kentucky