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APSU looking to make late OVC push

Jimmy Trodglen/

By Meagan Rummage

APSU Athletics Communications

Clarksville, Tenn. – Austin Peay jumps into the second half of their four-game road trip 3 p.m., Thursday at Murray State, for the Heritage Bank Battle of the Border.

Brianne Alexander scored a career high 26 points against Southeast Missouri to lift the Govs past the Redhawks, Saturday. She pulled down seven rebounds and went 9-for-17 from the floor, while Arielle Gonzalez-Varner pulled down a career high 12 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds that the Govs converted into eight points.

The Governors’ win halted a two-game skid behind 24 points in the paint and 24 points from the bench. The Govs also shot 50.0 percent from the floor to close out the fourth quarter behind Alexander’s 12 points, holding Southeast Missouri to 1-12 from the floor in the final period.

The Govs are entering the final six regular season games looking to move up in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. Austin Peay is shooting 39.9 percent from the floor, with four players averaging at least nine points per game. The Governors’ aggressive defense continues to force opposing offenses into difficult situations, forcing 16.4 turnovers per game.

The Govs will have to fend off the offensive pressure of Ke’Shunan James and Bria Bethea, who are averaging 20.3 and 16.0 points per game respectively. The Racers are 4-8 in conference, in need of a win to make a postseason push.

APSU Storylines

  • Series Structure. Austin Peay is 42-43 all time against Murray State, having split the two meetings last year. The Govs topped the Racers at home Jan. 21, 2017, 75-63 before falling on the road Feb. 11, 62-67. Austin Peay has not beaten Murray State on the road in the Midlick era.
  • Career Highs. Alexander continues her conference command, scoring a career high 26 points against Southeast Missouri, and is the only Gov to average double figures in conference play (13.6).
  • Struggles No More. The Governors have struggled in the second quarter this season, but had no such stumbles against the Redhawks, shooting 47.4 percent in the period, outscoring Southeast Missouri 24-12.
  • Bench Benefits. The Govs got a 24-point boost off the bench, Saturday, as Brianah Ferby and Michaela Campbellcombined for 19 points, and all of the Governors’ three-point shots.
  • Rebounding Run. Austin Peay outrebounded Southeast Missouri 41-29, which was the Govs largest rebounding margin of the season. Gonzalez-Varner pulled down a career high 12 boards in her 29 minutes off the bench.

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