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Gonzalez-Varner leads APSU past Lipscomb

APSU Athletics Communications

By Dylan Schwartz

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay earned a victory over Lipscomb, 70-58, Thursday night, at the Dunn Center.

The Govs (4-3) dominated the glass and won the turnover battle en route to their second consecutive win. While the Govs were a little below par from the three-point line, they once again stepped up at the free throw line, going a very respectable 18-for-24 and icing the game late as the Bisons (2-5) could not rally. The Govs used very good ball movement against the Lipscomb zone to get good quality shots and routinely forced shots late in the shot clock on defense.

Each team traded buckets early in the first quarter, with the lead changing three times in the first five minutes alone. The Govs were led by the Ferby twins and freshman Maggie Knowles, who had a solid outing back as she returned to the starting lineup. Brianah and Brandi Ferby each hit triples coupled with Knowles’s impressive seven points in the frame. Coach David Midlick employed a full-court press most of the game and it rattled the Bisons from the start, as they had a stretch with five turnovers in four minutes. The Govs ended the quarter on a 13-3 run to lead by eight after the first period.

The second quarter took a bit to get going, but was ignited by a Lebron James-esque chasedown block from Nieja Crawford, who ran the length of the floor and swatted the ball into the stands. Brianah Ferby hit two more triples in the quarter, but Emily Kmec caught fire, hitting four three-pointers in the first half to keep the Bisons in striking distance. The Govs entered the halftime break up eight, with Knowles pacing the squad with nine points.

The Bisons did not fade away, as Kailey Rosenbaum hit back-to-back three-point plays to kickstart a 7-0 run and cut the Govs lead to three. However, the Govs took Kmec out of the game, not allowing her to score in the entire second half. The Govs tightened after breaking the 7-0 run by the Bisons, not allowing them to hit their last five shots to close the quarter over a span of two minutes and 30 seconds. The Govs led by five going into the final frame with Arielle Gonzalez-Varner leading the team with ten points.

The fourth quarter was an impressive piece of basketball from the Govs, as they methodically weared down the Bisons after each waning minute. Crawford grabbed an offensive rebound early in the quarter for a putback that gave her her first career double-double, finishing with ten points and ten rebounds. The Govs hit five of their first six shots to start the fourth, capped off by a Knowles three-pointer to give the Govs a 13-point lead, their largest of the game at the time. From there, the Govs comfortably stepped to the free-throw line and iced the game, earning another win.

Notably

  • Gonzalez-Varner led the Govs with 17 points
  • Along with Gonzalez-Varner, four other Govs recorded games in double figures (Knowles, 12; Keisha Gregory, 11; Brianah Ferby, 11; Crawford, 10)
  • It was the second game this season at least five Govs scored in double figures (Christian Brothers)
  • Crawford recorded her first career double-double
  • The Govs are now 21-6 all-time against the Bisons
  • The Govs have won four straight against the Bisons
  • The Govs outrebounded the Bisons 37-19
  • The Govs led after all four quarters and are undefeated on the season when leading after any quarter
  • With a 45.1 shooting percentage, it was the second highest for the Govs this season

Midlick’s Musings

“There were definitely some lows in the second quarter with moving the ball and having some energy lapses on defense, but overall for us to come back and tighten it up by making a little run in the fourth quarter showed some real character and resiliency. This time of year we just have to go to the film and learn and continue to get better.”

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