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Govs dropped sixth-straight to Bruins

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Casey Crigger

APSU Athletics Communications

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a dominant performance Thursday night, Austin Peay was unable to put it all together again; as a slow start on the offensive end doomed the Governors, who fell to Belmont, 69-46, Saturday in the Curb Event Center.

Winning on the road in the Ohio Valley Conference is not easy, and it becomes even harder when the home team goes on a 10-0 run to start the game – and that’s exactly what Belmont (15-8, 10-2) did. Austin Peay (13-10, 4-8) trailed 10-0 at the 5:07 mark in the first quarter when D’Shara Booker finally broke the ice with a turnaround jumper from the block.

The Governors outscored the Bruins by a point over the final five minutes of the first quarter, but because of the early deficit, Belmont still held a nine-point advantage after the first quarter.

Things did not improve for the Governors in the second quarter, as Belmont came out red-hot, shooting 58.3 percent from the floor in the quarter. While Bruins heated up from the offensive end, the Governors went ice-cold, going 2-of-8 from the floor. The Govs were only able to score six points in the second frame, and trailed the Bruins by 23 points at the halftime break.

Usually one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, Austin Peay was unable to connect from deep in the first half, as the Govs went 0-of-11 from behind the arc. The Bruins took advantage of the cool three-point shooting by the Governors, knocking down five triples on 50 percent shooting before halftime.

With 6:33 left in the third, Maggie Knowles was finally able to get the Governors going from deep, knocking down the team’s first triple of the day of an assist from Brandi Ferby. Two possessions later, Ferby found Knowles again, as sophomore from Murfreesboro buried her second three-pointer of the day.  

After assisting on a pair of Knowles’ triples, Brandi Ferby got in on the action herself, connecting from three-point range for her first points of the contest with 3:35 left in the third. Despite the uptick in the Govs long-range shooting, Belmont doubled the Govs scoring output at the free throw line in the quarter, and was able to build a 27-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

With 8:57 left in the fourth quarter, Belmont stretched their lead to 30 for the first time in the contest. But that didn’t last for long, as the Governors rattled off a 9-0 run, highlighted by a Tahanee Bennell three-pointer to cut the deficit to 21 with 5:43  left in the contest.

With 40 seconds left in the contest, the Governors cut the Belmont lead to 20, when Shay-Lee Kirby drilled a deep three-pointer for her first points of the day. But, that is as close as the Govs would get, as Belmont knocked off the Austin Peay for the second time this season.

The Difference

Rebounding and assists. Belmont controlled the glass all night, outrebounding the Governors 44 to 25. The Bruins also dished out 17 assists, while the Governors only managed six assists as a team in the contest.

Notably

  • ‘Austin Peay dropped its sixth-straight game to Belmont, and now trail the all-time series 6-12.
  • Nieja Crawford scored a team-high seven points to lead the Governors in scoring for the first time this season, and the fifth time in her career.
  • Arielle Gonzalez-Varner hauled in six rebounds to lead the Govs on the boards for the seventh time this season, and the 37th time of her career.
  • Brandi Ferby and Kasey Kidwell each dished out a team-high two assists, it was the fifth time in seven games that Ferby has led the Govs in helpers.

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