TN Sports 360

Govs’ rally attempt comes up short

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Casey Crigger

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Trailing by a dozen points to start the fourth quarter, Austin Peay went on a 13-0 run to start the final period and retake the lead from Eastern Illinois, but the Governors comeback effort came up short in the final minutes of the contest and they fell to the Panthers, 62-59, Saturday in the Winfield Dunn Center.  

Trailing 51-39 at the start of the fourth quarter, Austin Peay’s (11-8, 9-6) furious fourth-quarter comeback stared with a D’Shara Booker jumper and an Ella Sawyer three-pointer to cut the deficit to single digits just over a minute into the final period. After Brianah Ferby knocked down a jumper from the top of the key, Maggie Knowles drew an offensive foul to ge the ball back for the Governors, who trailed by just five points.  

After Booker pulled down a rebound on the offensive end, Sawyer got open and drilled a jumper from the free-throw line, trimming the Eastern Illinois (10-13, 8-10) advantage to just three. On the next two Austin Peay possessions, Booker was able to find her way to the basket for a pair of buckets and the Governors led, 53-52, for the first time in the game.  

However, that was the last time the Govs would lead in the contest, as the Panthers responded with a 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead and stretch the advantage back to five points. With seven seconds left, Austin Peay trailed 62-59 and had the ball with a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime, but a Shay-Lee Kirby three-pointer at the final buzzer was just off target.  

Austin Peay was unable to find the range from behind the arc early in the contest, with Knowles knocking down the Govs lone three-pointer of the first half.  Eastern Illinois knocked down just a single three-pointer as well, but the Panthers used ten points from Abby Wahl and shot 54.2 percent from the floor as a team to build a 33-20 lead at the break.  

In the third period the Governors offense came alive behind Knowles’ three-point shooting. With 4:10 left in the quarter, Knowles buried her second and third three-pointers of the contest on back-to-back possessions, trimming the Eastern Illinois lead to just seven points. Two minutes later, Knowles drilled a contested-corner three and the Govs trailed by just five points with 2:04 remaining in the quarter.   

But the Panthers once again had an answer for the Governors and closed the third period on a 7-0 run to take a 51-39 lead into the final quarter, setting the stage for a double-digit Austin Peay comeback that just ran out of steam down the stretch.  

The Difference  

Points in the paint. Austin Peay dominated the paint last time out against SIUE, but today it was the Panthers who outscored the Govs 40-26 in the paint.  

Notably

  • Austin Peay still leads the all-time series against Eastern Illinois, 30-23.
  • The Governors won the rebounding battle for the 11th time this season, outrebounding Eastern Illinois, 32-31, overall and 12-8 on the offensive glass.
  • The Govs bench scored 36 points, that is the ninth time this season that the reserves have posted at least 30 points.
  • Brianah Ferby led the Governors with 14 points; she has now scored in double figures in six-consecutive games – the longest such streak of her career.
  • Maggie Knowles also led the Govs with 14 points – her best scoring output since she led the with 17 points at SIUE, Jan. 7.
  • Knowles drilled four three-pointers in the contest, she has now made at least four triples in six of the 16 games she has played in this season
  • Ella Sawyer grabbed six rebounds to lead Austin Peay on the glass, marking her second time this season leading the team in rebounding.
  • Tahanee Bennell dished out a team-beat four assists and led the Governors in helpers for the fifth time this season.

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