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Govs still searching for first road win

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Dylan Schwartz

APSU Athletics Communications

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Austin Peay could not find its shooting touch en route to its first loss in OVC play, 64-54, against Southeast Missouri at the Show Me Center Thursday.

The Governors (7-7, 2-1 OVC) led by as many as eight in the third quarter, but could not close it out, as they still look for that elusive first road win of the season.

The Govs got off to the worst possible start as the Redhawks (7-7, 2-1 OVC) scored eight quick points, forcing a timeout from coach David Midlick. Out of the timeout, Keisha Gregoryhit a three to break the run and the Govs started to put the clamps on SEMO. After a hot 4-of-6 start for SEMO, the Redhawks went 1-of-10 to close the quarter and the Govs took full advantage. After tying the game at 12, freshman guard Kasey Kidwell grabbed a rebound and was fouled trying to get a half-court shot off with 1.1 seconds left by SEMO star guard Tesia Thompson. While the refs somehow deemed she was not shooting, Kidwell made one of two free throws to give the Govs a 13-12 advantage after the first period.

The second quarter started much like the first, with the Redhawks embarking on an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead. Free throws kept the Govs in the game, as they were shooting under 20 percent from the field at one point. The Govs then got out of their slump, sparked by seven second quarter points from Brandi Ferby. Ferby did it all, hitting a pair of free throws early in the quarter to cut the SEMO lead to one. With the Redhawks up four, Ferby hit a three and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass to give the Govs the lead. The Govs held on to the advantage, as they led by three at halftime, 28-25. Ferby led all scorers at the half with nine points as the Govs did a good job on Thompson in the first half as well. She led SEMO with seven points, but only went 3-of-9 from the field.

The third quarter had an up-and-down start, with SEMO taking the lead early before Nieja Crawford hit a three to reclaim the lead for the Govs. Myah LeFlore then turned into a one-woman wrecking crew the next couple of minutes. LeFlore completed a three-point play, hit a three-pointer, and sliced to the basket for an easy layup to give the Govs an eight-point lead and force a SEMO timeout. However, the timeout settled the Redhawks down as they hit their next five shots and led by one after the third quarter.

Both teams were fighting hard, with the Redhawks maintaining their slim lead until Arielle Gonzalez-Varner stole a pass on the perimeter and made a layup while fouled. She missed the free throw, but LeFlore grabbed the rebound and got fouled herself, giving the Govs a one-point lead. However, SEMO responded, namely due to the play of 6-4 center LaTrese Saine, who routinely made it hard for the Govs in the paint and was effective offensively. Saine scored eight points, had six rebounds, and two blocks in the second half as SEMO used a 10-3 run to lead 56-50 with under two minutes to go. A Gregory three cut the lead to six, but the Govs were forced to foul SEMO in hopes of missed free throws, but the Redhawks did not comply and held on for the win.

The Govs return to action as they take on UT Martin on the road, 1 p.m., Saturday.

Notably

  • The loss was the first loss against SEMO in the last five meetings.
  • The Govs are yet to win on the road this season, but are 7-1 in the Dunn.
  • Keisha Gregory and Myah LeFlore each had 13 points, leading the team in scoring.
  • Gregory has now scored in double figures in five straight games.
  • The Govs finished with 33 rebounds, their lowest total since Dec. 4 at Illinois State.
  • The Govs recorded a season-low five assists.

Midlick’s Musings

“I thought we started off slow with our effort and intensity and that’s not the way you can play on the road. We got down 8-0 and to me that is a big difference in the game. We had to expend a lot of energy to comeback, but give our team credit because we did just that. We took the lead in the third period, but they were a bit more aggressive than us. I thought we did have some good shots, but they just didn’t fall. We are going to correct some things and then get ready for Saturday.”

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