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Govs used balanced scoring to beat Cougars

APSU Athletics Communications

By Keion Leach

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay moved back to .500 when it beat SIU Edwardsville 77-65 at the Dunn Center Thursday.

Four Govs scored in double figures with Neija Crawford, Ari Varner-Gonzalez and Brandi Ferby each scoring 13 points, with Keisha Gregory adding 12.

The win moved the Govs to 11-11 and 5-5 in the OVC. SIU Edwardsville fell to 10-12, while also standing at 5-5 in conference play.

“I think we did a great job in the first half keeping them off the glass and getting those rebounds,” Govs coach Dave Midlick said. “We got away from that in the second half, as they had nine second-chance points. We’ve got to do a better job of shutting off those extra opportunities.”

The Govs and the Cougars struggled to find offensive rhythm early into the game, but that changed when a 3-pointer from Gregory gave the Govs a 15-8 lead.

Austin Peay started to pull away in the second quarter when it outscored SIU Edwardsville 18-8, extending its lead to 33-16 at the half.

After a slow start, the Govs warmed up behind the arc, going 6-for-13 on 3-point shooting. Much of the Govs’ momentum heading into the second half came from Gabby Gregory’s two 3-pointers.

When the 3-pointers weren’t falling, the Govs were constantly attack defensively, forcing nine first-half turnovers.

In the third quarter, the Govs pushed their lead to 20 before the Cougars put together a string of free throw trips to cut the lead throughout the quarter.

Despite multiple pushes from the Cougars in the last quarter, the Govs kept their pace steady.

Nightly Notable

Crawford made the game’s most important defensive assignment guarding point guard Mikia Keith.

“I just try to play hard and be the player that my teammates and my coach believe me to be.” Crawford said.