The Austin Peay Women’s Basketball team went wire-to-wire to snap a 5-game losing streak against Tennessee Tech on Senior’s Day in the Dunn Event Center.
On a day celebrating the contribution of APSU’s seniors and capping off some memorable moments in the Dunn Center, The Lady Govs came out flying and beat Tennessee Tech 71-61.
APSU started off hot, shooting 5 of 7 from 3-point range to open a 12-point lead early in the first quarter. Karle Pace started the 3-point onslaught, hitting four straight 3-pointers early in the first quarter to push the Govs to their initial double-digit lead. The Govs led by as many as 18 points during the game.
Tennessee Tech chipped away at the lead as guard Anna Jones scored 10 of her team-leading 20 points in the first half. With under a minute to go in the half, the APSU lead diminished to 7 points.
APSU’s Nina De Leon Negron denied the Golden Eagle’s any chance of catching up by pouring in a career high 17 points. De Leon Negron added four assists and two steals to cap off a complete performance.
After a relatively quiet first half, the second half saw fouls called at a much higher rate on both sides. APSU and Tennessee Tech quickly found themselves in foul trouble mid-way through the second half.
APSU’s guard Ella Sawyer fouled out in the fourth quarter, after a 15-point performance on the night. Sawyer’s aggressive play energized APSU at key moments in the game.
“She is not going to stop playing hard, I know that for sure,” Head coach Brittany Young said about Sawyer’s aggressive style. “I believe she fouled out the last game.
De Leon Negron avoided any fouls during her stellar night.
“I kept talking to the team,” says De Leon Negron concerning the fouls, “We were ready for calls like that and just kept playing through it.”
“We are an aggressive team and an aggressive bunch,” added Young. “I think sometimes that works against us because anytime there is a loose ball or a tie-up we get called even if we do not really do anything.”
The women’s basketball program said goodbye to seniors Kasey Kidwell, Maggie Knowles, Yamia Johnson, and Karle Pace who all have helped Coach Young rework APSU’s basketball culture.
“You always want to be a part of that group that’s known for change,” says Coach Young, “Their story is not over, their book is not finished, it is yet to be determined. Without a doubt they came in and helped change the program.”
APSU is currently fourth in the OVC standings headed into their final two games. They will finish the season on the road against SIUE and Eastern Illinois.