Kasey Kidwell played for the first time this season in a 74-58 win over North Alabama. ROBERT SMITH | APSU ATHLETICS

The Austin Peay women’s basketball team is bringing heart and fight to Clarksville as it continued to defend the Dunn with a 74-58 win over North Alabama.

APSU (2-1) and the Lions fought neck and neck in the first quarter where the Governors had a one-point lead at the end of one. Connecting on 52% of their shots at halftime, the Govs took an 11-point lead into the break with a score of 34-23.

They didn’t hold that lead for long and had their advantage cut to as little as four with 6:28 left in the third, but APSU pulled away after that for the win.

“This is a team last year that, when you look at a lot of their success, it was late in the shot clock,” said head coach Brittany Young of the Lions. “I’m talking about four, five seconds left on the clock. They’re almost able to wear you down and still get an easy bucket.

“I saw that the players, like (Patrycia) Jaworska and other players on the field, were able to get us into some of those crucial moments.”

The largest lead of the night came when Kasey Kidwell made her way back to the court after missing the first two games of the season. Her 3-pointer late in the third gave the Govs a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Kidwell served as the team’s first player off the bench, and her return was a great source of excitement for Coach Young.

“When she walked into my office on Sunday and she was back, I told her it is so good to see you,” she said.

Karle Pace led the team in scoring with 17 points and four rebounds. She set season highs in made 3-point field goals (2), rebounds (4), blocks (2) and steals (2).

“My coaches put me in a great position to score and then I put my other teammates in position to score also,” Pace said.

Young said she is loving the heart and fight of her team as they continue to evolve.

“Our message before the game was about identity,” Young said. “Our team – as we continue to evolve – we have to determine what that is when people see us, when we walk into the gym. There’s something that people have to know about us.”

APSU takes on Butler before heading down to Boca Raton, Florida for the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament. With healthy players and a growing team chemistry, it’s an exciting time for players like Pace.

“I’m really excited because I still feel like we haven’t had our best game yet,” she said. “The more we play together, the better that we’re getting.”