In their first home game of the 2020-21 season, the APSU women’s basketball team defeated Trevecca Nazarene 90-76.
When you’re a perimeter-centric program who shoots the rubber off the ball, you live and die by the three. David Midlick’s Govs not only lived, but thrived from deep against the Trojans. Led by junior forward Maggie Knowles, the team made 14 threes on the evening. The Murfreesboro-native led the Governors with 22 points on 6-8 shooting from deep.
Knowles was coming off a season opener against North Alabama that she likely would want to forget. She had only two points on 1-7 from the field and went 0-5 from deep in the 10-point victory. Her game against Trevecca was a completely different story out of the gate, as the junior would knock down the team’s first three baskets, all coming from beyond 20-feet.
After Wednesday’s performance, Knowles says she came into Saturday’s game with added confidence after better preparation.
“I just had more confidence in this game than I did the last,” Knowles said. “I prepared for this game better. I stayed after [practice] and got a lot of shots up. My teammates were also finding me throughout this game. I was just hitting today.”
With the roster still thin from five inactive players, Knowles says she does not feel any added pressure.
“I don’t feel any added pressure; my team, we work together as best we can. We are very tight, so I feel like, if our body language is positive, then we are going to come out winning every game.”
While Knowles’ 22-point performance was impressive, the team also had many young players step up in their first game at the Winfield Dunn Center.
Freshman Nina De Leon Negron added some much-needed scoring off the bench, finishing second on the team with 16 points, nine of which coming from outside the arc. Along with her shooting, Negron also dished the rock well, totaling seven assists on the night.
Kemia Ward took advantage of the added playing time in her second game for APSU. She totaled nine points and five boards in the win.
Throughout the offseason, coach Midlick and his team have prided themselves in having depth when it comes to shooting. This depth was on full display against TNU: the team had six separate players convert from deep.
“The one thing I think we have done well — since the start of practice in October — is shot the basketball almost every day in our shooting drills and in live play,” Midlick said. “There is a lot of stuff this game exposed that we have to be better at, but I feel confident we are shooting the ball well now and I hope it continues. That does cover up for mistakes in a game when you give up a basket, if you can come down and match them scoring-wise.”
With the win, the Governors improve to 6-0 all-time against Trevecca Nazarene in a series that dates back to 2013.
The team will hit the road for their next two games. Their first road contest is a Dec. 2 matchup against Mississippi Valley State, a team that APSU defeated last year 100-82. Following their game against the Delta Devils, the ladies will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. on Dec. 6 for the program’s first ever game against the Florida State Seminoles.