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Lady Govs win close one in Beaumont

APSU Sports Information
APSU women’s basketball team benefited from a strong inside game to take a 73-69 win against Utah Valley to wrap up preseason WNIT play, Saturday, Nov. 20, at Lamar.

Aside from ending a 13-game non-conference losing streak, the Lady Govs earned a quality win against a Utah Valley team was won the Great West Conference tournament a year ago. It also was APSU’s first-ever Preseason WNIT win.

The Lady Govs (1-3) held on to a late lead with solid free-throw shooting in the game’s final two minutes. Senior Brooke Faulkner made 4-of-6 from the stripe, while junior Whitney Hanley knocked down a pair with two seconds left to seal the game.

A close game all the way, Utah Valley broke the 16th tie, with 9:02 to play, on a Whitney Jenkins free throw to make it 50-49.

The Wolverines built a seven-point, 62-55, lead over the next four minutes, seeming to put the Lady Govs at bay. However, a three-pointer by Hanley, at the 4:59 mark, rejuvenated what looked like a tired Lady Govs team.

Hanley’s three sparked a 10-2 APSU run, giving the Lady Govs a one-point, 65-64, lead with 3:06 to play on a put-back by senior Dalila Thomas. The Lady Govs did it with defense and rebounding, forcing three turnovers and getting a pair of key offensive rebounds from Thomas to set up the final hold.

Junior Jasmine Rayner led three Lady Govs in double figures with a game-high 21 points. Rayner made 10-of-18 from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and made a game-high four steals. Thomas, meanwhile, scored 19 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting effort. Hanley, working off a dismal performance against Valparaiso, made four three-pointers to finish with 16 points.

Utah Valley (0-3) led 30-25 at the half, scoring 17 points off 11 APSU turnovers. APSU’s hot hand in the opening frame belonged to Thomas, who had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting inside. The two teams played to nine ties before the Wolverines built a seven-point lead with 49 seconds until the break. Rayner hit a late jumper, setting the 30-25 halftime score.

Four Wolverines scored in double figures, led by Sammie Jensen with 19 points, while Abbie Beutler added 13, Kim Bell had 12 and Jenna Johnson with 10.

APSU returns to action at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 23, game in Chattanooga, which is the third-game of its current seven-game road trip. TAS

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