A third-quarter comeback by the Austin Peay women’s basketball team fell short on Tuesday, Nov. 9, resulting in a 62-52 loss at Evansville.
“We knew that coming in tonight it was going to be a dogfight,” said head coach Brittany Young. “They’re a totally new team, and we’re a new team with a lot of new pieces as well.”
Tuesday’s game was Young’s debut as the school’s women’s basketball coach. She said that some of the team’s pieces — namely guard Kasey Kidwell and forward Maggie Knowles — were missing from the game but did not state the reason for their absence.
The Purple Aces quickly took the lead in what became a fast-paced game, connecting on 83% of their shots in the first quarter. The Govs showed no fear when it came to shooting their shot in response but were only able to connect on 22% of their shots in the second.
The Governors found themselves trailing by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but senior Yamia Johnson gave the team the boost they needed when she scored four points in under two minutes.
Less than a minute later, Nina De Leon Negron put APSU in the lead with her 3-pointer bringing the score to 41-39.
“It felt good leading the team and stepping up,” Johnson said. “When one person is down, we’re encouraged to bring each other up and bring energy and encouragement.”
Johnson led the team in points, alongside Karle Pace, with 14 and had a total of nine rebounds.
Despite a strong defensive second and third quarter from the Govs, their seven-point lead in the fourth quickly dwindled when they were outscored 21-6 in the final frame.
In its season opener, APSU shot 27% from the field and made just three of 20 attempts from the 3-point line. The Governors turned the ball over 22 times on Tuesday.
“When you look at the first quarter and the fourth quarter, giving up 20-plus points for a team like us, that’s not going to get the job done,” Young said. “We’ll get back to the drawing board and work on minor things and details; defensive positioning, transition defense. Small things that we feel really cost us the game.”
Even with the loss, the team is excited to redeem themselves with Friday’s home opener against Pikeville.