SAN ANTONIO – Austin Peay women’s basketball team let a first-half lead slip away and could not recover, falling 69-67 to host UTSA, Friday, in the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic’s opening game at the Convocation Center.
After missing its first five shots of the game, Austin Peay (1-3) used a 9-for-14 shooting stretch to post a 23-9 run and build a seven-point, 24-17, lead with 7:13 left in the first half. Senior Meghan Bussabarger scored all 10 of her first-half points during the burst, including a pair of three-pointers.
However, one of the season’s early storylines has been stretches of cold shooting plaguing the Lady Govs at inopportune times. In Friday’s game, Austin Peay closed the first half by missing its final 12 shots. That drought allowed UTSA to close the half with a 15-1 run and a seven-point, 32-25 halftime lead.
UTSA (4-1) built its lead to 12 points midway through the second half courtesy a 15-10 run over the opening 8:26. Austin Peay roared back with the game’s next 11 points – seven coming at the free-throw line – to slash the deficit to one point, 47-46, after freshman Jennifer Nwokocha’s free throws at the 7:52 mark.
The Roadrunners battled back with the game’s next four points and led by eight points with 3:27 left. Austin Peay’s Nicole Olszewski showed up big in the closing minutes, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the final three minutes to keep APSU in the hunt.
Nicole Olszewski’s two three-pointers in the final 30 seconds cut the lead to two points and later one point with six seconds left. However, those were the only shots Austin Peay could get to fall during the closing moments and UTSA would convert five of its final eight free-throws to forestall the comeback attempt.
One of the other early storylines has been rebounding, and UTSA kept the early trend going against the Lady Govs as they won the battle of the glass by a dominant 46-27 margin. Nwokocha’s five-rebound outing led Austin Peay while five UTSA players finished with five or more rebounds.
Bussabarger led Austin Peay with 20 points, making 8-of-17 from the floor, and played 37 minutes before fouling out. Sophomore Kristen Stainback and senior Leslie Martinez also added seven points each.
Kamra King led UTSA with 10 points as 11 players scored for the hosts.
Austin Peay will have less than 24 hours to think about Friday’s loss as they will turn around and play William & Mary in a 7 p.m., Saturday contest to wrap up their San Antonio stay.
SectionsAustin Peay State University, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Basketball, Carrie Daniels, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, Govs, Lady govs, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC
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