CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s women’s basketball broke a three-game losing streak with a wire-to-wire win over Ball State, Saturday afternoon at the Dunn Center, 79-66.
The Lady Govs (2-5) finished the game by placing four players in double figures — led by senior Meghan Bussabarger’s game-high 20 points — but it was their dominance on the glass that was the biggest factor in the victory, with Austin Peay outrebounding the Cardinals 41-29; which marked the first time this season APSU outrebounded an opponent.
“One thing that has plagued us all year has been our rebounding,” Austin Peay coach Carrie Daniels said. “So for us to come out and win the battle for the rebounding is a positive for our team.”
In fact, Austin Peay doubled up Ball State 14-7 in offensive rebounds, which led to the Lady Govs finishing with a 23-10 advantage in second-chance points – equaling the final margin of 13 points.
“There are still plenty of things for us to improve on like the turnover margin,” Daniels said. “There were times where we didn’t protect the ball and kind of got lax out there and didn’t play aggressive. We have to get better and maximize our possessions of the ball.”
Senior Leslie Martinez, who came off the bench for the first time this season, led Austin Peay with a game-high 10 rebounds.
“There’s a reason you start the five (players) that you do, because you want to get off to a good start,” Daniels said. “I was pleased with the five that we put on the floor tonight, but I was also pleased with what we got out of Martinez. She didn’t get the start, but came off the bench and gave us a spark.”
Martinez also scored 11 points.
The Lady Govs opened the game by scoring the first seven points of the contest over the first 2:49; however Ball State (2-6) was able to close back within a point, 9-8 with 11:02 left in the first, as Austin Peay made one field goal over the next six minutes.
Austin Peay then used a 11-2 run over the next five minutes to build its first double-digit advantage, 20-10 with 6:55 left, as five different APSU shooters scored.
“When we build a lead we have to be able to play with that lead and do what got us that lead instead of letting teams come back on us,” Daniels said. “No team that we’re going to play is going to lay down for us. They’re going to continue to play and so are we.”
Ball State would continue to hang around in the opening half, getting to within seven points, 28-21 with 57 seconds left, but Austin Peay scored four points in four seconds with Martinez knocking down a jumper and a steal and a basket on the ensuing in-bounds by freshman Tiasha Gray and led 32-21 at intermission.
Gray finished with 11 points.
The Cardinals would come out of the locker room after halftime and opened the second half with a 7-2 run to get as close as they would in the final 20 minutes of play, 34-28 with 18:09 left.
But Austin Peay responded with a 13-4 run over the next three minutes – including six points come from Bussabarger — to go up 15 points, 47-32 with 15:09 left in the game and were never really threatened again.
“Meghan was a great leader out there tonight,” Daniels said. “When they made a run at us in the second half, I think she said decided that wasn’t the way it was going to be and started to turn it on and made some key baskets and key plays for us.”
Austin Peay would extend its lead out to as many as 23 points, 72-49 with 5:07 to go in the game, but Daniels went to her bench over the final five minutes, which allowed the Cardinals to cut back into the final margin of 13 points.
Freshman Jennifer Nwokocha added 10-points for the Lady Govs, while Brittany Carter Ball State with 14 points.
Austin Peay returns to action with an early 11 a.m., Tuesday contest at Middle Tennessee.
Austin Peay 79, Ball State 66
Ball State 21-45—66
Austin Peay 32-47—79
Ball State: Shanee’ Jackson 4, Brandy Woody 10, Katie Murphy 12, Shelbie Justice 7, Brittany Carter 14, Taylor Miller 6, Nathalie Fontaine 13. Team totals 21 20-24 66.
Austin Peay: Leslie Martinez 11, Kaitlyn Hill 4, Meghan Bussabarger 20, Nicole Olszewski 8, Kristen Stainback 6, Shelby Olszewski 2, Jennifer Nwokocha 10, Symantha Norton 2, Lauren Maki 1, Alexis Hardaway 4, Tiasha Gray 11. Team totals 29 13-17 79.
3-point field goals: Ball State 4 (Carter 2, Justice 1, Woody 1), Austin Peay 8 (Bussabarger 2, Gray 1, Stainback 2, N. Olszewski 2, Martinez 1).
Records: Ball State 2-6, Austin Peay 2-5.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
SectionsAustin Peay State University, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAustin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, Dave Loos, Govs, Lady govs, Leslie Martinez, Meghan Bussabarger, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Tennessee