No. 7 Austin Peay vs. No. 2 SIU Edwardsville
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 | 2:00pm CT
Nashville, TN | Municipal Auditorium
Clarksville, TN – For the first time since the 2011-12 season, Austin Peay State University finds itself continuing on into the postseason, where the seventh-seeded Lady Govs will square off against second-seed SIU Edwardsville, 2:00pm, Wednesday, in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.
Austin Peay will have to embrace the underdog role this week, but it’s a role Carrie Daniels  is familar with.
At the 2009 OVC Tournament, Daniels led the Lady Govs to an OVC Championship despite entering the tournament as the fifth seed, with Austin Peay defeating the top two seeds in the semifinals and finals to earn the first of two conference tournament titles during the Daniels era.
Tiasha Gray ‘s skills of thievery have reached national renown.
After her six-steal day Saturday at Southeast Missouri, Gray moved into the national lead with 3.76 spg, and her 109 total steals rank her third in a single season in OVC, four behind Eastern Kentucky’s Angie Cox (1991-92) for second in OVC history. Coupled with her 36-point outburst on Saturday, Gray earned a well-deserved OVC Player of the Week nod from the conference office.
Senior Kristen Stainback  hopes to break through a historical barrier at Municipal Auditorium. The Georgetown, KY, native needs just one point to become the 18th player in Austin Peay history to score 1,000 points in her career.
OVC Tournament Time
This will be the first time Austin Peay has been in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament since the 2011-12 season, when Whitney Hanley scored 38 points in a double-overtime thriller against Morehead State to propel Austin Peay into the quarterfinals, where they eventually fell to Murray State.
Senior Kristen Stainback  is the only remaining member of that squad to make her return to Municipal Auditorium this weekend; she was a reserve on that 2011-12 team, scoring 10 points in the Lady Govs 84-83 opening-round win against the Eagles.
This will be Austin Peay’s second opportunity in the tournament as the No. 7 seed; the 1998 squad fell 80-60 to second-seeded Tennessee Tech in the tournament’s opening round.
SIU Edwardsville Cougars
SIU Edwardsville is among the most efficient-shooting squads in the OVC, leading the conference in free-throw shooting (74.3 percent) and ranking second in field-goal percentage (42.6 percent) for the regular season.
Point guard Shronda Butts makes the offense go, averaging 15.8 ppg (fifth in the OVC) and 3.4 apg (seventh) in her first season since transferring to Edwardsville from Bradley.
Earlier This Season
Austin Peay dropped the season series to SIU Edwardsville, falling 87-67 at SIUE, January 28th, and dropping a 77-62 decision at the Dunn Center, February 19th.
In the first meeting at the Vadalabene Center, SIUE leapt out to a 14-2 lead and Austin Peay spent the entire contest playing catch-up, getting within 12 points with 8:32 to go in the contest. But the Cougars shot 44.6 percent (33-of-74) from the floor and 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from three-point range, with Shronda Butts leading all scorers with 19 points.
Tiasha Gray  had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists, while three others Lady Govs – Kristen Stainback  (15 points), Brianne Alexander  (11) and Beth Rates  (10) finished in double figures. However, 18 Austin Peay turnovers turned into 31 points for the Cougars.
Austin Peay and the Cougars next met on Senior Night at the Dunn Center, where Kristen Stainback  closed out her home career with 17 points but couldn’t hang with SIU Edwardsville on the boards – the Cougars outrebounded the Lady Govs 45-29 in the contest.
Butts again led the way for SIU Edwardsville with 25 points, while Tierny Austin added 16. A 17-4 run beginning at 14:10 in the second half proved to be the death knell for Austin Peay, which saw the deficit balloon from 10 to 23 points during that span.
The More You Know
An Austin Peay Win Would: Snap a three-game losing streak to SIU Edwardsville… Give Austin Peay an OVC Tournament win for the first time since 2011-12… Give the Lady Govs multiple neutral-site wins in the same season for the first time since 2010-11… Improve Daniels’ record to 99-176 overall… Make Daniels 10-3 all-time in the OVC Tournament… Make the Lady Govs 452-649 overall since 1976-77.
An Austin Peay Loss Would: Run Austin Peay’s losing streak to the Cougars to four games… Drop the Lady Govs to 3-7 all-time against SIU Edwardsville… Drop Daniels to 9-4 all-time in OVC Tournament play… Drop Austin Peay to 27-14 all-time in OVC Tournament play (0-2 as the No. 7 seed)… Drop Daniels’ record to 98-177 overall… Drop Daniels to 65-94 in OVC play… Make the Lady Govs 451-650 overall since 1976-77.
Radio • WVRY 105.1 FM
Play-by-Play: David Loos
Analyst: Van Stokes
TV • OVC DIGITAL NETWORK/ESPN3
Play-by-Play: Justin Seamon
Analyst: Brittany Jackson
Lady Govs on the Web
Live Video: www.OVCDigitalNetwork.com
Live Audio: www.LetsGoPeay.com/Watch
Live Statistics: www.statbroadcast.com