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Govs aim to cement postseason spot with win over Skyhawks

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s basketball team has a chance to climb into the top four of the Ohio Valley Conference standings and cement their spot in postseason play with a win against UT Martin, 1:30pm, Saturday, in the final home game at the Winfield Dunn Center this season.

Austin Peay Women's Basketball hosts UT Martin Saturday at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Women’s Basketball hosts UT Martin Saturday at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors (14-12, 9-6 OVC) have picked the right time to go on their longest winning streak of the season, winning their past three games.

In addition, the Govs have entered the fourth quarter trailing by six points in each of their past two games, but won each game, only allowing 20 points total over both fourth quarters.

In the win over Southeast Missouri on Thursday, the Govs struggled from the field, going 5-of-26 in the first half. Despite the struggles, the Govs were only down one at halftime, but the Redhawks came out firing in the third quarter, going 9-of-11 from the floor to open up a lead as large as nine points.

However, Maggie Knowles [2] hit four three-pointers, three in the second half, to ensure the Govs stayed in the game. Her fourth triple of the night gave the Govs the lead after an 11-1 to start the quarter, as the Govs clamped up defensively and held on for a massive victory. After claiming the win Thursday, head coach David Midlick [3] is now one win away from his 100th career victory as a college head coach.

Knowles joins the Ferby twins and Gabby Gregory [4] as the only Govs to hit at least four three-pointers in a game this season. One-half of the Ferby combination, Brandi Ferby [5], also leads the OVC in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play, while Arielle Gonzalez-Varner [6] is second in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting an impressive 50.8 percent.

About the UT Martin Skyhawks

Last time out against the Skyhawks (18-8, 10-5 OVC), the Govs got off to a start no one wants to repeat, as they were down 26-6 after the first quarter. The Govs ended up outscoring the Skyhawks by 11 over the final three periods at the Elam Center, even cutting the lead to four with 90 seconds to go, but the damage had been done as UT Martin knocked down free throws at the end to win 74-65. Gonzalez-Varner led the Govs with a game-high 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

The Skyhawks possess, simply put, the most potent offense in the OVC. They average a league-best 80 points per game and rank in the top five in all shooting metrics (three-point percentage, free-throw percentage, overall field goal percentage). Despite their offensive prowess, the Skyhawks also rank in the bottom five in scoring defense and opposing field goal and three-point percentage. The Skyhawks are not a great rebounding team, but lead the league in steals with 12 a game, as well as turnover margin per game (+5.5).

UT Martin has many different sources of offense, led by forward Chelsey Perry. Perry leads the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and had a double-double consisting of 13 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting this season. Senior guard Emanye Robertson, who scored her 1000th career point against the Govs, averages 11 points per game on a hot 49.5 shooting percentage. Robertson also ranks third in the OVC with 4.6 assists per game and led

The Skyhawks also possess two dynamic freshman who have won five combined OVC Freshman of the Week awards this season. Despite playing only 15 minutes per game, Damiah Griffin is the third leading scorer for the Skyhawks at 9.2 points per game and is third in the OVC in field goal percentage, shooting 50 percent on the year.

The other half of the young duo, Brittni Moore, has already established herself as a premier three-point shooter. Moore shoots an unreal 46.7 percent from three-point range, second in the OVC, and rises to a league-best 48.6 percent in conference play. Moore nailed both of her three-point attempts in the matchup earlier this season.

Follow APSU

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+. There will also be a radio broadcast on WAPX (91.9 FM). Live stats will be provided and @AustinPeayWBB will tweet live updates.

The game is also Senior Day, where Michaela Campbell [8], Logan Carger [9], and Keisha Gregory [10] will be honored for their contributions to the program before the game.