CLARKSVILLE - A 23-12 second-half opening burst helped Austin Peay State University women's basketball team escape with a 71-67 victory against Binghamton, Sunday afternoon at the Dunn Center.
Trailing by 10 points at halftime, Austin Peay (1-2) scored 23 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, making 9-of-16 from the floor. Sophomore Kristen Stainback gave APSU its first lead of the half with a three-pointer at the 12:33 mark. Two minutes later, senior Leslie Martinez made a fast-break layup to give the Lady Govs a 44-43 lead with 10:16 remaining and they would not trail again in the game.
The Lady Govs were able to push their lead to nine points, 61-52, on freshman Tiasha Gray's jumper at the 3:07 mark but they could not build a larger lead. Binghamton (0-3) began employing a full-court defense and was able to whittle away at the Austin Peay lead and closed to within three points, after Sharae Swinson hit a three-pointer with 25 seconds left. Austin Peay hit three of their final four free throws to seal the win.
Binghamton held a halftime lead thanks to a 22-8 run over the final 10:46 of the first half. The Lady Govs offense could not get a basket to fall, senior Kaitlyn Hill making the only field goals at 5:58 and 4:06 of the period. Binghamton's Sharae Swinson scored all of her 10 first-half points during the closing stretch.
Martinez led Austin Peay with 20 points, her second career 20 point performance, thanks to a 6-of-14 shooting performance and a 6-of-8 free-throw line outing. Hill finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Stainback and freshman Alexis Hardaway each had 10 points.
Binghamton's Swinson led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Vaneeshia Paulk added 12 points. The Bearcats won the rebounding battle by a 40-33 margin as Jasbriell Swain and Kara Elofson grabbed 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Austin Peay begins a three-game road trip with the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic, Friday and Saturday. The Lady Govs will face host UTSA in a 7 p.m., Friday contest before meeting William & Mary, Saturday.
Game Notes: Austin Peay vs. Binghamton
- Meghan Bussabarger was injured in first two minutes of contest and did not return.
- Leslie Martinez finished night with career-high tying 20 points (Feb. 18, 2012 at Morehead State) and led the team in scoring for the second consecutive game.
- With the win, Austin Peay is 2-0 against members of the America East Conference.
- Lady Govs scored 50 points in the second half of the contest. It was their first 50-point half since they scored 52 points in the second half against Southeast Missouri game on Feb. 25, 2012.
- The Lady Govs 22-of-33 effort at the free-throw line was more makes and attempts than the Lady Govs had in their first two games this season combined (16-30).
- After averaging 26 turnovers in its first two games the Lady Govs committed only 12 miscues vs Binghamton.
- Freshman Tiasha Gray tied season high with four steals, all coming in the second half.
- Lady Govs made only two field goals – both by Kaitlyn Hill – in final 10:46 of the first half.
- Samantha Norton played for first time this season.