CLARKSVILLE - Austin Peay State University women's basketball team got off to a good start but could not hold on to the early lead in a 77-71 Ohio Valley Conference loss to Morehead State, Monday night at the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay (5-11, 0-4 OVC) rode hot-shooting sophomore Kristen Stainback to a 16-9 lead in the opening 4:30. Stainback scored 10 points, including two three pointers, to help the Lady Govs out to their fast start.
Morehead State (6-12, 2-2 OVC) did not wilt under the early onslaught and responded right at the first half's midpoint with an 11-2 run to take a 26-23 lead. Almesha Jones scored nine points during the lead-taking burst, including a pair of conventional three-point plays. The Eagles would push their lead to 10 points late in the first half, but the Lady Govs scored the half's final four points and trailed 40-34 entering the break.
Morehead State would maintain the lead between five and 10 points in the second half's opening seven minutes. Austin Peay would use a 10-2 run around the half's midpoint to cut the lead to two points, 58-56 with 7:18 left. However, the Lady Govs fouled Allie Turner who in turn hit all three free throws to stop the APSU run.
Austin Peay made another run at the lead late in the half and again got within two points on a Stainback jumper. However, the Lady Govs surrendered a three-pointer to Turner that effectively iced the contest. Morehead State would make four of its five free throws to salt the game away.
Bussabarger led Austin Peay with a 22-point, eight-rebound performance. Stainback finished with 17 points while senior Leslie Martinez chipped 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Jones led all scorers with 24 points and tallied six assists. Turner added 17 points, including a perfect 6-f-6 performance at the free-throw line. The Eagles posted a season-high 77 points on a season-best 52.8 percent shooting.
Austin Peay returns to action when it hosts OVC West Division leading Eastern Illinois in a 5:15 p.m., Saturday contest at the Dunn Center.