CLARKSVILLE - A nine-minute first-half drought proved too much to overcome as Austin Peay State University women's basketball team fell 71-52 to Tennessee State, Saturday, in Ohio Valley Conference action at the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay head coach Carrie Daniels fielded a new starting five - junior guard Nicole Olszewski, sophomore guard Shelby Olszewski, sophomore guard Shira Buley, freshman guard Tiasha Gray and freshman forward Alexis Hardaway - against Tennessee State. The new group went toe-to-toe with Tennessee State for the game's first eight minutes and were tied 14-14 with 11:44 left.
However, Austin Peay (6-17, 1-10 OVC) went the next nine minutes without a field goal. Tennessee State (9-12, 5-5 OVC) pieced together an 18-2 run during the APSU drought to build a 32-16 lead with 2:59 remaining.would end Austin Peay's drought with 2:40 left but it was two of six points in the final minutes and Tennessee State took a 40-22 lead into halftime.
The Lady Govs three seniors, who did not play the entire first half, entered the game in the second half and made an immediate contribution, scoring 15 of APSU's first 17 points in the period. Yet, they could only close the deficit to 12 points, 50-42, after senior Kaitlyn Hill's layup at the 9:43 mark.
Hill would strike again at the 8:03 mark but again the offense went silent for the next four minutes. Tennessee State put together an 11-0 run, capped by a pair of Keri Hess free throws at the 4:18 mark that put Tennessee State ahead for good, 66-42.
Senior Meghan Bussabarger led Austin Peay with 11 points. finished with six points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
Five Tennessee State players scored more than 10 points. Jasmin Shuler led all scorers with 14 points. Kesi Hess, Chelsea Hudson and Destiney Gaston each scored 12 points. Simone Hopes chipped in 11 points.
Austin Peay gets a week off before starting a three-game road trip with a 4 p.m., Saturday contest at SIU Edwardsville.