SAN ANTONIO - Austin Peay State University women's basketball team ran into a hot-shooting William & Mary squad and dropped an 88-76 decision, Saturday, in the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic at the Convocation Center.
William & Mary (2-3) seemingly couldn't miss a shot to start the game; making 11 of its first 13 shots to build a 22-8 lead in a little over five minutes. A lackadaisical defensive effort forced Lady Govs head coach Carrie Daniels to bench four of her starters by the six-minute mark. Austin Peay played the majority of half with three freshmen and two sophomores on the court.
Austin Peay (1-5) didn't suffer its customary shooting drought in the first half. Rather, the Lady Govs couldn't keep pace with the Tribe. Austin Peay ultimately would close within six points as sophomore Shelby Olszewski made three-pointers on consecutive trips with less than a minute to play. Yet William & Mary responded with Kaitlyn Mathieu's three-pointer to take a 43-34 halftime lead.
After shooting nearly 55 percent in the opening half, William & Mary was primed cool off in the second half. However, they defied that expectation by shooting an even-better 58 percent in the second half. The Tribe pushed their lead to 20 points, 64-44, at the 13:15 mark, courtesy a 14-4 run.
Austin Peay would cut the lead to 12 points several times during the final 10 minutes as junior Nicole Olszewski found her range. She made five points as part of a 7-0 run that ended with 8:11 remaining then hit back-to-back threes later in the half to get the deficit to 12 points again, 80-68, with 3:09 left. A pair of Nwokocha free-throws got APSU to its closest margin, 86-76, with 34 seconds left.
Sophomore Kristen Stainback and Nicole Olszewski each scored 13 poitns as Austin Peay's season-best 76 points went for naught. Nwokocha added 12 points and six rebounds while Martinez grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. The Lady Govs were held to 42.9 percent (27-of-63) shooting.
Taylor Hilton led William & Mary, which score d a season-best 88 points, with 23 points and Janine Aldridge added 22 points. The Tribe made 12 three-pointers as part of a 56 percent (32-of-57) shooting performance.
Austin Peay returns to action when it meets Vanderbilt in a 7 p.m., Wednesday in Nashville.