NASHVILLE - Junior forward Meghan Bussabarger scored a career-high 29 points but Austin Peay State University women's basketball team had few answers down the stretch in a 90-73 loss to Murray State, Thursday, in quarterfinal action of the Ohio Valley Conference Women's Basketball Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
Austin Peay (9-22) led nearly the entire first half. The Lady Govs stretched their lead to its maximum just past the period's halfway point. Bussabarger was a one-woman show scoring 11 consecutive APSU points over a three minute span to build the Austin Peay lead to 12 points, 36-24, with 5:15 remaining. Junior Leslie Martinez' basket 30 seconds later gave the Lady Govs a 14-point, 38-24, lead that would be its largest of the contest.
Murray State (13-17) closed the half with an 18-7 run over the final 4:07 as Kyra Watson sliced through the Austin Peay defense for eight points during the half-ending run. Mallory Schwab's three-pointer with 29 seconds left cut the deficit to one point, 43-42, at halftime.
The second half saw the two teams trade baskets over the opening 15-plus minutes with neither team enjoying more than a one-possession lead.
But Murray State changed the game's momentum on a Mariah Robinson three-pointer that was the first of 10 consecutive points that broke the game open. It was the beginning of an 18-2 game-ending run that gave the Racers the win. Austin Peay's cold shooting only got worse as the game wound down as it would miss its final seven shots.
Bussabarger's 29 points - she had 18 points in the first half - came on 11-of-13 shooting, including 2-fo-3 from three-point range, and a 5-of-6 effort from the free-throw line.
Freshman Shelby Olszewski added a 15-point, six-rebound performance. Senior Whitney Hanley, who scored 38 points in APSU's opening-round win, scored 10 points in Thursday's loss, making 3-of-13 from the floor. Martinez added 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Watson led Murray State with 23 points and Robinson added a 21-point outing. Schwab posted an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double effort.