RICHMOND, Ky. – In the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams, visiting Austin Peay won a wild 81-71 decision over the Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon in McBrayer Arena.
The Colonels (5-6, 0-1 OVC) were seemingly in control after sophomore Michaela Hunter’s jumper put the home team ahead by 16 points with 16:58 remaining, 52-36. Eastern still held a comfortable 57-45 lead 13:21 left.
However, EKU’s shooting went cold after that point as the Colonels went nearly seven minutes without making another field goal. Austin Peay (4-10, 1-0) fought back to even the score at 59-all with 5:40 remaining.
The Lady Govs took the lead for good seconds later when Tiasha Gray netted a pair of free throws.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Kristen Stainback then put Austin Peay ahead by 10 points, 71-61.
Eastern made one final push to cut the deficit to three points, 73-70, following junior Shameekia Murray’s three-pointer with 1:42 left, but that would be as close as the Colonels would get the rest of the way.
The Lady Govs scored the ensuing five points to clinch the win. Austin Peay shot 56 percent (14-of-25) from the floor in the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Eastern Kentucky converted just 1-of-12 (8.3 percent) three-point shots in the second half.
Hunter (26 points) and Murray (22) combined for 48 points for the Colonels. Murray’s mark was a career best while Hunter was one point shy of equaling her personal high.
Stainback netted a career-high six three-pointers to pace Austin Peay with 26 points. Tearra Banks came off the bench to chip in with 17 tallies and six rebounds.
EKU is back in action next weekend with a pair of road OVC contests. First up is a game at defending league UT Martin on Thursday, Jan. 8. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.