MOREHEAD — Brooke Faulkner's three-pointer broke the final tie with 5:47 left, and Austin Peay hung on for a 78-74 victory over Morehead State in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on Tuesday night.
The host Eagles had overcome an 11-point deficit earlier in the second half to take the lead before Faulkner and the Lady Govs managed to hold a small edge.
Morehead got within 72-71 with 1:43 left, but two April Thomas layups around an Eagles turnover gave Austin Peay enough cushion to reach the semifinals.
"We needed somebody to step up, and I was feeling it tonight," said Faulkner, a Harrison County graduate and transfer from Western Kentucky.
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Faulkner scored 14 points and was 4-for-7 behind the arc. The other Peay starters were in double figures led by Ashley Herring's 17 points. She also had 12 rebounds.
Morehead's Chynna Bozeman had two of her five threes during a 13-0 run that gave the Eagles a 54-52 lead with 12:13 left.
The teams exchanged treys, and Morehead (17-14) stayed on top until Peay's Nicole Jamen completed a three-point play for a 62-61 edge with 8:21 left.
Morehead played without Tates Creek product Brittany Pittman, the NCAA's leading shot blocker. She suffered a concussion at Murray State last week and wasn't in uniform Tuesday night.
Pittman is on track to set an NCAA Division I record. Her average is 5.7 blocks a game.
"We knew (Pittman) wasn't going to play," Faulkner said. "We were pretty confident and continued to fight hard."
Austin Peay (15-15) will play regular-season champion and top seed Murray State in the OVC semifinals Friday at Nashville.