Jan. 4, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team had three double-figure scorers and made 17 of its 20 free throws to defeat University of Louisiana-Monroe 65-58 on Wednesday night in the Sun Belt Conference home opener at the FAU Arena in Boca Raton.
The Owls have won three straight games and five of their last six outings to improve to 3-0 in SBC play for the first time and 8-6 overall.
"It was important that we protected our home court after two road wins last week," said Chancellor Dugan, FAU's head women's basketball coach. "We got great contributions from several different pieces. That balance and unselfish play has been the key to our recent success."
Sophomore guard Takia Brooks scored a career-high 18 points, including making all eight of her free throw attempts. Senior forward April Goins added a season-best 14 points, while sophomore post player Chenise Miller had another consistent effort with 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
"Takia looked for her shot tonight and was aggressive on the offensive end," said Dugan. "She stepped up her play when others around her were being held in check by a good Louisiana-Monroe team."
FAU raced out to a 14-3 lead midway through the first half before the visiting Warhawks put together a 17-6 run to tie the game at 20 after a basket by Elizabeth Torres with 2:41 remaining. However, the Owls built some separation before halftime with a 12-4 run. A pair of three-point field goals by Brooks and sophomore guard Kimberly Smith fueled the late run.
The Owls built a 13-point lead on a couple occasions in the second half, and held a 44-31 advantage at the 13:09 mark after a three-point field goal by senior guard Viviana Penate. Like ULM did in the first half, it slowly chipped away at the deficit and trimmed the lead to three points, 54-51, following a Torres three pointer with 4:32 left.
FAU's Goins made two free throws and Miller scored a layup on consecutive possessions to put the hosts on top 58-51 at the three-minute mark. ULM got within three points, 58-55, with 2:10 remaining. However, the Owls sealed the victory by scoring seven of the final 10 points in the game, with Brooks connecting on four more free throws.
"We have been working on finishing games strong. Tonight we made our free throws and it was enough to pick up the home victory," said Miller. "It was important that we validated the two road wins we got last week by winning in front of our home fans."
ULM of the SBC's Western Division falls to 4-12 on the season and suffered its first conference setback after two victories last week. The Warhawks were led by Larrie Williams and Torres, with each scoring 18 points.
FAU returns to the court on Saturday, January 7, at 5:35 p.m. when it travels to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Live audio and statistics of the game can be found at www.fausports.com. For season and single-game tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.