Jan. 8, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team denied East Carolina any field goals over the last 4:35 of the contest on Wednesday, but the Pirates held on to down the Owls 61-58 in Greenville, N.C.
FAU (10-4) scored a season-low in its first Conference USA game, but had its best defensive performance on the road this season. ECU (13-1) sits atop the C-USA standings.
The Owls struggled to get the offense going to start the game before Aaliyah Dotson made the team's first field goal at the 13:31 mark of the first half. Senior Briah Blakely then scored six straight points for FAU to tie the game at 9-9 just two and a half minutes later.
ECU pieced together an 8-1 run late in the half to reach the largest lead of the game at 23-16 before the Owls cut the margin to 25-24 just before halftime. At 4:35 remaining in the game, Jada Payne's fast-break layup, the Pirates' final field goal of the game, would put them ahead by six points. Latavia Dempsey responded with four points over the next minute that, combined with an ECU free throw, cut the lead to three before the Pirates made another free throw.
Neither team scored from the field for more than three and a half minutes until Kimberly Smith buried a three-pointer with just 20 seconds left in the contest to narrow the margin to one point in favor of the Pirates. Janesha Ebron would then sink two free throws to seal the ECU victory.
Dempsey led the Owls in scoring for the fifth time this season, racking up 18 points and shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Smith snagged eight rebounds for the third consecutive game while posting 11 points. Blakely was one point shy of her career high with 12 points, including six points from the charity stripe.
FAU shot a season-low 29 percent from the field and was out-rebounded 56-39 by the taller lineup of the Pirates.
The Owls return home to host Rice on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. before welcoming rival FIU to campus on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit FAUSports.com or call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.