Jan. 15, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team dropped its first home loss of the season on Wednesday as in-state rival FIU topped the Owls 96-88 in the Burrow.
FAU (11-5, 1-2 C-USA) last lost at home on March 2, 2013, also to FIU. The Panthers (8-8, 2-1 C-USA) scored 41 bench points and shot 53% from the field to take the victory in a game that featured 15 lead changes.
The Owls scored 54 points in the paint and saw four players reach double-digit scoring. Senior Latavia Dempsey scored 18 points and dished out three assists. Kimberly Smith shot 6-of-9 from the field for her season-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Owls jumped out to an early five-point lead and Smith's defense on FIU's Jerica Coley held the Conference USA leading scorer (28.4 points/game) to just seven points in the first half.
There were seven lead changes over the final 4:15 of the first period, including a jumper by Brooks with 0:38 left to give FAU a one-point halftime advantage.
After Smith got in foul trouble, Coley lit up the scoreboard in the second half, shooting 10-of-13 from the field and 9-of-12 from the free throw line to finish with a game-high 35 points.
The Panthers shot 73.3% and made 15 of their 19 free throws in the second half to go ahead by 10 with just over a minute to play. The Owls cut the lead to six with 38 seconds left, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
FAU will travel to face Old Dominion on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.