BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team saw a 12-point first-half lead melt away as UTEP stormed back for a 78-66 victory in Conference USA action on Thursday.
The Miners (15-1, 6-0 C-USA) are receiving votes in the national polls, due in part to their fierce defense which flexed its muscles against the Owls (10-7, 2-4 C-USA). UTEP held FAU to six three-pointers, its lowest mark in the last 11 games.
The Owls saw another double-double performance by senior Ali Gorrell, who posted 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Morgan Robinson scored nine points while Raven Doyle contributed eight in her first career start.
For the second-consecutive game, FAU went on a 7-0 run to start a contest with three different Owls scoring in that span. The Owls ran the lead up to nine on a pair of free throws by Danneal Ford and withstood a UTEP run to maintain a 23-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
FAU took its largest lead of the game on a Doyle three-pointer with 7:57 to play in the second before UTEP went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to one. The Miners got their first lead of the game with 32 seconds left in the half before Gorrell scored in the paint to tie the game at 39 with seven seconds remaining. Sophomore Melinda Myers blocked a shot at the buzzer to keep the game tied at the intermission.
The Miners started the second half on an 18-4 run to take a game-high lead at 57-43 with 4:18 to play in the third. FAU would nudge the lead down to nine before a buzzer-beater made it 63-52 at the break. Gorrell scored eight of FAU’s first 10 points of the third.
The Owls threatened in the fourth with a 6-0 run to slice the advantage to 67-60 with 5:54 to play, but were unable to get closer as UTEP regained a 14 point lead with just over a minute to play.
FAU hosts UTSA on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. For tickets, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit FAUSports.com.