SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Behind three 20-point scorers, the Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team earned an impressive 99-65 win at UTSA on Thursday night.
FAU (10-7, 4-2 C-USA) and UTSA (3-16, 1-6 C-USA) played a close first half, but the Owls took over in the second part of the game and came away with a 34-point win.
Sasha Cedeño opened the game with a three on FAU's first possession of the game, but UTSA quickly followed with a 7-0 run to take a 7-3 lead. The Owls didn't back down and went on an 8-0 run of their own. The two teams traded baskets the rest of the period and were tied up when Malia Kency hit a go-ahead layup with to take a two-point lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter started out back-and-forth but FAU ended the period outscoring the Roadrunners, 10-6, and took a 43-36 lead into halftime.
The Owls had a hot start to the second half, hitting five of their first six shots from the field and starting the period on a 9-0 run. FAU outscored UTSA, 28-13, in the third period behind a scorching 69.2 shooting percent from the field.
FAU ended on a high note, scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter.
Ra'Kyra Gabriel celebrated her birthday by leading all scorers with a career-high 27 points in the game. She connected on two three-pointers and has now hit five three-pointers in the last three games. Before this season, the junior only had two in her career. Gabriel was one rebound shy of a double-double and also had three blocks, one assist and one steal. Her three blocks tied her career high.
Danneal Ford had an impressive night tying her career high with 25 points in the game. She also had six rebounds, six assists and one steal. The redshirt-junior also hit 11 free throws in the game.
Sasha Cedeño maintained her season average with 22 points in the game and eight rebounds. It was her eighth game this season with 20-or-more points. Cedeño now has 936 career points, two away from breaking into the top 10 in career scoring at FAU.
Malia Kency was one point shy of joining Gabriel, Ford and Cedeño in the 20-point club with 19 points in the game.
FAU's 99 points were the most scored by an Owl team against a conference opponent since scoring 110 points against Troy on Jan. 16, 1999. It was the second most points scored in a Conference USA game this season.
FAU had 28 points in both the third and fourth quarters, which ties a season-high in points in a quarter this season.
The Owls are off to their best start in conference play since the 2012-13 season when FAU started 5-1.
FAU shot a season-best 53.1 percent from the field in the game, connecting on 34-of-64 shots.
The Owls will continue on the road for the next two games. FAU will travel to UAB on Saturday. The following week the Owls will take on WKU in Bowling Green. FAU returns home on February 8 when they host Middle Tennessee, the preseason pick to win Conference USA.
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