Mobile, Ala. - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team cut a 24-point second-half deficit to seven points before eventually falling on the road 66-57 to the University of South Alabama on Wednesday afternoon at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Ala.
The loss halts the Owls three-game winning streak, but the team is still in second place in the Sun Belt Conference's East Division with a 6-3 record. FAU stands 11-9 on the season. The team returns to the court on Saturday, February 4, at 3 p.m. against South Florida rival FIU. The game will be "Bury The Burrow In Red."
"We fought hard to the very end but it was just too much of a hill to overcome," said Shannon Litton, FAU's associate head women's basketball coach. "We did some good things in the second half to get us back in the game. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get over that hump to pull out the victory over a quality team on the road."
The host Jaguars built a 42-20 halftime advantage behind 50-percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. South Alabama made eight three pointers in the first half.
"It felt like South Alabama made every shot they took in the first half," said Litton. "We played good defense on some of those possessions. You just have to give credit to the opposition for making contested shots."
Trailing 44-20 with 19 minutes remaining, Florida Atlantic used a 19-9 run to trim the Jaguar lead to 14 points at 53-39 at the 10:24 mark.
The Owls got to within single digits at 59-51 after a layup by senior forward April Goins with 6:02 remaining. Four minutes later, a pair of free throws by sophomore post player Chenise Miller trimmed the USA lead to seven points at 62-54.
South Alabama (13-9, 6-4 Sun Belt) made four free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
FAU sophomore guard Takia Brooks led the team with 15 points, including 2-for-4 on three-point field goals. The Miami native also had a team-high four assists.
Miller chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Teri Stamps added eight points.
South Alabama had three players in double figures, led by Mansa El's 21-point outing. Sarda Peterson added 16 points, while Camille Reynolds scored 10 points. Wednesday's loss marked just the second road conference loss on the season for the Owls.
Live audio and statistics of Saturday's contest with FIU can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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