BOCA RATON, Fla. – After falling behind by 16 in the third quarter, the Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team charged back to get within four but ultimately fell to Middle Tennessee, 69-65, at FAU Arena on Thursday night.
FAU (10-10, 4-5 C-USA) used a strong second half to surge back into the game against Middle Tennessee (14-9, 6-4) after a slow first half.
After going back-and-forth through the first part of the first quarter, the Lady Raiders went on a 7-0 run to end the period to take a 14-8 lead heading into the second.
Middle Tennessee extended that run to 15-0 through the beginning of the second frame. Melinda Myers put a stop to it with an up-and-under basket. Both teams traded baskets from there and the Owls used a 5-0 run to get within 10 points late in the half. Middle Tennessee responded with a three as time expired in the second quarter to take a 13-point lead into halftime.
At the 7:41 mark of the third quarter, the Lady Raiders hit a three to go ahead by 16, their largest lead of the game. The Owls went on a 7-0 run, powered by five points from Sasha Cedeño, to get within nine. With a little over a minute left in the quarter, Ra’Kyra Gabriel made a putback and DaChé Williams made a three to get FAU within four heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was back-and-forth between the two teams but FAU was never able to get closer than four points.
Sasha Cedeño led all scorers with 20 points and recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. The senior went 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Melinda Myers tied her career high in points with 15. Coincidentally, she previously reached 15 points against the Lady Raiders on Feb. 4, 2016. With seven rebounds on the night, she moves to fifth all-time in career boards at FAU with 534. The senior connected on three three-pointers in the game, a feat she has not achieved before tonight as a post player.
Danneal Ford extended her streak to 10 games scoring in double figures with 12 points on the night. She also had four assists.
DaChé Williams came up big beyond the arc, hitting 3-of-4 from three-point land. Several of those threes came in a timely manner extending a run or cutting into the Middle Tennessee lead.
The Owls will stay home to host North Texas on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that game will be only $1.
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