BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team won its second straight game on Sunday afternoon at FAU Arena and claimed a 67-63 victory against rival FIU on Senior Day.
Prior to the start of the game, FAU honored six outgoing members who played their final game in the Burrow on Sunday. Nika Zyryanova, DaChé Williams, Melinda Myers, Raven Doyle, Malia Kency and Sasha Cedeño were all recognized for their contributions to the program.
FAU (12-13, 6-8 C-USA) trailed FIU (7-20, 4-10 C-USA) in the first and third quarters were able to stay ahead in the fourth quarter to claim a 67-63 victory.
The Owls fell behind early in the first quarter but came back to tie the game twice before eventually taking the lead at the 1:35 mark on a layup from Ra’Kyra Gabriel. FAU ended the quarter on a 7-0 run.
FAU outscored FIU in a low-scoring second quarter, 14-11, and was able to expand the lead to 10 points at one point. The Owls went into halftime with a 29-21 lead.
Midway through the third quarter, the Panthers used a 10-0 run to retake the lead. Danneal Ford cut the run with a layup and sparked a FAU run of nine to again change the lead into the Owls favor. That run was led by the FAU guards with five points from Malia Kency and four from Danneal Ford. FIU hit a three to end the quarter and the score going into the final frame was 45-44.
FIU opened the fourth quarter outscoring the Owls, 9-2, and took a six point lead with 7:15 left in the game. A pair of threes from Malia Kency and DaChé Williams cut the lead to one and Danneal Ford made a jumper to give FAU the lead once again. Down the stretch, the Owls were able to make a few timely shots and made free throws to keep the lead and ultimately win, 67-63.
On the day that FAU honored its seniors and graduating class, the outgoing players proved their seniority down the stretch. In the final quarter, the seniors scored 19 of the Owls’ 22 points. Impressive enough on its own, but even more impressive in a one-point game heading into the frame. Overall, the seniors scored 38 of the team’s 67 points (56.7%).
Malia Kency celebrated her final game in the Burrow with 17 points, eight rebounds three assists and a steal. Much of her scoring came in much-needed situations with five during a crucial run for the Owls in the second quarter and seven in the close fourth period.
Melinda Myers was the second leading scorer for the Owls. She had 10 points along with eight rebounds, playing only 19 minutes.
Raven Doyle reset her career high in rebounds with 13. She had 12 boards against FIU last weekend. Doyle also had six points, one assist, one steal and one block.
Danneal Ford continued her all-utility stat line with eight points, five rebounds and five assists. Her 115 assists this season is five shy of moving into the seventh most in FAU history.
The Owls outrebounded FIU, 49-39, and took advantage of the discrepancy by scoring 19 second chance points and allowed zero second chance points from FIU.
The Owls will end the regular season on the road. On Thursday, FAU will face Marshall in Huntington at 6 p.m. In the final regular season game of the season, the Owls will travel to Charlotte for a 5 p.m. tipoff.
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