HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team won its third-straight game on Thursday night with a 62-55 win at Marshall in the Cam Henderson Center to clinch a spot in the Conference USA Tournament.
COACH JABIR'S TAKE
On the team making the Conference USA Tournament after going winless in conference play last season:
"We've come pretty far and I'm pretty proud of them. Considering all of the injuries and kids stepping into roles they aren't familiar with, I'm very, very proud of them."
On holding Marshall's bigs to limited shots:
"I think Raven and the bigs did a really good job. Coach Primm put together a really good plan and we stuck to it."
On Raven Doyle's tremendous play the last four games:
"I think she's come to play and she's realizing this is it and she has to give it her best and she is."
FAU (13-13, 7-8 C-USA) was shorthanded against Marshall (9-20, 3-13 C-USA) on Thursday night with only seven available players, but the Owls secured a victory and clinched a spot in the Conference USA Tournament.
The Thundering Herd took an early 4-2 lead, but the Owls jumped ahead with four-straight points from Danneal Ford. The rest of the first quarter was back-and-forth between the two teams and the frame ended tied, 11-11.
Marshall came into the second period and hit a three but FAU responded with a 13-0 run to take a 24-14 lead. The Owls were able to double up Marshall in the second period outscoring the Thundering Herd, 18-9.
After trading baskets to start the third quarter, Marshall went on a 7-0 run to bring the score within three points. The Owls answered with five straight and took a 46-40 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter began with two threes from FAU and one from Marshall. The Thundering Herd used an 8-0 run to make it a one-point game with 2:57 left in the game. The Owls scored seven straight with five coming from Raven Doyle to go ahead 59-51. The Herd took the foul and quick score method, but the Owls hit five-of-six free throws down the stretch.
Raven Doyle had one of the best games of her career against the Thundering Herd, securing her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Over the last four games, Doyle is averaging 11.5 rebounds per game, resetting her career high three times. The senior was also 3-of-3 from the free throw line.
Malia Kency tied her career high with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from three point range. She also had seven rebounds, two assists and one steal. Kency now has made 172 career three-pointers, the third most in school history.
Danneal Ford nearly had a triple double in the game with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Ford now has the seventh most assists in a single-season with 123 on the year.
Seven conference wins is the most for a FAU team since the 2014-15 season when the Owls went 7-11 in C-USA play.
The Owls will end the regular season at Charlotte on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.
CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT
The Owls will play on Wednesday, March 7 in Frisco, Texas at the Conference USA Tournament. Games will be played at the Ford Center. Seedings and game times will be announced on Saturday after regular season play has concluded for all teams.
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