BOCA RATON, Fla. -
Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball (4-25, 0-18 C-USA) fell 71-59 after their hard-fought battle with Middle Tennessee (20-9, 15-3 C-USA) on Saturday night at FAU Arena. The Owls led for more than half the game but were overcome by the Lady Raiders’ offense in the fourth quarter.
MT extended their lead by nine with five minutes to play as Ty Petty’s fifth three found its mark. Alexis Shannon’s layup brought FAU back within five with four minutes on the clock as FAU held MT scoreless for 2:46 and had three takeaways. Shannon’s layup would be the last points for the Owls as they did not see a basket for the remainder of the contest. In that time, the Blazers went on a 7-0 run and ended the quarter with 18 points to the home team’s 10.
Nika Zyryanova connected on one from downtown to start the first quarter. The Owls grabbed an eight-point lead as they forced three Blazer turnovers with five minutes to play. FAU compiled an 8-0 run over the next 4:34 while holding MT scoreless until Petty went to the line for two at the 2:45 mark. The FAU defense did not allow a Lady Raider field goal for the final 7:46 as they took an 18-7 lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Owls extended their lead to 12 three times in the initial three minutes off of points from Jacey Bailey, Melinda Myers and another Zyryanova 3-pointer. Over the next five minutes, MT countered with a 16-0 run to take a two-point lead in the final two minutes. Shannon got the Owl offense going again with a layup at 1:00, and Doyle followed that up with a basket from beyond the arc to bring FAU within one point of their competitor. Petty tacked on three more points, but Shannon went to the line and got two to bring the Owls back within one to end the half, 35-34.
FAU reclaimed the lead at the beginning of the third quarter via a 46-second 8-0 run on a perfect 3-of-3. MT responded with a 10-0 run over the next 4:11 as FAU went scoreless and committed five turnovers. The Owls’ drought was ended by Shannon at the free throw line with 3:00 to play. Another 6-0 Lady Blazers’ run would put them up by seven, but Jenike claimed the last basket of the quarter from the 3-point line as MT went into the fourth ahead 53-49.
“Nothing But Net” Notables:
- Jenike and Shannon led the team in points with 14 and 13, respectively. Jenike shot 3-for-4 from the perimeter and added two rebounds and two assists. Shannon went 8-for-10 from the free throw line and had a team-best five rebounds. This is her eighth game of the season reaching double-figure scoring and Jenike’s sixth.
- Myers also contributed on the defensive end with five boards. Sasha Cedeno had four and tied her career high in assists with six. Katelyn O’Reilly saw her 20th game shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
- The two teams matched one another in rebounds (28), but FAU allowed MT 25 points off 21 turnovers and 30 points in the paint.
- The Lady Blazers shot 50 percent overall and 40 percent from the 3-point line. Three players hit double digits led by Petty with 33 points.
The Owls will look to continue their work in the offseason to prepare for 2017-18.