BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Senior Ali Gorrell posted 30 second-half points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team fell to North Texas 79-74 in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
“I thought the difference in the game was they hit their layups and we didn’t,” FAU Head Coach Kellie Lewis-Jay said. “We sure left a lot of layups on the board and [North Texas] came down and finished their shots.”
The Mean Green (11-18) scored the first five points of the game and built a lead of nine at the 3:48 mark. The Owls pulled the lead within five thanks to eight first-quarter points by Danneal Ford, before NT went on a 7-0 run to lead 23-14 at the break.
FAU cut the lead to one-possession advantages three times in the second quarter, but the Mean Green were able to hold onto the lead each time. Wright made her fourth three-pointer of the game at the 3:47 mark before NT finished the opening half with a three-point play to send the game to the intermission up 34-28.
Gorrell put up 12 points in the third quarter and recorded an assist on a Morgan Robinson three-pointer just four minutes in that cut the lead to one before NT again clung to the advantage. Another 7-0 run put the Mean Green up by as many as nine before a Gorrell layup with 1:04 on the clock cut the lead to two. NT’s Teadra Jones responded with a fast-break jumper at the buzzer to make it a 55-51 game at the end of the frame.
Gorrell scored seven of FAU’s first nine points of the fourth before Doyle set a career-high with a layup that gave the Owls their first lead of the game at 60-59 with six minutes to play. The next three minutes featured five lead changes before NT crafted an 8-2 run to go up five with 1:19 on the clock. Gorrell then scored FAU’s final seven points, including a three with three seconds left, but NT went 13-of-15 from the free-throw line to advance in the tournament.
Gorrell’s 30 points tied a career-high, dating back to one of her first games at FAU in 2014. She ends her two-year career with 846 points over 58 games for an average of 14.6 per contest.