Dec. 21, 2012
Troy, AL - A free throw by junior guard Latavia Dempsey with 1.2 seconds remaining gave the Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team an 81-80 road win at Troy University in Trojan Arena on Friday. The Owls improve to 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the second straight season.
“This is one of the most challenging games of the season,” said Kellie Lewis-Jay, FAU’s head women’s basketball coach. “The players know that this is the last game before the holiday break. For us to come here and get a win says a lot.”
In a game that features several scoring streaks by both teams, FAU (6-5, 3-0 Sun Belt) scored the first 18 points of the second half after trailing 36-30 at halftime. Troy (3-8, 0-3 Sun Belt) answered with the next seven points to come within five points, 48-43, with 12:45 remaining in the game.
Then, the Owls took a 61-51 lead with 7:56 left and had a 76-67 advantage after a free throw by junior guard Breana Turner with 3:54 left.
Troy came right back with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 76-76 after a jump shot by Joanna Harden with 1:18 remaining.
However, the hosts would never take the lead down the stretch. FAU junior guard Kimberly Smith gave FAU an 80-76 lead after two free throws with 45 seconds left. The game would be tied again at 80-80 after consecutive layups by Harden, with 36 seconds left, and Sarah McAppion layup, with four seconds remaining on the clock.
On the next FAU possession, Dempsey received the inbounds pass and was fouled short of midcourt with 1.2 seconds left. The St. Petersburg, Florida native missed the first free throw, but calmly drained the second free throw to give FAU the win.
“Our theme of the month is consistency. That means going half to half and having consistent effort and consistent play,” said Lewis-Jay. “We tied them with 37 rebounds and it has been a while since we have accomplished that.”
In the first half, the Owls built a 21-9 lead midway through the period. Troy closed the deficit within 24-21 after a 3-point field goal by Jasmine Pitts at the 6:03 mark. Then, the hosts proceeded to move out to the 36-30 halftime edge.
Senior guard Breana Turner led four double-figure scorers by matching her season high with 25 points. Junior forward Chenise Miller recorded her second straight double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Miller also matched her career high with four blocked shots. Dempsey added 11 points and junior guard Takia Brooks scored 10 points in the victory.
“Bre (Turner) did it with her offense and Shanequa brought us back defensively. Shanequa created steals with our press. And, then when Bre gets going on offense she is hard to defend,” said Lewis-Jay.
FAU tied a season-high eight 3-point field goals and shot 41 percent from the floor.
Troy, the SBC’s highest scoring offensive team, was led by Harden’s 15 points, while McAppion recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Owls return to the court on Saturday, December 29 at 3 p.m. against ULM in another conference game. Live audio and statistics of the game is available here. Season and single-game tickets are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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