BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Florida Atlantic women's basketball team claimed the FAU Holiday Classic title with a 65-55 win against UMKC on Saturday afternoon.
FAU (6-5) took an early lead against UMKC (3-11), but the Kangaroos would not go down easily. The Owls lead for all but 3:38 of the first half, but the second half saw six lead changes and three ties.
UMKC scored the first points of the game on a jumper, but Tyana Robinson had a hot shooting hand to start the game hitting her first three three-point shots, scoring the Owls' first nine points of the game. The first period was back-and-forth but the Owls ended on a 5-0 run to take a 19-14 lead.
The Owls jumped ahead by as much as 15 in the second period and went into halftime with a 34-21 lead. FAU had its best second quarter shooting percentage this season after hitting 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the field.
The third period was much different in contrast to the second. The Owls had their lowest shooting percentage in a quarter of the season, shooting only 15.4 percent from the field and scoring a season-low seven points. The Kangaroos doubled their score by scoring 21 points in the period.
With 5:56 left in the game, UMKC hit a pair of free throws to take a one-point lead but it would be their last of the game. Danneal Ford came out of the media timeout and drained a three to put the Owls ahead for good. The Owls would on to outscore the Kangaroos 17-6 from that point on.
Sasha Cedeño led the Owls in scoring for the eighth time this season. She finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a block. The block ties her for eighth all-time in FAU history in career blocks with 57. Cedeño was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament as well as being named to the all-tournament team.
Danneal Ford broke double digits in points with 11 and added five assists and four rebounds. Malia Kency had nine points, five assists and two rebounds, marking the third time this season she has had five-or-more assists. Kency joined Cedeño on the all-tournament team.
Tyana Robinson had 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Melinda Myers had 10 rebounds, the most in the contest by a single player. She also had six points and two steals. Ra'Kyra Gabriel was second on the boards with nine and six points.
FAU HOLIDAY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Lanayjha Ashe (Delaware State)
Kennedi Colclough (Stetson)
Kristen Moore (UMKC)
Aries Washington (UMKC)
Sasha Cedeno (FAU)
Malia Kency (FAU)
MVP - Sasha Cedeno (FAU)
The Owls will start Conference USA play on January 5 when they host Marshall for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff. FAU will play the first three games of the conference schedule at home, hosting UTEP and Rice the next week.
For complete coverage of FAU women's basketball, follow us on Twitter (@FAU_WBB), Instagram (@FAU_WBB) and Facebook (Florida Atlantic Women's Basketball).