FRISCO, Texas – The Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team will take on UTSA in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament on Wednesday. The game is set to begin at 1:30/2:30 (CT/ET) at the Ford Center in Frisco.
FAU is the No. 7 seed in the tournament, while UTSA is the No. 10. The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to take No. 2 WKU.
The game will be streamed live on Facebook and live stats will be provided during the game. Fans can also keep with the action by listening to the audio call from Max Ziffer (here) and following @FAU_WBB on Twitter for live updates of the game.
FAU (13-14, 7-9 C-USA) and UTSA (8-20, 6-10 C-USA) met earlier this season in San Antonio where the Owls came away with a 99-65 win. Three players scored 20-or-more points in that game in Ra’Kyra Gabriel (27), Danneal Ford (25) and Sasha Cedeno (22). UTSA currently leads the series, 4-3.
The Owls come into the game having won three of their last four, but shorthanded having only seven available players the last two games. UTSA won their way into the tournament field, winning four of their last six contests.
FAU is tied for the fourth best turnaround from the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season in NCAA Division I with nine more wins. Jim Jabir has the second best turnaround this season as a coach in their first season with their program. Denver’s head coach Jim Turgeon has improved the Pioneers with 10 more wins than last season in his first season.
FAU has led Conference USA in rebounds per game almost the entire season. The Owls are currently averaging 42.7 per game, which is the 17th highest mark in the nation. The Owls also are first in the league in defensive boards, averaging 29 per game, which is 16th highest in the country. FAU is the only team in Conference USA with three players in the top 15 in the league in rebounds per game with Sasha Cedeño (8.0 rpg), Raven Doyle (7.1 rpg) and Ra’Kyra Gabriel (6.5 rpg).
The Owls are averaging 69.9 points per game this season, which is third in the league and the highest for an FAU team since the 2013-14 season. Danneal Ford is the active leading scorer for the Owls, averaging 13.3 points per game.
FAU features two players who have been dishing out dimes this season. Ford has maintained an average of 4.8 assists per game, fourth highest in Conference USA and Malia Kency has an average of 3.2 per game and an assist/turnover ratio of 1.71, which is fifth highest in the league. Ford’s 129 assists this season ranks as the fifth most in school history and Kency’s 251 career assists is the eighth most at FAU.
LAST TIME OUT
The Owls won on the road at Marshall last Thursday, spoiling the Herd’s senior night and regular season finale. FAU ended the regular season at Charlotte. After being down 24 points early in the third quarter, the Owls rallied back to get within six but could not complete the comeback.
Raven Doyle has played urgency the last two games, registering back-to-back 15 point, 15 rebound games. Malia Kency caught fi re from three-point range, making 10 threes in the last two games for the Owls. Kency’s had five straight games in double figures and four straight with 15-or-more points.
The Roadrunners have won four of their last six games, including victories against Rice, UTEP, FIU and Marshall.
UTSA has three averaging double digits in scoring this season. Crystal Chidomere leads the team scoring 14.6 points per game and Marie Benson follows closely behind averaging 14.3 points. Carlie Heineman is putting up 10.2 points per game.
FANS ATTENDING THE TOURNAMENT
Fans attending the C-USA Tournament should be advised that there is a clear bad policy for the Ford Center.
For complete coverage of FAU women’s basketball, follow us on Twitter (@FAU_WBB), Instagram (@FAU_WBB) and Facebook (Florida Atlantic Women's Basketball).