Dec. 7, 2012
Starkville, MS - Florida Atlantic University junior guard Takia Brooks scored a career-high 27 points, but the women's basketball team's upset bid came up short in a 59-58 loss at Mississippi State University on Friday at the Humphrey Coliseum.
The Owls had an opportunity to win the game, but freshman guard Morgan Robinson's 3-point field goal shot fell short with two seconds left in the game. The team had held a 36-32 halftime advantage after closing the first half on a 14-5 run over the final 3:59.
"We played hard. We have to do a better job of knocking down some more shots. We had 30 more shots than our opponent and they had 35 turnovers. Those are great numbers to see on the statistics report. I'm proud of our players' effort," said Kellie Lewis-Jay, FAU's head women's basketball coach, in postgame radio remarks.
Mississippi State (4-5) used a 7-0 run to take a 39-38 lead with 15:46 remaining in the second half. The Owls answered that run on the first of three 3-point field goals by junior guard Kimberly Smith in the second half. Smith's first three pointer gave the visitors a 41-39 lead at the 15:27 mark.
Later, Brooks connected on a 3 pointer to give FAU a 49-48 advantage with 7:03 left. The Bulldogs would respond with a 6-0 run to take a six-point lead, 55-49, after a layup by Carnecia Williams at the 4:34 mark.
However, another 3-pointer by Smith and two layups by Brooks off Mississippi State turnovers brought FAU within 57-56 with two minutes remaining. One minute later, Brooks again finished a layup off a turnover to take a 59-58 lead at the 1:12 mark.
MSU turned over the ball once again on an inbounds pass with 17 seconds left to set up Robinson's last-second 3-point attempt. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 35 times - FAU entered the game ranked 11th nationally with a plus-eight turnover margin.
"We drew up something for Takia. We had to get the ball in her hands," said Lewis-Jay about the final possession. "(Mississippi State) did a good job of switching on the initial pick-and-roll play and disrupting it."
Brooks' 27 points came on 9-of-14 shooting and three 3-point field goals. The Miami native also led FAU with seven rebounds and had a career-best seven steals.
Smith added nine points, while Robinson chipped in eight points.
Mississippi State's Sherise Williams led four double-figure scorers for the team with 15 points. Martha Alwal had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
FAU falls to 5-3 on the season and continues its road trip against major conference opponents on Monday, December 10 at 8 p.m. when it plays the University of Wisconsin. The game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. Check your local provider for the channel number.
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.