March 4, 2012
Hot Springs, AR - Senior forward April Goins' rebound basket with 1.8 seconds remaining gave the Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team a dramatic 56-55 victory over the University of North Texas in Sunday's quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament at Hot Springs, Arkansas. It marked the Owls' first victory in SBC tournament history.
FAU, 17-11 for the season, now has a semifinal showdown with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Monday, March 5, at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast by the Sun Belt Network on CSS and will be available on ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court. The one-point victory margin was the only time that the Owls led the game. The team trailed 33-15 at halftime, but outscored the Mean Green by a 41-22 margin in the second half.
"We made some adjustments throughout the course of the game that worked in our favor against a battle-tested North Texas team," said Chancellor Dugan, FAU's head women's basketball coach. "Our kids have a lot of resolve and fight, and just did not want our season to end tonight."
Florida Atlantic's rally started early in the second half with a 14-7 run trimming the deficit to 11 points after a free throw by Goins six minutes into the half. Then, that deficit was cut in half with two minutes remaining when sophomore forward Chenise Miller connected on a mid-range jump shot, making it 55-50. Senior guard Teri Stamps drained a three-point field goal to bring the Owls within two points, 55-53, with 43 seconds left after a North Texas turnover.
North Texas' Jasmine Godbolt missed a six-foot jumper with 19 seconds left and FAU's Takia Brooks grabbed the defensive rebound while Stamps was being fouled. The senior captain converted the first free throw attempt, but missed the second, giving the Texas opponent a 55-54 advantage. Godbolt got the defensive board but threw the ball away for a turnover, giving the Owls a shot to win the game.
With 10 seconds left, Brooks received the in-bounds pass and drove down the lane before missing a layup with three seconds left. Goins grabbed the offensive rebound and put it into the basket with 1.8 seconds remaining to give FAU the 56-55 lead. North Texas was unable to get a shot off before the final horn sounded.
"We didn't have a lot of time on the clock when we got the ball from the turnover," said Dugan. "We told Takia to go to the basket. The lane opened up for her. I thought her shot was going down, but April did a fantastic job of staying with the play."
Goins also thought Brooks' shot was going in, but got in rebounding position early just in case.
"I saw that the ball was hanging on the rim and I just went to a spot where the ball was going to be," said Goins. "I didn't know how much time was left, but I went up strong for the put-back. I'm just glad to help the team win. I'm glad we are playing tomorrow."
FAU closed the game on an 8-0 run to pick up their fourth one-point victory of the season. The team FAU shot 52 percent in the second half and committed just one turnover after halftime.
Miller, a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection, scored a career-high 21 points by making nine of 16 shots from the floor. Goins scored all 13 of her points in the second half, while Stamps also chipped in 13 points.
North Texas, which finished the season at 15-16, was led by Tamara Torru with 17 points while Laura McCoy added 12 points.