March 8, 2016
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. â€" Senior Ali Gorrell posted 30 second-half points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team fell to North Texas 79-74 in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
The Owls finish the year with a record of 14-16 overall and 6-12 in C-USA play. Junior Raven Doyle tallied a career-high 15 points while Kat Wright recorded 12 points.
"I thought the difference in the game was they hit their layups and we didn't," FAU Head Coach Kellie Lewis-Jay said. "We sure left a lot of layups on the board and [North Texas] came down and finished their shots."
The Mean Green (11-18) scored the first five points of the game and built a lead of nine at the 3:48 mark. The Owls pulled the lead within five thanks to eight first-quarter points by Danneal Ford, before NT went on a 7-0 run to lead 23-14 at the break.
FAU cut the lead to one-possession advantages three times in the second quarter, but the Mean Green were able to hold onto the lead each time. Wright made her fourth three-pointer of the game at the 3:47 mark before NT finished the opening half with a three-point play to send the game to the intermission up 34-28.
Gorrell put up 12 points in the third quarter and recorded an assist on a Morgan Robinson three-pointer just four minutes in that cut the lead to one before NT again clung to the advantage. Another 7-0 run put the Mean Green up by as many as nine before a Gorrell layup with 1:04 on the clock cut the lead to two. NT's Teadra Jones responded with a fast-break jumper at the buzzer to make it a 55-51 game at the end of the frame.
Gorrell scored seven of FAU's first nine points of the fourth before Doyle set a career-high with a layup that gave the Owls their first lead of the game at 60-59 with six minutes to play. The next three minutes featured five lead changes before NT crafted an 8-2 run to go up five with 1:19 on the clock. Gorrell then scored FAU's final seven points, including a three with three seconds left, but NT went 13-of-15 from the free-throw line to advance in the tournament.
Gorrell's 30 points tied a career-high, dating back to one of her first games at FAU in 2014. She ends her two-year career with 846 points over 58 games for an average of 14.6 per contest.