Jan. 21, 2017
Murfreesboro, Tenn. -
Florida Atlantic University women's basketball (4-14, 0-7 C-USA) suffered an 87-69 loss to Middle Tennessee (11-7, 6-1 C-USA) on Saturday afternoon despite career performances from freshmen Alexis Shannon and Katelyn O'Reilly.
The Owls went into the final 10 minutes down by 12 points but did not let MT get a field goal for more than three. Shannon took her third 3-pointer of the game as she hit the Owls' first basket of the quarter. The Lady Raiders held onto their lead from the free throw line as they came away with five points in the first five minutes. They then made 4-of-4 to extend the lead to 81-64. FAU did not give up in the final minutes as Shannon added two more for a new career-high of 17 and Melinda Myers hit one from the perimeter. FAU went scoreless and had three turnovers in the remaining 3:29 as MT hit five of their last seven to earn the win.
On the Court with Coach Jay:
"I thought our energy level was better for 40 minutes, and we competed for the most part," said Head Women's Basketball Coach Kellie Lewis-Jay. "We have to continue to work on taking care of the basketball and finishing our defensive plays with a rebound. Alexis (Shannon) and Katelyn (O'Reilly) came out and played with a confidence they haven't played with for awhile, and that was fun to see."
MT began the game with three fouls in the first four minutes, which benefitted the Owls as Julia Jenike claimed two at the line. The Lady Raiders defense made up for it forcing four takeaways and holding FAU scoreless for 2:39. Malia Kency answered with back-to-back jumpers to put FAU within one, and Cedeno tied things up with a free throw. Forward O'Reilly gave the Owls their first lead off two free throws and reclaimed it once more off a shot from downtown. The Lady Raiders ended the first quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 23-20 lead into the second with Alex Johnson and Ty Petty combining for 21 of those points.
The Lady Raiders began the second quarter on a 7-0 run in the first two minutes to extend their lead by 10. The Owl defense went to work as MT saw a 3:21 scoring drought and FAU added five points to get back within single digits. Alexis Shannon came away with six points from beyond the arc to keep the Owls in it, but MT responded making five of their final seven to secure a 45-34 lead at the half. FAU had 14 points to MT's 22 as the Lady Raiders shot 66.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Abbey Sissom and Johnson extended MT's lead by 16 in the first 1:20 of the third. Shannon came to the rescue as she picked up two at the free throw line followed by a layup to put FAU back within eight on 4-of-4 straight. Alex Johnson then went on a tear for seven points with the Lady Raiders making five of their last seven field goals. In the third quarter, the Owls outshot MT for the first time this game 57.1-50.0 percent overall and 50.0-42.9 percent from the 3-point line, but the Lady Raiders outscored FAU 24-23 for a score of 69-57.
"Nothing But Net" Notables:
- Shannon had a career-best 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, which includes 3-of-4 from the perimeter and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. The freshman guard added three rebounds and one steal.
- Fellow freshman O'Reilly broke her career high with 13 points on 50 percent shooting while coming away with five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
- For the fifth time this season, at least three Owls reached double-digits: Shannon (17), O'Reilly (13) and Myers (10).
- FAU allowed 23 points off 21 turnovers while capturing 13 points off 15 MT takeaways. The Lady Raiders shot 49.2 percent overall as Johnson and Petty combined for 58 points in 35 and 40 minutes of play, respectively.
Next week, the Owls will host FIU in Boca Raton on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. For ticket information, please call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit FAUsports.com.