Jan. 7, 2017
Florida Atlantic University women's basketball (4-10, 0-3 C-USA) saw its hopes for a win slip away in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter as FIU (3-11, 1-2 C-USA) went on a 10-4 run to secure a 74-65 win at home on Saturday afternoon.
On the Court with Coach Jay:
"I thought Malia (Kency) played well. We are asking Malia to play a lot of minutes, and I thought she did some really good things," said Head Women's Basketball Coach Kellie Lewis-Jay. "I think our defense could have done more. We have to start making a change. We have to start being better defensively. We have to buy into our system. We have to do the things we are asking them to do every day, and we have to be better."
The Panthers were up by eight in the fourth until the tide began to turn in the Owls' favor at 5:53. Raven Doyle hit two at the free throw line, and Malia Kency saw her fifth three followed by two in the paint to bring FAU within three. With less than four minutes to play, FAU saw seven points, but the Panthers made four of their final five shots to widen the lead and take the win.
Both teams looked very evenly matched in the first quarter as the Owls scored 23 points to the Panthers' 19. Kency carried the FAU offense as she tied the game twice and then finally gave the Owls the lead at 1:17 off four consecutive 3-pointers. She came away with 14 points including 4-of-6 from the perimeter. The FAU defense held FIU to zero field goals in the last 3:21 to end the first ahead.
FIU and FAU exchanged baskets for the first half of the second quarter as the Panthers came within three at the 5:43 mark off a layup and free throw by Kristian Hudson. The Owls would not see a score until Sasha Cedeno ended the team's four-minute scoring drought with a three in the final two seconds to put FAU up 36-31 at the half.
Julia Jenike came out after the half and claimed the first points for the Owls from downtown. FIU's Hudson answered as she hit four straight to help the Panthers go on a 9-0 run over 2:29. During that time, the Owls committed three turnovers and went scoreless for more than three minutes until Ra'Kyra Gabriel's layup at 4:55. FAU added five more points, but FIU's offense won the quarter earning 19 points to the Owls' nine and outshooting the visitors 61.5-33.3 percent.
"Nothing But Net" Notables:
- Kency went 5-of-9 from the perimeter and shot 50 percent overall to come away with a team-high and season-best 19 points. The junior guard also saw three assists and three boards.
- Cedeno was also impressive on offense as she earned 15 points, including three from beyond the arc.
- Melinda Myers had a team-leading eight rebounds, which is a season high for the junior forward, while fellow forward Gabriel added seven.
- FIU outshot FAU 46.7-41.7 percent as Hudson led the charge for the Panthers with a team-best 21 points and nine assists.
- The Owls committed 22 turnovers to FIU's 15 but matched the Panthers in rebounds with 35.
FAU will welcome two conference opponents next week beginning with UTSA on Thursday, Jan. 12 and UTEP on Saturday, Jan. 14.