Two in a row lifts Lady Owls’ spirits

A two game winning streak isn’t very long, but after losing their first seven games, FAU Women’s Basketball team is just happy to be 2-7.

“We had a couple tough losses,” said Lady Owl forward Tamica Pierce, even though their seven losses were by an average of 22 points. The biggest of which was a 33-point loss to LSU in November.

One of the major problems in that game, and several others, was FAU’s play in the second half. The Lady Owls were outscored 42-26 in the second half of the LSU game. Louisville and American University also outscored FAU by similar margins in the second half.

“It’s always a concern, whether you’re up or whether you’re down, if you’re going to be ready to play in the second half,” FAU Head Coach Chancellor Dugan said. She says that the younger point guards, Sophomore Angie Rodgers and Freshman Shontavia Williams, have been impatient in the second half. “Sometimes you think you [scored] by just one pass, but you didn’t. You [score] by passing the ball, and moving the ball, and people cutting,” Dugan said.

With so many young key players, patience is one of the things Dugan said her must work on.

They also need to play competitive basketball for the full forty minutes. FAU has had problems doing this in the second half, as well as throughout games. For example, Dugan said the Lady Owls played well in spurts in their loss to Bowling Green.

“We need to continue to fight even if we’re down or even if we’re up,” Pierce said.

Turnovers are another concern for Dugan. In their first eight games the Lady Owls averaged 29 turnovers. She knows they won’t be competitive if they can’t keep the ball.

“If we cut down on our turnovers, we can blow teams out,” Pierce said. FAU had only 15 turnovers versus LIU and they won 61-48.

Even though the Lady Owls have aspects of their game to improve on, there were bright spots in their two victories.

Forward/Center DeAnna Hanscom thought her teammates were all on the same page in the victory over Eastern Michigan. “We moved the ball real good, and we had a real team effort. I mean a complete difference from the last 7 games,” Hanscom said.

Dugan thought her defense stepped up in the second half of the game against LIU. “I thought our half court man-to-man [defense] was probably the best it’s been,” she said.

As we go to print, FAU’s next game is against East Carolina on Dec. 30, at the Georgia Tech Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational. FAU will also face either Georgia Tech or St. Johns on Dec. 31, on the second day of the invitational.

The Lady Owls then finish their schedule with 16 conference games. The first game is against Stetson on Jan. 9.

Dugan hopes to have all of her injured players, like center Trineca McCleod and guard Sharia Young, back for that game. Once that happens, Dugan knows the Lady Owls will be an even better team.