Lady Owls post most wins since joining Sun Belt Conference but were still mediocre

SPORTS

FAU finished the regular season at 14-14, and while the Lady Owls posted the most wins they have ever had since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2006, the promise of an entire starting lineup of seniors failed to hold true.

Despite boasting a team full of experience, the Lady Owls had a season plagued by inconsistency, as they could not put together a win streak greater than three games. Some games the defense would be air tight, but the offense wouldn’t be up to par. Other games, the offense would find its rhythm, but the defense would struggle, and that caused major problems for FAU throughout their campaign.

That type of play is normal for inexperienced teams, but for a squad of talented seniors, with more seniors providing depth on the bench, this season should have been beyond average.

One of the biggest disappointments this season was the eventual final game of the year, where FAU lost to lower-seeded New Orleans in the first round of play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. During the regular season FAU had beat New Orleans 48-30, but 12th-seed New Orleans responded by beating fifth-seed FAU, 51-50, on Saturday, March 6. The loss put an exclamation point on a subpar season for the Lady Owls.

Even though the team had an average year, some players stood out as bright spots. Senior guard Brittany Bowe was one of those players, and she had a solid season with a team-leading 12.5 points per game and 4.8 assists, which was second highest in the conference. Bowe was also named to the All-Sun Belt Third Team.

Because seniors like Bowe made up a majority of the squad, next season’s hopes rely on a much younger and more inexperienced team. Junior guard Lyrell Barfield’s performances this season will put her among next year’s leaders. She averaged 12.3 points per game and scored a career-high 23 points in an 85-69 FAU victory against Arkansas State on Jan. 23.

With a much younger team expected to play next season, head coach Chancellor Dugan has her work cut out for her. Dugan will need to get the very best out of her less experienced players next year in order to help forget about the subpar season that was 2009-2010.