FAU drops to 5-5 with 78-66 loss to Stetson

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Forward Chenise Miller shoots during the first half of the game. Stetson maintained its lead during the second half.

Zack Kelberman

Guard Brianna Marsh attempts a layup in the final minutes of the game.
Following back-to-back road losses, the Lady Owls returned home to their safe haven, The Burrow, where they entered Saturday a perfect 3-0 on the season.

On this day, however, FAU women’s basketball suffered their first home blemish. The Owls (5-5) fell to the Stetson Hatters (5-4) 78-66 in the final non-conference matchup of the season.

“We were out-toughed in that game,” Owls head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay said. “It reminded me a little of when we played Bethune [Cookman]. Every single loose ball was Stetson’s. They outhustled us, they outplayed us.”

Forward Chenise Miller, the team’s leading scorer (13.6 points per game) and rebounder (6.5 rebounds per game) for the season, turned in another solid performance, recording a double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds).

Although the effort was wasted, mostly due to FAU’s 17 turnovers and erratic shooting, Lewis-Jay raved about Miller’s skill set.

“Chenise brings it,” Lewis-Jay said. “I appreciate Chenise’s effort. She goes hard all the time and I love the effort she brings.”

Senior guard Breana Turner, coming off a 25-point outing against Wisconsin, chipped in with 15 points on 5-13 shooting, similarly drawing praise from her coach.

Forward Chenise Miller shoots during the first half of the game. Stetson maintained its lead during the second half.
“Offensively, she’s always great,” Lewis-Jay said of Turner. “She’s able to score in a variety of ways and we’ll continue getting her the ball.”

Rounding out FAU’s top performers was gaurd Kimberly Smith, who totaled 13 points, four rebounds, and drained four-of-seven 3-point attempts.

Platitudes aside, though, FAU simply didn’t do enough to earn a victory. They shot less than 39 percent from the field (22-57), struggled mightily from beyond the arc (7-20), and were outrebounded (44 to 30) by a Stetson squad that appeared to want it more.

The Hatters took a 34-27 halftime lead to the locker room, capitalizing on the Owls’ prevalent mistakes (11 first half points off turnovers).

Throughout the afternoon, Stetson utilized a quick-cutting offense, getting to the basket with ease. They scored 30 of their points in the paint, and forced the Owls to commit fouls to stop the up-tempo attack.

FAU attempted to combat the Hatters’ strategy in the second half, switching to man defense, and more full-court press and trap looks. While it seemingly put Stetson on their heels, it also led to more fouls. FAU went over the limit relatively early into the second half, gifting the Hatters easy points.

With a tough test against conference opponent Troy upcoming, Lewis-Jay understands in order for the Owls to snap the losing skid, the effort level will need to increase.

“We lacked toughness and heart today,” Lewis-Jay said. “That needs to change. We have to go on the road and get ready to compete.”

The Owls hit the road for a showdown with the Troy Trojans on Friday, Dec. 21 at 1:00 p.m.

Guard Kimberly Smith captures a rebound among Stetson defenders early in the first half.