Women’s basketball: FAU ends two-game losing skid with 74-63 win over Troy

Zack Kelberman

Guard Kimberly Smith shoots after being fouled in the first half. Smith had 16 points and eight rebounds Wednesday night. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Guard Kimberly Smith shoots after being fouled in the first half. Smith had 16 points and eight rebounds Wednesday night. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
There truly is no place like home for the Lady Owls.

Behind a career high 24-point outburst by guard Latavia Dempsey, FAU defeated Troy 74-63 Wednesday night at The Burrow.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Owls, who’ve now won 10 consecutive Sun Belt Conference home contests.

“It was a good win for us,” Owls head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay said to FAUSports.com. “I’m very proud of the team for responding after a difficult week. Kim gave everything she had out on the court. Everybody loves the points, but I like Latavia’s hustle plays and defense.”

Dempsey also had three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and four 3-point field goals in 30 minutes of play.

FAU got excellent production out of two other starters, guard Kimberly Smith and forward Chenise Miller.

Guard Latavia Dempsey attempts a 3-point goal against a Troy defender. Dempsey led the Owls with a career-high of 24 points. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Guard Latavia Dempsey attempts a 3-point goal against a Troy defender. Dempsey led the Owls with a career-high of 24 points. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Smith, playing a team-high of 38 minutes, totaled 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals, and one block.

Miller, the Owls’ leading scorer, made her presence felt all over the court, turning in 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

The Owls’ bench chipped in with 32 points.

As a team, FAU struggled in two areas: shooting and rebounding. They hit on only 23 of 65 attempts from the field (35 percent) and were outrebounded by Troy 43-36.

However, the Owls capitalized on the Trojans’ mistakes, scoring 28 points off 31 Troy turnovers, knocking down 16 second-chance points, and recording 18 steals.

“I love that number (of turnovers),” Lewis-Jay said to FAUSports. “We talked about how we were lacking forcing turnovers in our two road games last week. We were able to force many turnovers in our half-court defense.”

FAU went to halftime leading 40-32, and the combined efforts of Dempsey, Miller, and Smith allowed them to cruise to victory.

With their second win over Troy in as many meetings this year, the Owls improved to 9-7 overall and 6-2 in the conference.

FAU plays North Texas at The Burrow on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m.