Lady Owls suffer 60-43 blowout loss to Arkansas-Little Rock

Zack Kelberman

Guard Latavia Dempsey rushes the basket during the first half. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Guard Latavia Dempsey rushes the basket during the first half. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Exactly one month after the Lady Owls were blown out by Arkansas-Little Rock, 77-45, history has repeated itself.

In a game dominated by the Trojans’ defense, FAU (12-15 overall, 9-10 in Sun Belt Conference play) suffered a 60-43 loss to UALR on Saturday afternoon at The Burrow.

FAU guard Breana Turner led the team with 15 points, and was the only Owl to reach the double-digit scoring mark.

She wasn’t pleased with the team’s overall performance, especially in the first half.

“We just didn’t come out hard,” Turner said. “We came out sluggish in the first half and dug ourselves into too far of a hole.”

The hole Turner is referring to would be the Owls’ 36-17 halftime deficit. In the first 20 minutes of play, the team connected on just six of 27 shots (22 percent).

Guard Takia Brooks reaches for the rebound after a missed Owl shot. FAU entered halftime down by 19. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Guard Takia Brooks reaches for the rebound after a missed Owl shot. FAU entered halftime down by 19. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
“We just weren’t knocking down the shots we were supposed to knock down,” Turner said. “I think that was our biggest problem.”

FAU head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay agreed, saying her squad played much better in the second half (26 points).

“A tale of two halves,” Lewis-Jay said. “We seemed to have had that lately. Second half, we played the way I want us to play, every single game, every single possession. That might have been our best defensive effort of the year in that second half.”

After UALR drained 68 percent of its first half shots, FAU held them to 39 percent from the field (9-23) in the second half.

The Owls attempted to rally, cutting the Trojans’ lead to eight with 10 minutes remaining. They couldn’t get any closer, however, as the meager first half production proved to be too much of a fault.

FAU biggest (and only) lead — two points — came less than four minutes into the contest.

“We got to figure out a way to get us started a little stronger,” Lewis-Jay said. “We have two guaranteed games left, and we have to do that.”

Nine minutes into the second half, guard Ashley Stevenson supplies heavy defense to a UALR player. The Owls lost to the Trojans 60-43. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Nine minutes into the second half, guard Ashley Stevenson supplies heavy defense to a UALR player. The Owls lost to the Trojans 60-43. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Aside from Turner, the Lady Owls found points hard to come by. The second-leading scorer was guard Kimberly Smith, who had seven. Their bench contributed with just 11.

Heading into the regular season finale, Lewis-Jay implored the Owls’ starters to step up.

“One of the responsibilities as a starter is you have to get the team going and set a tone,” Lewis-Jay said. “The last three games we’ve come out not ready to go. That responsibility falls on those five to set the tone from the tip.”

FAU plays FIU at The Burrow on Saturday, March 2 at 3 p.m.