Women’s Basketball: Ali Gorrell and Melinda Myers lead Owls in 74-52 win over Keiser

Team registers back-to-back 20 point quarters in second half after slow start


Senior guard Morgan Robinson (10) shoots an uncontested jump shot and scores during the first quarter of the Owls 71-67 win over Milwaukee on Nov. 24. Mohammed Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Brendan Feeney, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic women’s basketball struggled early during its Sunday matchup against the Keiser University Seahawks, but used a strong third quarter to earn its fifth win of the season 74-52.

The Owls (5-1) got off to a slow start offensively, shooting 6-of-16 from the floor while only making 2-of-9 three-point attempts, helping Keiser (3-5) jump out an early 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Head women’s basketball coach Kellie Lewis-Jay decided to make a move, taking out three starters — senior Ali Gorrell, junior Kat Wright and sophomore Nika Zyryanova — only three and a half minutes into the game.

“We weren’t mentally focused; weren’t ready to play,” said Gorrell. “As soon as our defense was able to pick it up, we got everything going. It was just that mental lapse [to start the game].”

After being able to take a five-point lead by halftime, the Owls opened up the third quarter on a 13-2 run, ultimately outscoring the Seahawks 20-8 in the quarter.

The Owls were primarily able to stay in the game early on thanks in part to the play of sophomore forwards Melinda Myers and Sasha Cedeno.

Myers and Cedeno were a part of the bench unit which combined to score 29 points in the game for FAU.

Being able to depend on the bench’s production is huge, according to Gorrell.

“When something’s not working on the court, you know you have sparks on the bench who can come in and make a difference,” she said.

Myers finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

“Melinda is someone who has earned a starting spot,” said Lewis-Jay. “But I do like her coming off the bench. She provides an energy, a spark for us.”

Immediately after returning to the game after her short first quarter break, Gorrell nailed a three-point shot and added an offensive rebound leading to an and-one for the Owls.

“Ali is going to get her points,” said Lewis-Jay. “She is a scorer for us and we know we’re going to rely on her a lot, as the season progresses, to continue to have that role.”

Gorrell finished with 15 points and seven assists. She has scored double-digit points in every game so far this season.

FAU finished the game making only six of their 24 three-point shots.

“I don’t think we shot the ball well,” said Lewis-Jay. “I think for us, it’s maturing as a team and understanding what a good shot is, what a bad shot is. We want to take three’s. That’s who we are, it’s what we’re about.”

Wright added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Owls.

Keiser junior guard Courtney Murphy made six three-pointers for the Seahawks, who only had seven available players. She finished with a game-high 22 points.

The Owls will travel to Kansas next weekend to play Kansas State on Sunday, Dec. 13.

“Being intense and physical with [Kansas State],” will be this week’s focus for the Owls leading up to the matchup,” said Gorrell. “Then we can definitely get a road win.”

Brendan Feeney is a contributing writer for the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.