Women’s Basketball Preview: Owls Travel up the East Coast To Visit Old Dominion and Charlotte

All three teams are tied in Conference USA with a 3-4 record


UTEP guard Jenzel Nash (24) steals a pass intended for Owls’ guard Danneal Ford (00) on Jan 21. Nash was the highest scoring Miner with a total of 17 points during the 78-66 FAU loss. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Chris Libreros, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic women’s basketball is headed on the road this week to take on the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs and the Charlotte 49ers.

FAU (11-7, 3-4 C-USA) is coming off its first win in five games after a 64-51 home win over the UTSA Roadrunners this past Saturday, snapping a season-long, four-game losing streak.

Here’s what you need to know for both upcoming matchups:

Old Dominion

Despite recently becoming the fourth program to reach 1,000 wins, the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (7-12, 3-4 C-USA) are looking to bounce back after dropping two straight games, both coming by way of double-digit losses against conference opponents WKU and Marshall.

Thursday’s player to watch will be FAU’s redshirt senior Ali Gorrell. Gorrell is coming off her third straight double-double after Sunday’s win against UTSA, contributing to both scoring and rebounding for the Owls.

She is also leading the team in scoring, with 16.2 points per game, landing her as one of the top 10 scorers in Conference USA. Old Dominion’s Jennie Simms, who is averaging 19.1 points per game, tops Conference USA in scoring.

The key matchup between both teams on Thursday will be the battle on the boards. Both teams are sinking toward the bottom half of the standings in Conference USA in terms of rebounding, with both FAU and Old Dominion being separated by a tenth: FAU is currently averaging 37.1 RPG, while Old Dominion is averaging 37.2 RPG.  


Charlotte (10-8, 3-4 Conference USA) will play host to the Owls during Saturday’s game. The 49ers enter the week with the second-most potent offense in Conference USA, averaging 73.4 points per game.

Most of the team’s scoring comes from its offensive efficiency, as the 49ers currently lead Conference USA in field goal percentage. However, the Owls, who only average 2.3 fewer points per game than Charlotte, lead the conference in 3-point shooting percentage.

Senior forward Alexis Alexander leads the 49ers’ balanced offensive attack, with 14.2 points per game. She is joined by three other teammates who average at least 11.9 points per game.


The X-Factor for these games is FAU junior Kat Wright, especially on the road. With Wright’s rebounding ability and her 3-point prowess capable of spreading the floor, the Owls’ offense is running at high power when she’s on the court.

With both teams heading into Thursday’s matchup looking for a fourth conference win this season, the edge that will put the Owls in position to win against Old Dominion is women’s head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay’s free-flowing offense. Because of her strategy, FAU is currently ranked in the top 20 nationwide in scoring.

Things won’t be as smooth on the road though.

Road games are often a test of a supporting cast’s ability to contribute effectively once they are removed from a place role players typically thrive in, like at home. Led by Wright, I expect the Owls’ supporting cast to play a big role in earning this victory in a grind on both ends of the court winning

Game one: FAU 72, Old Dominion 68.

After hosting the two-win Florida International University Panthers on Thursday, the 49ers should have some momentum on their side. With the two teams in the top four of conference scoring, and the bottom three in defense, expect an offensive shootout.

The difference in the game may just come down to which team is capable of putting up more shots.

Game two: FAU 82, Charlotte 74

Christopher Libreros 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.