Women’s Basketball Preview: Owls look to bounce back when they host Middle Tennessee and UAB this week

The team will look to end its two-game slide at home


Senior guard Morgan Robinson (10) dribbles past a UTEP defender for a layup during FAU’s 78-66 loss to the Miners on Jan. 21. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Contributing Writer

Coming off a tough week where Florida Atlantic women’s basketball went 0-2 on the road, the Owls will look to bounce back and return to their winning ways when they return home this week.

The Owls (11-9, 3-6 Conference USA) will host the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (13-7, 7-2 Conference USA) on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. and the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Blazers (10-10, 3-6 Conference USA) on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 5 p.m., looking to snap their current two-game losing streak.

FAU is coming off an 85-45 loss to Old Dominion and an 85-79 loss to Charlotte over this past week where it took a combined 78 3-pointers in both games, the most by any team this season in a two-game stretch. Of those, the Owls only made 26 percent (21-78).

Here’s what you need to know for both games:


This matchup will see the best three-point shooting team versus the best three-point defensive team in Conference USA: FAU is currently ranked first in three-point field goal percentage at 36 percent, and Middle Tennessee is ranked first in three-point field goal defense at 23 percent.

The Owls are ranked fourth in the nation and first in the conference in 3-pointers made at 10 per game, with Kat Wright being their best shooter at 43 percent.

FAU and Middle Tennessee also rank fourth and fifth in scoring in the conference, at 70 and 69.9 points respectively.

However, FAU’s defense has not been able to stay consistent this season, giving up 72.6 points per game, which is second to last in Conference USA. The team also ranks last in field goal percentage defense in the conference, allowing opponents to shoot 47 percent.

Middle Tennessee’s Brea Edwards is currently second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 18.9 points per game and 7.1 rebounds. A 5-foot-10 guard who can also play forward, Edwards is shooting 45 percent from long range this season, averaging 3.4 makes per game, ranked third in the nation.

The Owls’ leading scorer at 15.8 points per game, senior guard Ali Gorrell, was held to 12 points last game. FAU’s second leading scorer at 12.7 points per game, junior guard Kat Wright, went 11-18 from the three-point line, scoring 33 points in the loss.


The Blazers have been the worst scoring team in the conference this season so far, averaging only 56 points per game. They are currently riding a three-game losing streak, averaging only 53 points in those games.

The team’s balanced scoring is led by Deanna Kuzmanic’s 13.3 points per game, to go along with 3.2 rebounds a game.

Despite their subpar offense, the Blazers’ defense has been the best in Conference USA, only giving up 59 points per game. Their defense is anchored by their two forwards, Brittany Winborne and Kayla Anderson, who are averaging 1.6 and 1.3 blocks respectively.

Although their offense has not been the best this season, the Blazers currently rank third in Conference USA long-range shooting at 34 percent, with three players shooting at 35 percent or higher. Kuzmanic leads the team at 38 percent, averaging 2.7 makes a game.


The game versus the Blue Raiders will come down to many things but one important factor: Can FAU regain its touch from long range or will the Blue Raiders shut down the Owls from beyond the three-point arc?

FAU will look to Gorrell for scoring early in the game to attract some attention down low, hoping to open up space to let some 3-pointers fly.

The Owls will need a collective effort to slow down Edwards, but will really limit the Blue

Raiders’ offensive options if they are able to do just that. Edwards can shoot the three as well as she can get to the rim.

With Edwards also being a good rebounding guard, FAU will try to keep her off the glass in order to limit the Blue Raiders’ transition offense.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers game will be a different story however, and the Owls might be looking to shoot the three early on in the game to open up the driving lane.

With the Blazers’ twin towers down low, ball movement will be key to keep them on their toes, which plays into the Owls’ hands as they are the best team in the conference in assists, at 14.4 a game.

Hans Belot Jr. is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.