Women’s Basketball: Owls fall short in Conference USA tournament opener

Ali Gorrell ties career high in her final game of collegiate career

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Sophomore guard Danneal Ford (00) looks to pass the ball during the Owls’ 83-73 loss to Middle Tennessee on Feb. 6. Mohammed F Emran | Staff Photographer

Chris Libreros, Contributing Writer

The Florida Atlantic women’s basketball team kicked off its Conference USA tournament run on Tuesday — International Women’s Day — facing off against the No. 13 seed University of North Texas Mean Green.

After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, the Owls (14-16, 6-12 C-USA) nearly completed a furious comeback in the fourth quarter.

However, at the end of the tightly contested fourth quarter with six lead changes, FAU could not gain any separation against North Texas (11-18, 5-13 C-USA), coming up just short after four clutch free throws made by UNT junior guard Candice Adams sealed the elimination game, 79-74.

At the end of the first half, the Owls trailed North Texas 34-28 as FAU struggled offensively inside, only scoring two points in the paint while allowing 16 points to North Texas.

FAU’s All-Conference Second Team senior guard Ali Gorrell looked for redemption after shooting 0-for-4 and going scoreless in the first half by unleashing 30 points in the second half, tying her single game career high. The rest of her teammates combined for 16 points in the second half.

Gorrell finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

As for North Texas, the Mean Green, led by junior guard Kelsey Criner’s 16 points, saw five of the seven players in Tuesday’s rotation scoring double figures.

FAU struggled early in this game, starting off shooting 1-of-10 from the field and turning the ball over seven times in the first quarter.

Before Gorrell’s heroics in the second half, FAU managed to hang in through offensive rebounds and three-point shooting, especially from junior guard Kat Wright, who led the first half with 12 points.

North Texas will go on to face Old Dominion in round two of the Conference USA tournament.

FAU ends its season with a record of 14-16.

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