Women’s basketball: FAU beats Jackson State in first game of 2016 holiday tournament

The Owls have a three-game winning streak in their annual tournament.

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Freshman Katelyn O'Reilly scored 12 points in the Owls win over Jackson State on Friday. Jon Bryant | Contributing Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic women’s basketball snapped its four-game losing streak with a 67-58 victory over Jackson State in the first round of the 2016 FAU Holiday Tournament on Friday.

The Owls (4-6) held the Tigers (4-4) to 31 percent shooting in the game and were able to limit them to minimal attempts, out-rebounding Jackson State 53-36. On the offensive end, the Owls tossed the ball from side-to-side, in both a good and bad way.

Eleven of the 12 Owls recorded at least one assist in the ballgame. Freshman Katelyn O’Reilly was a benefactor of the ball movement, scoring 12 points — tying her career high — for the fourth time this season.

“It’s really fun to get the whole team going,” O’Reilly said. “I’m sure that one person probably just didn’t get the credit, but it’s fun getting out there on the court with everyone.”

Junior Melinda Myers also benefitted from the passing with a team-high of 13 points.

As head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay noted after the game, while the Owls kept moving the ball, they didn’t always move it to the right team and turned it over 22 times. FAU also struggled from the free-throw line, making only three out of ten foul shots.

“There are things we have to clean up,” Lewis-Jay said, referring to the turnovers and missed foul shots. “Like I told them in the locker room, ‘I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, and not tell you the things we have to improve on … it’s just going to get harder and we have to clean up those things.’”

The Owls will have roughly 24 hours to clean up as much as they can before playing the winner of the St. Francis versus Maryland Eastern Shore game in Saturday night’s FAU Holiday Tournament championship game, where they will be looking to win the championship for the second consecutive year.

FAU defeated Bethune-Cookman University and Miami University of Ohio on its way to winning the 2015 tournament.

This year’s championship will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, inside FAU Arena.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.