Women’s Basketball: Owls start C-USA play 0-2, losing both games to Middle Tennessee

Shooting struggles prevented the Owls from winning their first two games of C-USA play.

Rita+Pleskevich+scored+18+points+in+Saturday%27s+game+against+Middle+Tennessee.+Photo+courtesy+of+FAU+Athletics.

Rita Pleskevich scored 18 points in Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

FAU’s women’s basketball team (2-4, 0-2 C-USA) started Conference USA play on the wrong track after losing their first two games to the Middle Tennessee Raiders (4-3, 2-0 C-USA) 84-65 on Friday, and 66-64 on Saturday.

Friday, Jan 1, 2021: Middle Tennessee 84, FAU 65

The Owls struggled to get anything going offensively, as they shot 25-75 from the field, equating to an abysmal 33.3 percent.

Due to FAU’s shooting woes, Middle Tennessee took advantage by going up as much as 22 points with 4:42 to go in the fourth quarter.

Graduate transfer guard Iggy Allen was FAU’s lone bright spot, ending the game with a team-high 24 points and 17 rebounds. Nobody besides Allen scored in double-digits for FAU.

Not only was the offense inefficient for the Owls, but their defense also couldn’t keep up with the Raiders. Four players scored in double-digits for Middle Tennessee, with redshirt junior guard Anastasia Hayes and redshirt senior guard Deja Cage being their leading scorers with 34 and 20 points respectively.

Besides shooting, Middle Tennessee beat FAU by a 57-41 margin in the rebounding department. Outside of Allen, redshirt sophomore forward Janeta Rozentale had the most rebounds for FAU with nine. 

For Middle Tennessee, sophomore forward Courtney Whitson and junior guard Alexis Whittington combined for 32 rebounds, almost as much as FAU’s rebounding total.

Saturday, Jan 2, 2021: Middle Tennessee 66, FAU 64

While the defense improved for FAU by limiting Middle Tennessee to 66 points, they couldn’t get out of their shooting slump, losing by a game-winning layup from Cage.

Unlike Friday’s game, three players scored in double-digits for the Owls, with redshirt junior guard Rita Pleskevich being their leading scorer with 18 points. Allen contributed with 17 points, with sophomore guard Alexa Zaph putting in 10 points.

Despite that, FAU was unable to shoot over 40 percent as a team, ending the game with 37 percent accuracy, which is a slight improvement from Friday’s performance but wasn’t enough to overcome Middle Tennessee’s advances.

The Raiders had two players score over 20 points, with sophomore Aislynn Hayes having 23 and Anastasia with 22. Cage, who scored the game-winner, finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

FAU’s next pair of games will be at home, as they face the Old Dominion Monarchs on Jan. 8 and 9 at 5 p.m. and 2 p.m. The first game will be broadcast on ESPN+, while the second will be on C-USA TV.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.