Women’s Basketball: Owls’ red-hot shooting leads the way in 85-65 victory over Bethune-Cookman

FAU had five players score in double-digits.


Eston Parker III

Janeta Rozentale (#30) had an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double in the win over Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 14, 2021.

Trey Avant, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (1-0) had five double-digit scorers as they defeated the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (1-2) 85-65 at home on Sunday afternoon in the Burrow at Abessinio Court.

“I thought it was a great game for us, we really wanted to focus on doing what we do well and I thought we did it better for four quarters,” head coach Jennifer Sullivan said. “I thought the last game we kind of had a little bit of a lull in the third [quarter]. We’re really proud of them and we got a really big week coming up so I think that’s a good exclamation point as we head into a big week.”

Both teams got off to a sluggish start in the first half. FAU shot 29.6% from the field and had eight turnovers, while B-CU shot 30.8% from the field and committed 13 fouls. 

FAU junior forward Janeta Rozentale took full advantage of the Wildcats’ defensive lapses and finished the first half with an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double. She also shot 7-8 from the free-throw line. 

“She was great. I thought [the Wildcats] were really aggressive defensively, they kept sending us to the line and she did a great job taking advantage of that,” Sullivan said.

As a team, the Owls dominated the boards with 30 rebounds compared to just 19 for the Wildcats. They also scored eight points off second-chance opportunities. 

The second half saw both teams shoot the ball much better, but FAU went absolutely unconscious, shooting a blistering 72% from the field and 70% from three. A fast pace and a nasty zone defense seemed to be what broke the game open for the Owls. 

FAU scored 12 fastbreak points during the game and got its shooters into space to knock down open jumpers.

Bethune-Cookman’s junior guard Morgan Beacham tried to will the team back into the game but FAU’s lights-out shooting became too much for her to overcome. Beacham led all scorers with 22 points. She also had five rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

Junior guard Alexa Zaph played aggressively from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer. Zaph led FAU in scoring with 19 points and six rebounds while shooting 7-8 from the free-throw line but her aggressiveness did lead her to eight turnovers.

“I think [Zaph’s] been so great for us in transition, trying to make plays, being really aggressive, reading what the defense gives her but she just gives us a spark and she never gets tired, which is great,” Sullivan said. It’s going to always keep the defense on its heels and she’s another scoring option so people have to sag off other people to cover her, which opens other people up, so she did a great job.”

Rozentale continued her first half dominance and finished the game with 18 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. She also made the most of her opportunities at the free-throw line, shooting 9-10.

Senior guard Rita Pleskevich recorded 14 points on 50% shooting from the field and five rebounds. Senior forward Amber Gaston, the team’s leading scorer heading into today’s game, finished the game shooting 4-4 from the field for 10 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior forward Sofia Galeron was the team’s final double-digit scorer as she finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. 

As a team, FAU finished the game shooting a red-hot 50% from the field and 50% from three.

The Owls will travel to Coral Gables to play the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.

Trey Avant is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @TreyAvant3.