Women’s Basketball: Owls unable to handle UAB in 82-65 home defeat

The absence of two key players resulted in a crushing defeat for the Owls.


Eston Parker III

Kynadi Kuykendoll drives into the lane against UAB on January 15, 2022. Kuykendoll finished the game with six points

Eston Parker III, Lead Photographer

The woes of FAU women’s basketball (4-10, 0-3 C-USA) woes continued Saturday afternoon following their loss to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (10-5, 3-1 C-USA), extending the Owls’ losing streak to five.

It was a rough day from the beginning for the Owls as UAB took command of the game by severely limiting FAU offensively. The Owls shot 27.8% from the field in the first quarter, managing only 11 points by the end of the quarter.

Beyond FAU’s offensive struggles, their interior defense also felt the absence of senior forward Amber Gaston, who’s currently out indefinitely due to a head injury she sustained in Thursday’s game against Middle Tennessee. UAB’s 10 points in the paint led the way for its 17-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, being a precursor of what was to come.

The Owls made a strong response towards the end of the second quarter, chipping away at UAB’s lead and then eventually getting a slight 29-26 lead with just over three minutes left via redshirt senior forward Sofia Galeron’s second three-point shot of the quarter. Unfortunately for FAU, they lost the lead shortly after, only being down 33-31 entering halftime. 

The Owls were effective in the second quarter, shooting 47% from the field including making three of seven three-point shots. In addition, the Owls stepped up defensively and scored 11 points off turnovers in the quarter.

While FAU seemed to be gathering the bulk of momentum going into the second half, UAB also improved their shooting from 44.4% to 58.3% in the second quarter. They also continued to dominate the paint, scoring 12 of their 16 points in the quarter within the interior.

UAB blazed the Owls in the third quarter, as UAB’s senior center Zakyia Weathersby led the way with eight points and four rebounds. By the halfway mark of the quarter, the Blazers kept their lead within 10 to 13 points and continued to put relentless pressure on the Owls.

It was a visually frustrating quarter for the Owls on both ends on the court, as they shot an abysmal 28.6% while UAB shot 64.7%. UAB also dominated FAU in the rebounding department, snagging 13 rebounds compared to FAU’s four.

Things looked bleak for FAU entering the fourth quarter, but they made steady progress in the first three minutes of the final quarter. However, after reducing their deficit to six points with just under seven minutes remaining, the Blazers responded by overwhelming the Owls once again.

The Blazers’ combination of physicality and a responsive defense proved to be too much for FAU to handle, as the Blazers cruised through the last few minutes towards an 82-65 victory.

Despite the Owls scoring more than they did in their previous two games, their margin of defeat is their worst so far this season.

Not only was Gaston unavailable, but Redshirt sophomore Kimia Carter was also out against UAB. Two sources close to her stated that she has entered the transfer portal. 

The Owls have a quick turnaround after Saturday’s loss as they travel to Norfolk, Va. to square off against Old Dominion on Monday, Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

Eston Parker III is the lead photographer for the University Press. For more regarding this story and others, email him [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @estonparker.