Women’s Basketball: Owls start conference play with a 66-51 defeat to Marshall

With the loss, FAU’s losing streak extends to three.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Alexa Zaph (#34) had seven points, four assists, and three rebounds in the loss to Marshall on Jan. 8, 2022.

Richard Pereira, Business Manager

FAU women’s basketball (4-8, 0-1 C-USA) began Conference USA play in the Burrow at Abessinio Court Saturday afternoon, losing 66-51 to the Marshall Thundering Herd (8-4, 3-0 C-USA).

It was a defensive battle between the two teams to start the game. Each side scored 12 points as FAU had eight turnovers compared to just five assists, showing their rustiness in handling the ball against the Thundering Herd.

The difficulty to make shots continued in the second quarter. While FAU outscored Marshall 14-11, both sides missed a total of 20 shots out of 28 taken, including some that didn’t even touch the rim.

Most noteworthy from the Owls was their perimeter defense. They only conceded one three-pointer out of eight attempts from Marshall, which equates to a percentage of 12.5%. Its significance shows even more with the Owls making six of their 15 shots from three-point range, resulting in an accuracy of 40%.

Defense remained the theme of the match to start the second half. Even though FAU made Marshall shoot at a struggling rate of 26.3%, the Thundering Herd used the offensive rebounding department to their advantage, winning the battle 7-1 in the third quarter to keep the score close.

After missing many shots all game, Marshall found its groove in the fourth quarter. The team went on a 10-3 run to go up 47-41 with 6:20 remaining, including back-to-back three-pointers from senior guard Brianah Ferby.

The Owls couldn’t contain the scoring barrage the Thundering Herd hurled at them, conceding two more threes as defeat closed in.

“We just got [to] finish our shots. I thought we had some opportunities, we stopped getting to the free-throw line, and [Marshall’s] physicality threw us off,” head coach Jennifer Sullivan said. “It’s our first conference game and they got a couple under their belt, and I don’t say that to make an excuse; it was a good wakeup call for our kids to wake up to the physicality.”

Senior forwards Amber Gaston and Sofia Galeron had the most points for the Owls with 10 points each. Redshirt senior guard Rita Pleskevich came after with nine points, redshirt junior forward Janeta Rozentale got eight points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Alexa Zaph finished with seven points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Marshall had two 20-point scorers in the win: guards Savannah Wheeler and Ferby. Wheeler had a game-high 24 points on 8-19 shooting and Ferby turned in 20 points alongside three rebounds. 

The Owls will continue their three-game homestand as they take on Middle Tennessee on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

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