Women’s Basketball: Owls fall to Western Kentucky 72-69 in overtime thriller

This marks the team’s fifth consecutive loss, and 11th over the last 12 contests.


Eston Parker III

Photo of Rita Pleskevich driving towards the basket against Western Kentucky on Feb. 10, 2022.

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi, Contributing Writer

FAU women’s basketball (5-18, 1-11 C-USA) suffered a heartbreaking 72-69 defeat in overtime against the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Hilltoppers (16-7, 9-3 C-USA) Thursday evening at the Burrow at Abessinio Court.

“We weren’t able to close it out [at] the end of regulation,” head coach Jennifer Sullivan said. “I thought box outs hurt us late and crash the boards. We will regroup, but I think we have shown that we can compete with anyone in our league, so we’ll just get back to practicing and trying to finish games.”

Junior guard Kynadi Kuykendoll opened up the scoring with a mid-range shot in the Owls’ second possession. Redshirt senior guard Rita Pleskevich scored seven of the team’s first 11 points.

The Owls led 25-17 at halftime. Pleskevich stole the show, scoring 12 points in the quarter and keeping the pressure up against WKU. At that point, she was outscoring the Hilltoppers 19-17.

Still holding the lead in the third quarter at 45-41, FAU put up a strong fight against the Hilltoppers, with each team scoring after almost each possession change. Keeping the intensity high brought the game to overtime tied at 65 apiece.

Pleskevich matched her season-high stats with 21 points and nine total rebounds. Junior guard Alexa Zaph also had a great performance, scoring 21 points with seven defensive rebounds. They were the only two players with 10 points or more.

FAU dominated the game in terms of statistics, shooting 43.4% in field goals, 31.3% from three, and 81.1% in free throws. For Western Kentucky, the team shot 32.9% from the field, 20% from behind the arc, and 56.3% at the stripe.

The Owls did well defensively, totaling 30 defensive rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers had 21 defensive boards, 14 steals, and two blocks.

The Owls will travel to Denton, Texas on Thursday, Feb. 17, for a matchup with the University of North Texas at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on C-USA TV. 

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi is a contributing writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @mattaguilarUP.