Women’s Basketball: Owls lose final home game 73-55 to FIU

This is the team’s 10th consecutive loss, and sixth straight game scoring less than 60 points.


Eston Parker III

Photo of #4 senior guard Bre Beck (left), #30 redshirt junior forward Janeta Rozenatale (center), #1 redshirt senior guard Rita Pleskevich (right), and #15 redshirt senior forward Sofia Galeron (far right) on senior night against FIU (March, 2, 2022).

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (5-23, 1-16 C-USA) hosted their final home game of the 2021-22 season, falling 73-55 to their in-state rivals, the Florida International University (FIU) Panthers (13-15, 5-12 C-USA). FAU hosted a Senior Night ceremony prior to the game where they honored senior guards Bre Beck and Rita Pleskevich.

“I just want to applaud all [the players] who have given to this program and to this team,” said head coach Jennifer Sullivan. “Obviously, not the result we wanted. To tell the team the positives, we get to play that team again.” 

The Owls took the lead early in the first quarter with senior forward Amber Gaston’s jumper. Pleskevich, Gaston and redshirt junior Janeta Rozentale got early points on the board, scoring 10 points in total. The Panthers bounced back, equalizing it at 10 apiece by the end of the quarter. 

By halftime, the Owls trailed 34-20. FAU struggled to find the basket as they scored 10 points and gave away 24 points. Offensively, they committed 18 turnovers. 

“I think the biggest thing is defensively, we got to get stops,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve been better defensively in the past. We gotta get back to that point. So we’ll just regroup and go to the next one.”

Rozentale showed up in the second half, scoring the team’s high with 18 points and getting 11 rebounds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as three out of five FIU starters ended the game with over 10 points. 

FIU’s senior forward Kyla Nelson was arguably the best performer on the court, scoring 16 points with a 50% conversion rate from field-goal range and behind the arc, while also getting four assists and four rebounds. The Panthers had their biggest lead of the game in the fourth quarter, having a 21-point differential. 

“We’re just going to regroup,” Sullivan said. “I think it really will help our team that they have to play another opponent twice because now we don’t have to deal with adjustments for a whole new game, we’ll just have to get to work on this game.”

FAU will play FIU at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fla. on Saturday, March 5 at noon.  The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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