Women’s Basketball: Owls hold off North Texas in 66-61 win

Freshman guard Aniya Hubbard finished the night with 23 points and five steals, both season highs.


Nicholas Windfelder

Joiya Maddox looks for her opportunity to pass the ball in to her team mates against PBA on Nov. 21, 2022.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU women’s basketball returned to action Thursday night, taking down the University of North Texas Mean Green (3-8, 0-1 C-USA) 66-61 at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena in Boca Raton, Fla. 

A game like this is a really good test for us to see how we can do for 40 minutes,” said head coach Jennifer Sullivan. “Obviously both teams made a lot of runs, and to come out on the other side of it for this team was a really encouraging sign for us throughout the season.”

After the Mean Green scored the game’s first basket, graduate forward Sophia Galeron got the scoring started for the Owls with a layup off an assist from freshman guard Aniya Hubbard. Three minutes later, Hubbard capped a five-point scoring run with an easy layup in transition off of a steal, giving the Owls’ their first lead of the night. 

On the following possession, Hubbard sank her first attempt of the night from three-point range, putting the Owls ahead 10-9.

The lead went back and forth throughout the first half, with graduate forward Amber Gaston tying the score at 12 apiece 18 seconds into the second quarter. With 7:48 left, redshirt senior forward Janeta Rozentale made one-of-two attempts from the free throw line, retaking the lead for FAU at 15-14, which they held for the remainder of the first half. 

Despite an efficient first half shooting the ball, 57.1% from the field and 50% from three-point range, the Owls only led 28-27 at halftime. Hubbard led both teams in scoring at halftime with 15 points, along with three assists and a rebound. 

After the score remained close throughout the third quarter, redshirt junior guard Joiya Maddox sunk a three-pointer with seven seconds left in the quarter, leaving the Owls with a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

As the fourth quarter began, it seemed FAU was starting to pull away as Maddox converted a three-point play, extending the Owls’ lead to 12. With 3:03 left in regulation, senior guard Alexa Zaph sunk a jumpshot to push that lead to 15—the largest lead of the night. 

Despite a 15-point advantage, the Owls allowed the Mean Green to come roaring back in the final three minutes. North Texas went on a 12-point scoring run to shrink the Owls’ lead to three with 30 seconds to play. 

After a traveling call on the Mean Green left FAU with the ball, Zaph drew a foul with two seconds left and made both free throws to secure the five-point victory for the Owls. 

The Owls’ next appearance will be on the road against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (8-2, 0-1 C-USA) on Thursday, Jan. 5. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on C-USA TV. 

Cameron Priester is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron