Women’s Basketball: Owls fall 63-48 to No. 23 Middle Tennessee on the road

After Thursday’s loss, FAU has now lost six of its last eight contests.


Erika Fletcher

Dyllan Hanna ducks under defenders to score on Jan. 19th 2023.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

FAU women’s basketball (11-8, 4-6 C-USA) fell 63-48 to the #23 Middle Tennessee State University Lady Raiders (MTSU) (17-2, 10-0 C-USA) on Thursday night, despite a solid third quarter.

Middle Tennessee quickly got off to a hot start, knocking down a three-pointer 17 seconds into the game. The Owls quickly responded with a second chance layup by redshirt senior forward Janeta Rozentale.

The Lady Raiders held strong on the defensive end early on, allowing the Owls only seven points in the first quarter. The Owls struggled to find momentum on both ends of the floor, conceding 13 turnovers in the first half alone.

After heading into the second quarter already up by 15, MTSU continued to extend their lead before halftime. A 10-2 scoring run by the Lady Raiders in the final three minutes of the first half left them with their largest lead of the night at 27 points. 

Heading into halftime, FAU trailed 38-14 after a dominant first half by the Lady Raiders. 

In the first half, the Owls shot just 20.8% from the field and 12.5% from three-point range, compared to the Blue Raiders’ respective 40% and 21.4% behind the arc. 

To start the third quarter, FAU finally found a rhythm offensively, knocking down six of their first seven attempts from the floor in the first half, despite Middle Tennessee continuing their dominant momentum going into the third quarter.

The Owls ended a strong third quarter with an 11-1 run that shrunk the Lady Raider’s lead to eight—the smallest that lead had been since 5:02 in the first quarter left. 

After the third quarter where the Lady Raiders looked flat and were outscored by the Owls 23-11, their lead had been shrank to 12.

FAU kept the same pressure throughout the fourth quarter, as junior guard Joiya Maddox continued her stellar performance off the bench with a jump shot that cut the lead to 13.

However, the first half lead was too much for FAU to overcome as they eventually fell by 15 for the Lady Raiders’ 15th consecutive win and the Owls’ fourth loss in five games. 

FAU shot 38.8% from the field and 27.3% from behind the arc, and out-rebounded the Blue Raiders 38-31 in the loss. 

Maddox led the team with 14 points and three rebounds, while graduate forward Amber Gaston chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.

Defensively, the Owls struggled to protect the paint as they allowed redshirt senior forward Kseniya Malashka a game-high 25 points, three rebounds, and an assist.

The Owls’ next game continues on the road in Western Kentucky, taking on the Hilltoppers (9-9, 6-3 C-USA) on Saturday, Jan 28. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. and will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

Gianna Alberti is a staff writer at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected].