Women’s Basketball: Owls fall to Western Kentucky 76-66

Suffering their first home loss this season, the Owls have now lost four of their last five games.


Nicholas Windfelder

Ajalon Gillard makes way to the center to work on FAU’s next play in the second quarter.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (10-6, 3-4 C-USA) fell 76-66 against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (WKU) (8-8, 5-2 C-USA) on Monday night, despite a strong effort in the second half.

“Disappointing outcome tonight because I thought we had a chance to win it,” said head coach Jennifer Sullivan.

After a strong start, the Owls ran into issues turning the ball over late in the first quarter. WKU was quick to take advantage, scoring 14 points off turnovers to take a 13-point lead heading into the second quarter.

With 3:49 left in the first half, Hilltoppers’ freshman guard Alexis Mead sank a three-pointer, pushing WKU’s lead to 18, the largest of the night.

Heading into halftime, the Owls trailed 39-22 while shooting 40% from the field and just 20% from three-point range compared to the Hilltoppers’ 55% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Alexa Zaph led the Owls in scoring at halftime with seven points. Meanwhile, Mead led the Hilltoppers with 13 points going into the second half. 

As much as FAU fought to come back into this game, struggles on both sides of the court kept them from mounting a comeback.

A high-intensity start to the third quarter brought the Owls back to life. FAU went on a 17-0 run, forcing eight turnovers in the process.

FAU outscored the Hilltoppers 30-18 in the third quarter, cutting the lead to five with one quarter to play. 

“I was proud of their fight in the third quarter,” said Sullivan. “That was our best performance in a quarter against a C-USA team, and for just being really aggressive in the second half.”

Despite a valiant effort in the second half, the Owls were unable to complete the comeback. WKU outscored the Owls 19-14 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

 FAU shot 45.3% from the field and 25% from behind the arc, and out-rebounded the Hilltoppers 30-28. Junior guard Jada Moore led the team with a career-high 17 points, seven rebounds, and an assist, while graduate forward Sofia Galeron chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds.

“Disappointed with the first half start, kind of seeing that same half at North Texas,” added Sullivan. “But just really proud of this team’s fight and having the opportunity to win after being down by as many as we were.”

The Owls’ next game will stay in Boca Raton, taking on the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners (UTSA) (4-12, 2-5 C-USA) on Thursday, Jan 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena 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]