Women’s basketball: Owls take down FIU 76-66 to complete season sweep

The Owls’ bench provided 30 points to recover from back-to-back losses.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Sofia Galeron looks to take a shot against Kennesaw State on Dec. 2, 2022.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU women’s basketball (10-4, 3-2 C-USA) regrouped from back-to-back losses with a 76-66 victory over the Florida International University (FAU) Panthers (8-6, 3-2 C-USA) Wednesday night at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fla.

The win completes the season sweep over FIU for the Owls, following their 70-60 victory over the Panthers in December 2022, and moves the all-time record between the programs to 37-17, currently in favor of FIU. 

Really proud of this group,” said head coach Jennifer Sullivan, who’s career record against FIU is now 2-3. “Proud by contributions across the board, our bench was huge tonight, and excited about the place we’re in.”

Freshman guard Aniya Hubbard, who has been on fire as of recently averaging 19 points in the Owls’ last five contests, got in rhythm early on. After missing her first attempt from the floor, Hubbard scored on two of FAU’s first four possessions which kept the Panther’s early lead at one. 

Hubbard scored again two minutes later after grabbing a steal and taking it all the way to the other end of the floor for a layup, taking a 10-9 lead for FAU. 

The Owls’ solid shooting in the first quarter, 52.9% from the field, left them with a 19-16 lead which they continued to build upon in the second quarter. 

With 6:05 left in the second quarter, senior guard Alexa Zaph sank her only three-pointer of the night which left the FAU ahead by seven—their largest lead of the night to that point. Hubbard extended that lead to nine with 1:48 remaining by drawing a foul and making one-of-two free-throw attempts. 

Both teams failed to score after Hubbard’s foul shots, leaving the score at 33-24 going into halftime. As a team, FAU shot 42.4% from the field and 20% from three-point range.

A solid contribution of 11 points from their bench in the third quarter allowed the Owls to further extend their lead in the second half. Redshirt freshman guard Joiya Maddox, who added 15 points off the bench, made three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push FAU’s lead to 46-30 with 4:34 left to play in the third quarter. 

After FAU began the fourth quarter with a 54-39 lead, the Panthers mounted a 13-2 scoring run to start the quarter, which dwindled the Owls’ lead to just five points with just under six minutes to play. 

The Owls quickly responded, as graduate forward Sofia Galeron made her fourth shot from deep on the night, pushing their lead back out to nine. 

FAU held strong on defense in the closing minutes. The Owls held the Panthers scoreless on five of their eight possessions in the final two minutes of regulation to hang on for the victory. 

FIU was really rolling coming into this game, and for us to execute the game plan at a high level and finish through adversity was really big,” Sullivan noted.

The Owls will now prepare to travel to Denton, Texas, taking on the University of North Texas Mean Green (4-11, 1-4 C-USA) on Saturday, Jan. 14. The game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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