Women’s Basketball: Owls outlast conference rival UAB 80-75

Thursday’s victory snapped a three-game losing streak the Owls were on.


Nicholas Windfelder

Dyllan Hanna goes for a layup shot against UTSA during the second quarter on Jan. 19, 2023.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

FAU women’s basketball (12-9, 5-7 C-USA) bounced back from back-to-back losses with an 80-75 victory over the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (10-11, 2-10 C-USA) Thursday night at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena in Boca Raton, Fla.

“Just really proud of our execution across the board, so for us, we were really locked into playing well,” said head coach Jennifer Sullivan. “I thought we shot the ball well from the free throw line and got to the free throw line. We did a good job offensively, the flow that we wanted to play and the way we wanted to compete.”

A forced turnover by senior guard Alexa Zaph, which she took down the floor for a layup, gave the Owls an early 2-0 lead. Despite a fast-paced start, FAU’s forced shots let UAB take the lead late in the first quarter.

With 1:45 left in the first, freshman guard Ajalon Gillard sank a three with an assist from Zaph to bring the Blazers’ lead down to two. However, as time expired senior guard Margaret Whitley returned the favor, pushing their lead back to five.

A second chance put back by Gaston and a forced turnover by Moore, allowed the Owls to get back into the game. Gaston drew a charge resulting in a pair of free throws, which brought the Blazers’ lead down to two and continued the momentum for the Owls.

To close out the second quarter, the Owls went on an 8-0 scoring run, which briefly gave them the lead, but it was not for long as UAB quickly responded with a make from deep. Heading into halftime, the Blazers led 28-26.

At halftime, FAU was shooting 37.9% from the field and 25% from three-point range, compared to the Blazers’ respective 40% and 28.6%. Freshman guard Aniya Hubbard led the Owls in scoring at halftime with 10 points and four rebounds. 

“I give it all I got, whether it’s talking, doing whatever I need to do. I just know that I can execute at a high level and I try to do that every time I step on the court,” Hubbard said.

Keeping that same intensity from the first half, the game remained a tightly contested affair in the third quarter. FAU knocked down five of their last six attempts from the floor to end the third quarter, resulting in a 50-50 tie heading into the final period.

FAU sealed the game with their stellar fourth-quarter performance. The Owls went on a 13-point scoring run to start the fourth quarter and by the six minute mark had taken their largest lead of the night at 12 points.. 

Despite a late comeback attempt by the Blazers, FAU was able to hold on for the five-point victory. Hubbard dominated the fourth quarter, leading the Owls to victory with a career-high of 28 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

The Owls’ next game will stay in Boca Raton, taking on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (9-11, 5-6) on Saturday, Feb., 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 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].