BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team (8-7, 2-2 C-USA) earned their way back into the win column Saturday afternoon following an 84-78 double overtime win over North Texas (7-9, 1-3 C-USA). The Owls forced the two overtime periods and pulled away late in the second overtime behind three Owls tallying double-doubles and four players capturing double digits in the contest.
How It Was Decided:
The Owls got things rolling off back-to-back 3-pointers captured by Juliette Gauthier to tie the game at 10 early in the game. UNT would then go on a 13-5 run to end the frame with a 23-15 lead.
The Owls outscored UNT 14-12 in the second quarter despite not having a field goal in the second quarter for the first 6:04. Lotta Vehka-Aho drove to the paint to get an 11-4 scoring run going, which was capped off by a 3-pointer also from Vehka-Aho. The Owls trailed by as many as 15 points halfway through the quarter but were able to cut the deficit, going into the locker room trailing 35-29.
UNT went cold midway through the third quarter, making 1-8 shots from the field halfway through the third. FAU took advantage of UNT’s scoring drought, outscoring the Mean Green 18-15 in the third. Astou Gaye put in a layup with 33 seconds in the quarter to pull the Owls within three points, 50-47.
The Owls trailed by six points with 4:30 left in the game, but FAU went on a 6-0 run in the final three minutes of regulation. Gauthier made a jumper with one minute left to pull the Owls within one point. Crystal Primm then got fouled, making one of two free throw shots with 12 seconds left. The Mean Green had a chance to win the game with a go-ahead bucket, but Gaye’s third block of the day sent the game into overtime with the game knotted up at 63.
UNT opened up the overtime period on a 4-0 run. The Owls would then claw their way back, as Amber Gaston knocked down two free throws to pull the Owls within two points with 1:24 left. With time winding down, the Owls were down by four points with 18 seconds left, but Primm drove through the lane to pull FAU within two. UNT had the ball with eight seconds on the clock, but a Mean Green player stepped out-of-bounds to give FAU the ball back. Eight ticks on the clock was all Vehka-Aho needed to fight her way to the basket for a layup to tie the game at 71 and send the game into a second overtime period.
The contest was tied, 76-76, once again with 1:54 left in the period, and then back-to-back jumpers sunk by Primm pulled the Owls ahead by four. With 45 seconds left in the game, the Mean Green were able to pull within two after a layup, but Abby Voss sealed the deal for the Owls, making two free throws. Nikola Ozola put the icing on the cake with a layup at the buzzer to send the Owls off with an 84-78 double overtime thrilling feat.
- Primm, Gaye and Gauthier captured double-doubles in the contest. The last time the Owls had two players with a double-double was on Dec. 15, 2017 against Georgia State
- Vehka-Aho tallied her second 20+ point game in a row. The freshman tallied 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Vehka-Aho also played all 50 minutes of the game, and has not been taken off the floor for 90 straight minutes
- Primm scored 20+ points for the second time of her career, while capturing her fourth career double-double. The guard tallied 20 points (8-13 on the field), 10 rebounds, two assists and a block
- Gaye recorded her second career double-double behind 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, while also claiming a career-high three blocks and two steals
- Gauthier logged her fifth career double-double, which is also her fourth of the season with putting in 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds
- Four different played punched in double digits in scoring for the fourth time this season
- Ozola captured seven points, three boards and three assists
- Glenisha Harkless matched a career-high two blocks
- FAU had a season-high 58 rebounds and eight blocks in the game
With Jim Jabir:
“I’m incredibly proud of our kids,” said head coach Jim Jabir. “They showed heart, never quit and worked really, really hard. It’s not pretty. Our young guys still make a lot of mistakes, but we find ways to win and I love our grit. I feel like we are getting better, and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
FAU will hit the road next week to face Middle Tennessee on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The Owls will return to Abessinio Court at RoofClaim.com arena on Thursday, Jan. 23 to face Charlotte at 7 p.m. For tickets, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit fausports.com.
– FAUSports.com –
Florida Atlantic University Athletics:
FAU Athletics is comprised of 21 intercollegiate teams involving 450 student-athletes that compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, volleyball, beach volleyball, cheer and dance. The Owls are a NCAA Division I-A (FBS) institution and compete in Conference USA and the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) (beach volleyball, men’s swimming). The Owls have been playing football since 2001 and are a perfect 3-0 in bowl games, the most recent being a 50-3 victory over Akron in the 2017 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. The dance team finished its 2014 season No. 8, nationally. FAU cheer won a national championship in 2016.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.