Florida Atlantic Uses Late Free Throws to Outlast Seahawks, 84-80

By / Local Sports / الأربعاء, 31 كانون1/ديسمبر 2014 05:00

BOCA RATON, Florida – Junior guard Ali Gorrell (Evergreen, Colo.) and freshman guard Lauren Williams (North Babylon H.S./North Babylon, N.Y.) each hit a pair of free throws in the final eight seconds of regulation as Florida Atlantic University (6-5) held off a strong effort from UNCW (4-6) to edge the Seahawks by an 84-80 margin at FAU Arena on Monday evening.
Playing for the first time in nine days, the Owls snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 5-1 at home this season. Meanwhile, the loss ended a two-game win streak for the Seahawks, who were playing their first road game since Nov. 22. After senior guard Kelva Atkins (Granville Central H.S./Stem, N.C.) sank a pair of free throws to tie the game at 80-80 with 27 seconds remaining, Gorrell regained a two-point edge with two free throws after being fouled with eight seconds left.
With a chance to tie the game, the Seahawks turned the ball over with 2.2 seconds remaining as Williams was fouled and made both of her free throws to seal the victory.
In a back-and-forth first half that featured six ties and 12 lead changes, the Seahawks took a 26-21 lead with 6:29 remaining on a three-point field goal by Atkins. But, a 7-0 run by the Owls gave Florida Atlantic a 28-26 edge with 5:02 left in the opening stanza.
The Seahawks answered by scoring 11 of the next 15 points to take a 37-32 lead with 1:14 remaining on a lay-up by sophomore forward Ryan Flowers (Millbrook H.S./Hickory, N.C.). However, Gorrell scored the final seven points of the first half to give Florida Atlantic a 39-37 advantage at the intermission. After the teams battled to a 55-55 draw in the first seven minutes of the second half, the Owls built a 61-56 advantage with 11:49 remaining by using a 6-1 spurt, including four points from Gorrell. However, the Seahawk scored seven straight points to take a 63-61 lead on a three-point field goal by Atkins with 9:33 remaining.
The teams battled to tie the game twice before the Owls scored four straight points to claim an 80-76 advantage with 1:37 remaining and set up the exciting finish.
Gorrell was one of three Florida Atlantic players to score at least 10 points after tallying a team-high 27 points. She made 9 of 17 shots from the floor and 9 of 11 free throws while adding seven rebounds with three assists. Sophomore guard Shaneese Bailey (University Christian H.S./Callahan, Fla.) added 12 points after making 6 of 11 field goal attempts while freshman guard Malia Kency (Briarwood Academy/ Statesboro, Ga.) posted 11 points. Atkins, who was coming off a school record-tying 40 points against Charleston Southern, tallied a game-high 37 points with three rebounds and three assists. She scored 24 of her 37 points in the second half and went 12-for-24 from the field and 10-for-12 at the free throw line. Flowers posted her second straight "double double" after scoring 15 points with a season-high 18 rebounds, including 11 offensive rebounds. Led by Flowers, the Seahawks outrebounded Florida Atlantic by an impressive 49-30 margin.
The Seahawks, who played eight of their first nine games at home, will visit Stetson University for their second consecutive road contest on Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on www.ESPN3.com


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