LUBBOCK – Florida Atlantic scored the final four points of the game from the free throw line Friday night as the Owls escaped with a 67-63 win over the Wildcats in the Texas Tech World Vision Challenge at the United Spirit Arena.
The loss is ACU's second straight as the Wildcats fall to 7-5 on the season, while Florida Atlantic improves to 7-2. The Wildcats will be back in action Saturday at 12 p.m. when it takes on Jacksonville (Fla.).
The Wildcats and Owls were tied 63-63 with less than 40 seconds to play after a tying layup by FAU's Chenise Miller when Renata Marquez missed a layup and FAU's Kimberly Smith grabbed the rebound.
With 16 seconds left, Shanequa Schrouder went to the hoop and was fouled by ACU freshman Suzzy Dimba. The ACU bench didn't like the call, believing that Dimba had gotten all ball on the block, but the argument was to no avail.
Schrouder hit a pair of free throws to put FAU in front 65-63, but ACU still had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with the last shot. But Marquez missed a layup with four seconds to play and freshman Alexis Mason fouled Takia Brooks on the rebound. Brooks then hit two free throws with three seconds to play to seal the victory.
ACU battled back from a pair of 11-point deficits and overcame a poor shooting night from 3-point range to give itself a chance to win the game. ACU trailed 22-11 in the first half and 50-39 in the second half as the Owls tried to put the game away early.
But the pesky Wildcats wouldn't go away as they battled back to take leads off 55-54, 56-54 and 63-61 late in the game, the latter coming on a jumper by Marquez with 52 seconds to play. But those would be the Wildcats' final points of the game.
ACU hit just 25 of 59 shots from the field (40.7 percent), including 5 of 16 from 3-point range (31.3 percent). The Wildcats hurt themselves with 25 turnovers in the contest.
Freshman guard Alexis Mason led the Wildcats with 18 points, while freshman forward Suzzy Dimba -- playing in her hometown -- recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman center Sydney Shelstead had 12 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats.