Racking up the most wins since moving to the DI level, the Owls concluded the 2010-11 regular season with a 74-64 victory over South Alabama on Sunday evening at the Mitchell Center.
“We got 21 wins and that’s a lot to be proud about”, said Coach Mike Jarvis. “I don’t know if there is any coach in the country that wouldn’t be happy.”
Brett Royster, who was stellar in the season’s first meeting, was the same once again pouring in team high 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and adding seven rebounds and two blocks.
“It’s unfortunate they didn’t red-shirt him his first year because you would be starting to see just the beginning of the tip of that iceberg”, Jarvis said.
Florida Atlantic (21-9, 13-3) went deep into the bench in the first half, leading by double digits twice until the Jaguars cut the margin slightly to trail 32-26 at intermission.
Down by 12 points in the second period, the Jaguars (12-15, 6-10) would use a 9-0 run to make a game of things, and pull within a single digit at 52-51 with 8:27 to play.
But that would be as close to a lead as they would get, with the Owls immediately answering with a run of their own and eventually extending the margin back to double digits once again.
“We’re starting to play a little smarter. Plus we played a little defense at the end to go along with it”, said Jarvis.
This showed as the Owls forced seven steals, and turned the ball over just nine times throughout the entire contest.
Guard Greg Gantt pitched in 14 points for FAU, and Alex Tucker’s 12 points helped the Owls’ reserves outmatch their counterpart 27-6 off the bench.
Augustine Rubit registered a game high 19 points, and 12 rebounds for South Alabama in the loss.
FAU next heads to Hot Springs for the 2011 Sun Belt Tournament. The Owls will enjoy a bye on day one, and face the winner of game two on Sunday, March 6th at 7:30 p.m.