Back in the Win Column
Greg Gantt poured in a game high 24 points as Florida Atlantic (6-9, 2-2) cruised to a 83-69 victory over Troy University (8-7, 3-1) tonight at FAU Arena.
Sanchez Hughley added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls – both career highs for the junior guard.
“That was the key to the night’s victory. Sanchez was able to play so big from the four position. I’d say it was probably the best overall game we’ve played this year. And part of that had to do with the fact that we went small”, said Mike Jarvis.
Using a four guard line up Florida Atlantic established both offensive and defensive tempo early in the game; connecting on 6 of 12 first half attempts from long range, and building a 25 point lead during the period (3:02).
Jarvis placed emphasis on stopping the dribble drive this week during practice. It would be a strategy that paid dividends as the Trojans committed 18 turnovers which led to 24 points for the Owls.
FAU also posted 22 assists to just eight turnovers, which was good for a season best 2.75 to 1 ratio.
Troy tried to rally a numerous points second half - outscoring the Owls by five in the period. But FAU’s composure, and solid defensive efforts down the stretch, kept them in check.
“It’s always when they start hitting threes. I think they hit back to back threes, and it’s like ‘uh-oh here they come’. But we just dug down and got stops”, said Alex Tucker.
“I like challenges and the coaches gave me the challenge to shut down one of the best players in the conference (Brandon Hazzard). I accepted it and stepped up.”
Hazzard finished with just 11 points – well below his season average of 18.9 per contest.
With the victory FAU snaps a five game skid and matches last season’s win totals (6-26, 2-19) with14 games still remaining for the regular season schedule.
Florida Atlantic will next host Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday at FAU Arena. Tip-off time is 7:00 p.m.