FAU Slams Home 76-72 Victory Over Louisiana
Florida Atlantic (13-12, 9-5) snapped a two game losing streak tonight while slipping past Louisiana-Lafayette (11-13, 8-5) in a 76-72 photo finish at FAU Arena.
The Owls, who saw five players post in double figures, were led by Greg Gantt’s game high 23 points while Brett Royster added 16 points and a game high 11 rebounds.
FAU was without DeMonte Simpson, who is recovering from a toe injury.
Hot early, FAU sprinted out to a 9-2 lead less than two minutes into the contest. This prompted a time out from UL bench which resulted in an immediate counter run of 7-0 by the Ragin Cajuns to knot it up at 9-9.
FAU was 5-9 from beyond the three point line during the first period and amassed its largest lead at 15 points before leading at the break 47-35.
Behind a strong defensive effort during the second frame the Cajuns were not done, and took a 69-68 lead with 1:54 remaining.
But Sanchez Hughley then scored two straight baskets, one of which came off a break away steal, to give FAU a 72-69 lead with 1:09 to play until a three by Randell Daigle tied it up.
Hughley then scored his third straight basket to seal it for FAU.
"Coach (Jarvis) said 'I am going to you, do you want the ball?' and I said yes”, said Hughley.
After calling a timeout the Cajuns looked to tie the game with a three, but were denied an attempt by a stingy Owl’s defense and turned it over underneath the basket with 3.7 remaining.
“We try to prepare for situations like this. Everybody has to become a perimeter defender, and everybody has to switch. When it works, it leads to things like steals and makes all the difference in the world”, Mike Jarvis said.
Royster then took a three-quarter court pass from Hughley on the ensuing inbounds play to slam home the victory.
“He (Hughley) keeps reminding me he was a quarterback in high school. He’s thrown two passes this year, and both have been for touchdowns. Pretty good percentage”, said Jarvis.
Jarvis said the team will get Saturday and Sunday off after a light work out and game film study tomorrow.
“It’s better to do it off of a win, so they think they are getting a reward, but we need that. Sanchez probably more than anybody.”
After the break, the Owls will hit the road to take on rival FIU (13-11, 9-4) next Thursday at 8:00 p.m.