Gators Outmuscle Owls; Jarvis Pleased with Effort
The Owls battled hard against the #16 Gators until foul trouble played its hand in a 79-66 loss tonight at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
“We basically played as hard as we could for forty (minutes)”, said head coach Mike Jarvis afterwards. “I think the team is going to continue to improve, and a game like tonight should help us a lot.”
Coming into the game, Florida Atlantic (3-3) knew it had to have a big performance from its frontcourt and saw glimpses of that in Kore White’s 12 points, and five rebounds.
But he joined Brett Royster with his fifth foul with just under 5:00 minutes to play, leaving the Owls to finish wounded, as Florida pulled away down the stretch.
Royster tallied just four points and two rebounds as the Gators (4-1) outmuscled FAU 45-30 on the glass, and enjoyed a 36-18 scoring advantage in the paint.
Coming out in a full court press, UF appeared to rattle the Owls early on, but they would soon settle in matching the host toe-to-toe before taking a 32-31 lead as Royster slammed it home at the 2:07 mark of the first period.
“A game like this is like a middleweight going up against a heavyweight, what you want to do is let them know you came to play, and I think our guys did that”, Jarvis said.
Ray Taylor, who connected on just 1-of-8 shots in the first period, kept the Owls within reach in the second, going 5-of-6 to finish in double figures (13) for the first time this year.
Down by double digits, Taylor made back to back baskets and took a charge to put FAU within six at 57-51 with 6:06 remaining.
That would be as close as they would get.
Florida Atlantic saw five players in double figures, including Gainesville natives Greg Gantt (17), and Dennis Mavin (10).
“They played tough…maybe if they were a little bit taller they’d be playing at Florida”, said Jarvis. “So, it’s kind of good that they’re not.”
Kenny Boynton led all scorers with 21 points for the Gators.
FAU next takes on George Mason in the second of a tough three game non-conference road stretch this Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
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