It was game they should have won, and could have won.
However, a season low 31.1% from the floor, combined with the fatigue of playing catch-up, proved too much to overcome as American outlasted FAU 82-72 in Boca Raton on Saturday afternoon.
“We just came out flat and didn’t expect them to be that good”, said guard Dennis Mavin. “They hit shots, and got a lot of momentum at the end of the game.”
Florida Atlantic (3-2) shot a season low 30 points in the first period, while American (4-0) posted a season high 47 thanks to Troy Brewer’s 4-of-4 performance from long distance.
“We were supposed to win today, I’m surprised”, said Owls coach Mike Jarvis. “We just aren’t getting it done inside; we’re getting the ball around the basket and we have to score.”
Brett Royster finished with 10 points, but was 1-of-5 from the floor, and had just five rebounds. Kore White fared better at 6-of-14 for 13 points, with eight grabs.
After leading 6-4 early in the first half, the Owls allowed a 16-2 run by the Eagles which set the tone for the remainder of the first period, and a 47-30 American advantage at halftime.
“We got stops, and some easy buckets in transition”, said American guard Simon McCormack. “That was helping our scoring, and helped us get a lead.”
However, down by a game high 22 points in the second half, a White jumper sparked a 19-4 Owls run that made the score 58-51 with just over 8:00 remaining. He had seven points in the stint.
Florida Atlantic would eventually pull to within one at 68-69 with 3:22 to play, but couldn’t get over the hump to either tie, or go ahead.
The Owls did not score in the last 1:33 of the game, as American completed two lay-ups and five free throws to push the lead back to double digits at games end.
“At the very end of the game were victims of fatigue, but we lost with the guys who gave us a chance to win”, Jarvis said.
Ray Taylor’s woes continue as the normally reliable guard posted just two points for the second straight game on 1-of-8 shooting.
Free throw shooting was a bright spot, as FAU converted 29-of-36 attempts from the line.
The Owls next hit the road for a three game stint, beginning with the Florida Gators on Tuesday at 7:00. The game will air on Sun Sports.