North Texas (14-8, 6-6) saw five players score in double figures en route to an 86-69 victory over Florida Atlantic (12-11, 8-4) tonight in Denton, TX.
The loss snapped a five game winning streak by FAU and marks a 0-4 performance against the Mean Green at home.
The Owls, who have been hot from long range as of late, shot just 15.4% (2-13) on the night.
After a 9-9 tie early on, North Texas went on a 25-10 run to build a 34-19 lead with 3:50 to play in the first half and eventually led 45-27 at the break.
“We certainly didn’t do ourselves any favors starting out so poorly. You can’t put yourself in the hole and expect to win on the road”, said Mike Jarvis.
The Mean Green benefited from FAU’s inability to collect rebounds or stop the inside scoring of forwards Eric Tramiel and George Odufuwa who each finished with 14 points.
North Texas held a 35-18 advantage on the boards, and went 25-33 from the free throw line.
Brett Royster fouled out for the second straight outing against UNT in 24 minutes of action while finishing with just 4 points and 2 rebounds.
“Brett’s got to learn how to play defense with his feet, and get his hands up. You can’t play defense behind people”, Jarvis said.
FAU reduced a 20 point deficit to seven at the 13:50 mark of the second, but a 9-0 run by North Texas pushed the lead back to 16. They would control pace the rest of the way.
Greg Gantt paced FAU’s scoring efforts with 18 points, while Ray Taylor had 14 points and seven assists.
Passing the previous mark of 145 set by Earnest Crumbley during the 2003-04 season, Taylor now becomes the all-time single season leader in assists with 147.
The Owls are now knotted in a three way tie for first in the Sun Belt’s eastern division with Middle Tennessee (13-11, 8-4) and Troy (13-10, 8-4).
Florida Atlantic will next face Denver (13-9, 6-5) in the second of a two game road swing on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.