There’s a new all-time shot blocking leader for the Sun Belt conference after FAU’s 57-50 win over visiting Manhattan College (2-14, 0-5) tonight.
Brett Royster, who needed just two blocks to set the mark, tallied four on the night to take possession of the honor. His count now stands at 269.
“Brett has gone through the worst times, and he’s now going through some good times”, said Coach Mike Jarvis. “He needs to be rewarded for his diligence and effort and his God given ability to block shots. It’s a great feat.”
"It feels good to finally get it out of the way. Now I don't have to hear about it anymore," Royster said.
Meanwhile, the Owls finished their home stand at 4-0 to improve to 6-1 at FAU Arena on the season.
It was ugly at times, as this was supposed to be a blow-out affair. A zone defense employed by the Jaspers stymied Florida Atlantic, who connected on just 4-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc.
After Manhattan nudged ahead 12-10 in the first, the Owls responded with a 9-2 run but led just 28-26 at the break.
Behind a 17-5 run to open the second half, Florida Atlantic (12-6, 4-0) would build their largest lead at 45-31 and looked to be in cruise control for the win.
“We started to come up with a few more loose balls. We’ve got to do that more”, said Jarvis.
However, Manhattan was not done as George Beamon’s lay-up with 2:18 remaining made it just a four point affair at 53-49.
“We’ve got to play better throughout the entire game, we’ve not yet played a full forty minutes of basketball”, Jarvis said.
Enter Greg Gantt, who made another big defensive play for FAU with a tip-steal back to himself in which he raced down the floor with for a quick score to thwart off the surge.
Scoreless the last 1:24, Manhattan fell apart, missing their last four attempts and turning the ball over to end the game.
The Owls sank two free throws to account for the final difference.
Gantt led all scorers with 17 points, and Jordan McCoy added 10, as FAU outpaced Manhattan 12-2 in fast break opportunities.
The Jaspers have now lost 14 straight dating back to November 17th in a win over Penn.
The Owls will resume conference action this Thursday against Middle Tennessee in the first of a two game road trip. Tip-off time is 8:00 p.m. in Murfreesboro.