Senior Night Has Not So Happy Ending
Carlos Monroe hauled in a game high 12 rebounds for FAU
Senior night didn't play out the way Owls fans hoped for, as Florida Atlantic fell to the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State University by a final score of 68-74 before a crowd of 1,236 at FAU Arena.
Carlos Monroe got the start over Brett Royster, scoring both the Owl's first points and his first basket since retuning last Wednesday night against Savannah State.
Neither team could establish more than a two point lead early on until Shavar Richardson's three pointer from the top of the key put the Owls ahead 16-13 eight minutes into the contest.
MTSU would match that shortly thereafter, but it was nip and tuck for the reminder of the period.
Florida Atlantic lead 31-29 at the half behind a controversial call where there was an inadvertent buzzer from the sideline after Alex Tuckers wild shot underneath hit the side of the back board.
The Blue Raiders garnered the rebound and raced back for the dunk, but not before the buzzer sounded. MTSU head coach Kermit Davis was livid and protested. Officials put 4.3 seconds back on the clock, but Carlos Monroe stole the lob underneath and squelched the attempt.
The Owls began the second with enthusiasm and built upon their 2 point halftime lead on a thunderous dunk by Paul Graham, and solid inside defensive play by Brett Royster, pushing ahead 45-37 at the first media time-out.
The Blue Raiders went on a run of their own out of the stop to take a one point lead 46-45. But FAU responded with a 5-0 run to regain the advantage, as MTSU starters Demetrius Green and Desmond Yates each went to the bench with four fouls a piece.
Things were all knotted up down the stretch, until MTSU pulled ahead by three with 1:35 to play. The Owls missed on the ensuing attempt and the Blue Raiders took a commanding 5 point lead that they would not relinquish.
MTSU's Kevin Kanaskie led all scorers with a game high 24 points, and was 10-11 from the charity stripe.
FAU had led by as many as 7 points in the second period.
Senior Guard Carderro Nwoji did not play due to a hip injury.
That's the Stats Jack
Carlos Monroe hauled in a game high 12 rebounds to go with his 4 points.
Paul Graham led the Owls with 18 points, and added 3 assists.
Alex Tucker had a game high 8 assists.
FAU out shot the Blue Raiders 40.4% to 38.2%.
MTSU went to the free throw line 37 times.
Up Next for the Owls
The Owls head to Diddle Arena this Thursday, February 26th, to take on the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky for the first of their final two regular season games. Tip off time is scheduled for 8:00PM EST.