Last season, Florida Atlantic was exhausted after needing triple overtime play to slip past a scrappy NAIA-DII Warner University squad.
Tonight, the Owls (3-1) took the lead from the start, and never let up, routing the Royals 88-58 in handy fashion at FAU Arena.
“No one likes triple overtime games, we wanted to put them away early”, said guard Alex Tucker who was 4-of-4 from the free throw line, and finished with eight points.
With FAU leading early on, Warner tied the game at 10-10 before three straight jams by Kore White (one) and Brett Royster (two) made it 19-10 with 11:12 to play in the first period.
“We were really unselfish on the fast break, and our guards did a great job of passing”, said Greg Gantt who led all scorers with 20 points.
FAU’s depth was simply too much for the Royals (3-1), who saw only eight players in game rotation. In contrast, every Owl available pitched in tonight with Shavar Richardson (foot) being the only aside.
Back-to-back bombs from Gantt put FAU on top 43-25 just seconds before intermission.
Florida Atlantic would later open up a 26 point margin with just over 7:00 to play in regulation, before unloading the bench.
After coming in to the game shooting 59.8% from the floor, the Royals finished well below that mark at 37.7% thanks to a stingy defensive performance by FAU.
The Owls forced 21 turnovers on the night, and also enjoyed a 41-24 advantage on the glass.
Jordan McCoy (photo) hauled in a game high eleven rebounds off the bench, while Dennis Mavin, who continues to start ahead of Ray Taylor, was once again in double digits offensively with 14 points.
White, after stumbling in Portland, upped his performance with 16 points, and seven boards. However, Mike Jarvis says the jury is still out on the forward until this weekend.
“It’s a good win, especially coming back from the west coast”, said Jarvis. “But I’m going to hold my judgment on Kore until after Saturday, that’s when we’ll know if there was improvement.”
Ian Wilhelm paced the Royals with 16 points.
The Owls conclude a two game home stand against American University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
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