Losing Streak at Nine
Hoping to snap an eight game losing streak, the Owls lost to conference rival Florida International University by a final score of 53-58 before an announced crowd of 1450 tonight in Boca Raton.
FAU held the Panthers to 9 of 31 shooting during the first period, despite their game plan of going inside to big men Asprilla and Gacesa repeatedly. Brett Royster picked up two quick fouls to start, but had 6 of the Owls first 9 points.
FAU would forge ahead by 8 on a 9-0 run lead by Carderro Nwoji beginning at the 12:30 mark. The Panthers closed the gap to 1 on a 5-0 run of their own, but Richardson hit a big three for the last bucket of the half. The Owls lead 30-26 at the break.
Paul Graham got things started, and got hot, for FAU in the second scoring 8 of the Owls first 11 points.
Turnovers plagued the Panthers during the course of the night; as they committed a myriad of travels, throw aways, and were tied up in jump ball situations. The teams traded leads back and forth throughout the period with neither leading by more than 3, nor shooting well.
Down by one with just under a minute to play, Carderro Nwoji fouled Panther guard Nick Taylor underneath the basket. Taylor went to the line but missed both free throws. Off the rebound, Nowoji pushed the ball down the floor and dished to Graham, who got a good look from long range, but could not connect.
On the ensuing inbounds, Richardson intentionally fouled Tremayne Russell. This time the Panthers made both. Alex Tucker drove the court and went up for the lay in but was blocked. FIU again went to the line, and made 1 of 2.
Graham's number was called out of the ensuing time out, but he missed underneath.
The Owl's shot just .368% from the floor for the contest, and 6 of 22 from long range.
Nikola Gacesa had a game high 17 points for FIU. Asprilla, who came into the game averaging almost a double double per contest, had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Shavar Richardson paced the Owls with 16 points. Brett Royster had productive night with 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
The Owls will look for their first Sun belt win when they next travel to North Texas to take on The Mean Green this Saturday at 8:00PM EST.