Head Coach Mike Jarvis intended to let his young ball team learn how to work through a game on their own tonight.
"As a coach, there are times when you can talk too much. Sometimes you have to sit back and tell the players that motivation has to come from within", said Jarvis.
But the lessons learned came too close for comfort as the Owls escaped in a program first triple overtime win against NAIA Division II Warner University by a final score of 106-99.
Jumping out to a 19 – 6 lead, the Royals meant business early on. And they maintained the tone scrapping, clawing, and hustling their way to a 38-34 half time advantage.
Warner out-rebounded FAU 61-46.
“There’s no such thing as a tune up game. They’re a very good team”, said Jarvis.
Things looked bleak well into the second period as the Owls continued to struggle to find an offensive rhythm against the pestering defense of the Royals.
Warner extended its advantage to seven just before a Jordan McCoy intentional foul to stop what would have been back to back dunks.
FAU would take the lead 68-67 lead late in the second half when Ray Taylor connected on a long three pointer from the top of the key with 2:53 remaining.
But a Warner free throw by Derell Henderson would be the last point scored leaving the squads deadlocked.
A Ray Taylor three for the win at the buzzer was just off the mark.
Two see-saw over time periods then ensued with neither team being able to pull away.
Warner saw five players foul out en route to the Owls attempting a record setting 58 free throws.
And none of them could have been bigger than the ones taken inside the third overtime period when Ray Taylor hit 10 of 10 to seal the win for FAU.
FAU struggled during regulation from the floor going just 35.4%, but caught stride during the over time periods connecting on 10 of 15 tries (66.7%).
Ray Taylor led FAU with 25 points. Brett Royster had 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks - all of which were career highs for the junior. Freshman DeMonte Simpson scored 16 points and hauled in 11 rebounds before fouling out - also career highs.
Warner’s Derell Henderson poured in a game-high 31 points to lead all scorers.
The Owl’s next two games are important ones, taking on Sun Belt opponents Louisiana-Lafayette and New Orleans. They are hopeful to continue their winning ways. Although not as close as tonight’s win.
“The way we started off this year is how we want to keep playing. We lost our first two conference games (last season) and that set a tone for the rest of the month of December. Our confidence went down hill a little bit. If we get these two wins, it’ll be a whole different story”, said guard Shavar Richardson.
FAU will tip-off against the Ragin’ Cajuns this Saturday at 2:07 p.m. (EST). The contest will be televised live on College Sports Southeast (CSS).