FAU guard, Anthony Adger, scored 27 points to help lead the Owls to a 73-71 OT victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
It was definitely a shocker for Illinois. The Big 10 team was an easy favorite to beat the Owls, this being an easier game on their schedule. The Owls were coming off a disappointing showing in Miami where they lost to the Hurricanes 75-55. In a game where the Owls could not find the fire power to match Miami on offense or stop them on defense. This game against the Illini was a nice contrast to what Owls are really capable of.
The first half was a defensive battle, as Illinois won 26-21. FAU, again, struggled to put up points, but their defense was okay. The second half is where things took a turn. FAU came out storming and doubled there scoring output from the first half at 42. As mentioned, the senior Anthony Adger led all scorers with 27 points on 8/15 shooting. Freshman forward Madiaw Niang had his first career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Anthony Adger’s 27 points scored is a career high for the senior guard out of Anderson S.C.
FAU actually had a 6-point lead heading into the final minutes after Adger rolled off 10 straight. The Illini got a couple beneficial calls from the refs and made a few big 3’s to tie up the game. In overtime, the game went back and forth. With the Owls down 71-70, Adger would hit the game winning shot. He was also fouled, so he got 3 points, making it 73-71 at 20 seconds left. The Illini got two more chances to tie or win the game, but both attempts misfired. FAU held on for the win.
OWLS WIN!! FAU spends five extra minutes in the Champaign room, but defeats Illinois 73-71 in overtime. Adger with a career high 27 points and Niang with his first career double-double (12 pts, 14 rebs). Owls open C-USA play on Thursday, Jan. 3 at UAB. pic.twitter.com/4KT79Ic3Rz
— FAU Men's Basketball (@FAU_Hoops) December 29, 2018
As mentioned in our Christmas special, the Owls are fighting without their best player in Jailyn Ingram. Although it is unfortunate that they won’t have him, if Adger and the younger players can continue to step up, FAU can be good. FAU starts playing C-USA games at UAB on the 3rd of the new year.