FAU Basketball: Owls Fall Short to FIU, 79-76

The FAU Owls Men’s Basketball team fell to the FIU Golden Panthers at home, 79-76, on Saturday.

The Owls fell behind big early on. The largest deficit was 16 points in the first half. FIU dominated the first half, putting up 38 points to FAU’s 26. It appeared that whatever reason, the Owls would not be able to overcome their usual slow starts. As their defense usually keeps them in the game until the second half, where they take off. 

Well, that was sort of the case here. FAU did bounce back in the second half, dropping 50 points. One of their best halves of the season. They took the lead back with ten-minutes remaining in the second on a 3-pointer by Xavian Stapleton. From there, the Owls went up by as much as 8 points, but lost the lead with three-minutes left.

Unfortunately, FAU could not get the stops they needed down the stretch to reclaim the lead and cap off the comeback. Despite how hard the team rallied in the second half, that first half was too much to overcome. The Owls have been plagued by bad first halves all year, but this one really stings. 

FIU wins the season series 2-1

FIU was led by Antonio Daye Jr. and Brian Beard Jr. who had 22 and 20 points respectively. The Panthers were able to overcome shooting 54% from the free throw line by shooting 43% from the floor. An improvement to FAU’s 33% shooting on the game. 

For the Owls, Anthony Adger and Stapleton both contributed 16 points. No one else was really able to take on much scoring. However, Madiaw Niang did have 6 points and 10 rebounds to lead FAU. 

Although FAU already has a spot in the C-USA tourney, this loss does not help their seeding. They drop to 10th place in the conference. Also, their next game is on the road in North Texas. A team they upset in Boca, but now have to beat them on their home court. 

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