FAU Basketball Loses to UTEP After Rough Second Half
By: Michael Demyan
The game went back-and-forth between the two teams early as neither side could extend the lead to more than three until the Miners’ Kelvin Jones put them ahead by four with 10:47 remaining in the first half. The Owls later reclaimed the lead at 28-27 off of a dunk by Jailyn Ingram with 3:07 remaining.
A three-pointer by the Miners’ Jake Flaggert ended up tying the game for the fifth time in the half at 30, but the Owls’ Justin Massey quickly responded with a three-pointer of his own to put them back on top.
Jones followed up with a dunk to bring them back to within one point, but FAU was able to finish the half with the lead still intact.
After briefly losing the lead when play resumed, the Owls’ Jeantal Cylla dunked to give them a 35-34 advantage. The next eight minutes however, turned into a rough stretch for FAU as they only made one field goal and fell behind by five points.
The Owls were desperately trying to get back on the board and after two straight missed three-point attempts, Adonis Filer successfully made a three-pointer to creep closer at 42-40.
The Miners showed no signs of letting up though as they still held onto the lead, which grew to seven points with just under four minutes remaining thanks to a three-pointer from Dominic Artis.
The Owls again tried to get back into the game with the clock quickly winding down. While down by three with 19 seconds remaining, Gerdarius Troutman missed what could have been a game-tying three-pointer.
When the Miners regained possession of the ball, Ingram fouled Flaggert. He made both of his free throws and extended their lead to 60-55, which would be the final score six seconds later.
“I thought we did a good job of not settling early and taking quick jumpers,” FAU head coach Michael Curry said. “We also had three (layup) opportunities in transition that we didn’t convert. In a 60-55 game, those are killers. ”
Filer led the Owls (9-17, 5-10 C-USA) with 15 points after coming off the bench while Ingram followed with 12 points of his own. Nick Rutherford also had nine assists, which gives him a total of 28 in the last four games. Artis led the Miners (12-15, 10-5 C-USA) with 12 points.
The Owls’ next matchup against UTSA on Saturday, Feb. 25 will be their last home game of the season, so the team’s seniors will be recognized before the game starts at 7 p.m.