Published On: Tue, Jan 30th, 2018

Massey’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts FAU Owls Past Rice

By: Michael Demyan

Photo Credit: FAU Athletics

The Florida Atlantic University Owls were able to narrowly escape with a thrilling 63-62 victory on the road against the Rice University Owls Saturday, thanks to a three-point shot at the buzzer from Justin Massey.

The game was tied at 60 with only a minute remaining before Rice’s Connor Cashaw sunk a jump shot with three seconds left on the clock. Down by two, Payton Hulsey grabbed the inbounds pass and tossed it to Massey, who quickly unleashed the ball from 35 feet out, sealing the victory.

“It’s a shot he’ll remember for the rest of his life,” Rice head coach Scott Pera said. “Bishop (Mency) had a hand in his face. I don’t know how many of those you make, but he made it when he needed to and credit goes to them and they deserved to win.”

FAU (10-11, 4-5 C-USA) has now won four of their last six games, but had lost the last two heading into Saturday.

“These Saturday games are tough, but our guys stuck with it,” FAU head coach Michael Curry said. “The last two Saturday’s on the road (UTSA and Rice), we’ve made big shots at the end.”

Rice (5-17, 2-7 C-USA) seemed to have the upper hand offensively to start the game. They made four of their first five attempts from beyond the arc, giving them a 12-9 lead. FAU kept the pressure on though and took command for the rest of the half, holding as high as a 10-point lead until Cashaw cut the gap to eight with a basket just before halftime.

Rice’s strong offense came right back to start the second half however, quickly building a 12-3 run to take the lead. For the rest of the game, FAU sought to not let a win slip through their fingers. They trailed by six with 7:35 remaining, but slowly inched forward to a close, back and forth duel for the final six minutes.

Ronald Delph, this week’s C-USA player of the week, led the team with 20 points and added five rebounds. He also passed Damon Arnette for sole possession of fifth place on FAU’s career rebounds list with 554.

Massey put up 18 points of his own, including the game-winning shot. Gerdarius Troutman also finished in double digits with 10 points, including an important three-pointer which tied the game at 54.

Another notables were William Pfister, who had 11 rebounds and Hulsey, who totaled five assists, seven rebounds and a steal. Cashaw led Rice with 16 points.

FAU’s next stop will be back at The Burrow to host Louisiana Tech on Thursday at 7 p.m.

About the Author

- Michael Demyan is the associate editor and reporter for The Boca Raton Tribune. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University where he received a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Twitter: @michaeldemyan

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