Published On: Fri, Mar 9th, 2018

Season Comes to End as Owls Fall in First Round

By: Michael Demyan

Photo Credit: FAU Athletics

The season is over for the Florida Atlantic University Owls as the no. 11 seeded team fell to no. 6 seed UAB by a score of 83-72 Wednesday night in the first round of the C-USA Tournament held in Frisco, Texas.

The Owls finished their season with a 12-19 overall record, while finishing 6-12 in their conference.

FAU started the game with a 1-0 lead after Payton Hulsey went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, but that was the only time they would hold a lead for the entirety of the game. A three-pointer from William Lee began a 12-3 run for UAB and they never looked back.

The Owls were able to at least stay close throughout much of the first half however. After a steal by Justin Massey, Jailyn Ingram hit a jumper to bring the score to 22-21 with 5:59 left on the clock, but after that moment, UAB gained complete control of the lead as it began to grow larger and larger as the game continued. By the end of the first half, they held a 10-point lead.

UAB was able to continue that momentum into the second half. After a three-pointer from FAU’s Hulsey, UAB went on a 17-5 run to extend their lead to 21 points.

From then on, the Owls attempted to stop the bleeding and were able to stay on par with UAB’s offense. With 5:56 left in the game, they even started to put some slight pressure on the opposition, going on a small 9-0 run, cutting the lead to 12.

As the game began to wind down, FAU continued to chip away at the huge lead, bringing the score to 79-70 after a quick three-pointer from Massey. After a layup from Jalen Perry to push the lead back to 11, Hulsey nailed two free throws to bring the Owls back to within nine, but that’s as close as they would get as UAB took the 83-72 victory.

“We ended up having to go smaller tonight, but what ends up happening is that you’re not as good defensively or rebounding the basketball,” FAU head coach Michael Curry said.

While the Owls, didn’t make it to the next round, multiple players were able to finish the season with high accomplishments. Ronald Delph, who finished with a team-high 22 points on the night, was able to end his FAU career with 636 rebounds, placing him third on the program’s all-time list. His 270 this season is also third highest in a single season for an Owl. He also finished with 168 career blocks, placing him third on that list as well.

Massey and Gerdarius Troutman both ended their season with 75 three-pointers, placing them seventh on the list for the most baskets in a season beyond the arc in program history.

Troutman also finished with a career .420 three-point percentage, which is the third best for an Owl.

While FAU might not have finished the season the way they would’ve wanted to, the Owls will now look to the future as four of their five starters will need to be replaced for next season.

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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