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Final: FAU 65, WKU 62

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Owls hang on

FAU builds a double-digit lead, hangs on despite furious Hilltopper comeback to defeat WKU 65-62.

Originally published on 1/12/2013

by Chuck King

Even though Florida Atlantic has struggled to close out games this season the Owls, holding an 11-point lead with less than three minutes remaining, had to feel like they'd withstood WKU's late pressure.

It turns out the Owls needed every point of that lead, but they did manage to hang on to beat the Hilltoppers 65-62 in Bowling Green, Ky.

A combination of turnovers and missed free throws allowed Western Kentucky to come storming back in the final minutes. The Hilloppers cut the gap to a single point on T. J Price's 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining but could get no closer.

Freshman Jackson Trapp calmly pushed the Owls lead back to three points with 10 seconds remaining; then Price  missed a 3-point attempt to tie, sending FAU back to Boca Raton with Mike Jarvis' second win in five chances at E. A. Diddle Arena.

The near collapse was in direct opposition to the way the Owls started the game. FAU played one of its best first halves of the year, getting positive contributions from eight players to take a 32-22 halftime lead.

FAU (9-9, 4-3 Sun Belt) extended that lead to 15 points early in the second half only to watch WKU (10-8, 4-3 Sun Belt) launch its first major run of the game. The Hilltoppers trimmed that lead to four with 10:25 remaining, before the Owls regained their composure and quickly built the lead back to 13.

Greg Gantt led all scorers with 22 points. Stefan Moody and Pablo Bertone added 15 apiece for the Owls. Price finished with 20 for the Hilltoppers.

The Owls outrebounded the Hilltoppers 40-29 to earn a split in a two-game road trip that started with a 10-point loss to Middle Tennessee on Thursday.

 

GameBrowser: FAU 65, WKU 62

Moving Forward: Kelvin Penn made trips through the lane difficult for the Hilltoppers, blocking five shots and grabbing nine rebounds to go with his four points. ...Jackson Trapp played 19 minutes, hit a big three and drained two key free throws at the end of the game. ...Bertone in the field: Pablo scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Moving Backward: Bertone at the line: Pablo missed three-of-four free throw attempts in the closing minutes. ...Greg Gantt turned the ball over seven times. ...Big men Chris Bryant and Dragan Sekelja combined to play 26 minutes but neither one scored.

Key Stat: 8 - Blocked shots by the Owls, who turned up their defense against WKU.

Up Next: FAU returns home to face Troy on Thursday at 7 p.m. in The Burrow.

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Breakdown Box

Re-Tweet Replay

  • No surprises in the #FAU starting lineup against #WKU - Moody, Gantt, Bertone, McCoy, Penn. Tipoff in moments
  • U16: Good start for the Owls. Bertone already has 4. Gantt and Moody also on the board. FAU 10, WKU 4.
  • U12: Bertone has six points, but also has two fouls. FAU maintaining good start. FAU 16, WKU 9
  • U8: FAU playing well defensively. Jarvis substituting liberally. It's working so far. FAU 20, WKU 12
  • U4: WKU turns up the pressure, which brings some FAU turnovers. Owls still maintaining the lead, though. FAU 25, WKU 17
  • Half: Balanced scoring - something you don't normally see from FAU - leads the Owls to a 32-22 halftime lead over WKU.
  • Moody leading the way for FAU with 11 points. Gantt and Bertone each have 8.
  • U16: Gantt's hot shooting prevents a slow second half start by the Owls. FAU 40, WKU 29
  • U12: The good news for FAU? Gantt comes alive with 12 points in the 2nd half. The bad news? No one else has scored. Still, FAU leads 46-34.
  • U8: Remember those problems FAU has had putting teams away? You didn't think that would go away did you? FAU 51, WKU 42
  • U4: After seeing their 15 point lead trimmed to 4, Gantt and Bertone respond. FAU lead back to 13. Can FAU hold on? FAU 59, WKU 46
  • FINAL: FAU 65, WKU 62. FAU nearly chokes it away, but hangs on to win.

> By the Numbers: Box score

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