All too familiar
FAU blows another large second-half lead and loses to UALR in the final minute 65-62.
Originally published on
Florida Atlantic doesn’t play well with a significant lead, but that’s nothing new. It’s become a disappointing trend this season for the Owls, who blew a 22-point first half lead in a 65-62 loss to Arkansas-Little Rock on Thursday at Jack Stephens Center.
FAU, which led by 20 points at the start of the second half, suffered a complete meltdown the rest of the way, allowing the Trojans (13-9, 7-4 Sun Belt) to battle back and hand the Owls their second consecutive heartbreaker. It was also the second straight late loss at the Jack Stephens Center, which has become the site of despair for FAU over the past two seasons. The Owls blew a six point lead with 90 seconds last year.
The Owls (10-11, 5-5) easily dominated the first half and did so without leading scorer Greg Gantt, who spent most of the half on the bench with three fouls. They led 35-19 at halftime and seemed to be in control before another late collapse doomed them.
The Trojans gained their first lead of the game with 1:37 remaining in the game. The Owls tied it before UALR regained a two-point edge. FAU had what seemed to be the final possession to force overtime or a victory, but a Pablo Bertone miss and a Richard Morrow foul gave the Trojans a chance to take a four-point lead and put the game away.
But UALR connected on only one-of-two free throws which gave the Owls had one last chance to force overtime trailing by three points with about eight seconds left. Gantt took it down the court and tried to call a timeout that FAU didn’t have with two seconds remaining, which ultimately spelled defeat for the Owls.
FAU faced foul trouble throughout the game with Gantt, as well as Kelvin Penn, who fouled out for the second consecutive game. Stefan Moody and Pablo Bertone were on shaky ground with three fouls each.
The deciding factor in the game for FAU was their free throw shooting—or lack thereof. The Owls, who have been pretty solid on the foul line this season, missed 10 free throws, including seven by Dragan Sekelja.
Moody, who scored a career-high 24 points, was the lone bright spot for the Owls in the loss. Gantt, who scored 10 points in the second half, finished with 13 - nearly 10 points below his average.
GameBrowser: UALR 65, FAU 61
Moving forward: Stefan Moody scored a career-high 24 points and provided a scoring spark without Greg Gantt, who saw limited playing time because of early first-half foul trouble.
Moving backward: Greg Gantt, who entered the game as the nation’s third leading scorer, picked up three fouls before the midway mark of the first half and spent most of the first half on the bench … Dragan Sekelja, did score 9 points but missed 7 of 8 free throws which ended up being the deciding factor ... Kelvin Penn scored just 2 points, had 2 rebounds and fouled out for the second straight game.
Key stat: 10 – missed free throws made by FAU (they went 9-for-19 from the foul line)
Up next: FAU concludes a two-game conference road trip at Arkansas State on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.