Stefan Moody draws a foul be still makes the shot in FAU's victory over UALR on Saturday. (OwlAccess.com photo)
FAU opens double-digit second-half lead and cruises to a 73-59 victory over UALR.
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BOCA RATON – Poor performances in the second half have doomed Florida Atlantic this season. Saturday’s game against Arkansas-Little Rock, which was a beneficiary of one of those collapses back on Jan. 24, wasn’t one of them.
The Owls didn’t have to carry the weight of a large-margin lead, which has been their downfall this season, rather the close game kept FAU on their toes. The Owls played a solid second half and were able to fend off the Trojans in a much-needed 73-59 victory at The Burrow.
“The guys played harder in the second half than they did in the first half and we haven’t done that enough this year,” said Owls coach Mike Jarvis. “We’ve had too many games where we’ve relaxed in the second half and that’s what cost us a 20-win season.”
The Owls’ shooting struggles in the first half allowed the Trojans, who also had difficulty from the field, to keep it close. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor in the first half. FAU led 29-23 at halftime.
FAU (13-18, 8-11, SBC) came to life in the second half putting together a 9-2 run for their first double-digit lead of the game. The Owls were able to keep UALR (15-14, 9-9 SBC), which didn’t get closer than eight points after that, in check for the remainder of the game and snap a two-game losing streak.
Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody had big nights for the Owls. Gantt scored a game-high 26 points, which was his 18th 20-point game this season. Moody added 25 points and seven rebounds.
“I welcome every point I can get from them,” Jarvis said. “I’d like to see a little more defense from Mr. Gantt and then his scoring will mean even more.”
GameBrowser: FAU 73, UALR 59
Moving forward: Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody once again had the hot-hands for FAU. Gantt and Moody combined for 51 points. Gantt had a game-high 26 points. Moody had 25 points and seven rebounds … Jackson Trapp scored 6 points and added 3 rebounds, 4 assists and blocked 3 shots.
Moving backward: Kelvin Penn was held scoreless and fouled out … Despite his 9 rebounds, Dragan Sekelja only scored 4 points when there were plenty more to be had.
Key stat: 52.2 – FAU’s shooting percentage in the second half
Up next: FAU closes the regular season next Saturday at 7 p.m. when in-state foe FIU comes to the Burrow.