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Stark contrast

Two years after defeating Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., FAU is blown out by the Bulldogs as Owls Mike Jarvis says big changes could be coming soon.

Originally published on 11/13/2012

by Marcus Nelson

On the court where Florida Atlantic notched one of the biggest victories in school history just two years ago, the Owls never seriously threatened Mississippi State at Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday.

FAU turned the ball over 28 times in a 78-58 loss to the Bulldogs.

Even after an 80-56 loss Sunday at No. 11 North Carolina, Owls coach Mike Jarvis expected a better performance from his team.

“More than surprised ...very, very disappointed,” Jarvis said on his post-game radio interview on ESPN-760.

The Owls fell to 0-2, but the biggest concern is the poor play of the Owls' point guards so far this season.

Freshmen Stefan Moody and Cavon Baker have struggled running the point in the first two games of the season.

Jackson Trapp, who has seen plenty of minutes so far this season, started the second half at point guard vs. Mississippi State and Jarvis hinted he could be there for the Owls' game Saturday vs. Coppin State.

“Awful - there's no other word to describe it – Awful,” Jarvis said. “Right now we don't have a point guard. Maybe Jackson Trapp will be our point guard come Coppin State. Who knows?”

And a possible change at guard may not be the only adjustment.

“Tomorrow the coaches will meet and see if we can find something that will click and something that will work because league play starts early this year,” Jarvis said.

Mississippi State (1-1) played most of the game without its top player after guard Jalen Steele was helped from the court after a first-half head injury. It didn't matter. The Bulldogs led by as many as 30 points as coach Rick Ray earned his first career victory after losing in his debut at Troy on Friday.

Owls senior guard Greg Gantt had a team-high 17 points.

Owl Analysis: Mississippi State 78, FAU 58

  • Moving Forward: G Pablo Bertone had all 7 of his points in the second half. ...Freshman G Cavon Baker finished with 11 points,
  • Moving Backward: The Owls were outscored 48-18 on points in the paint. ...The Bulldogs' thin bench still outscored FAU reserves 40-19. ...Owls C Dragan Sekelja was 1-of-7 from the field and finished with 3 points.
  • Key Stat: When FAU defeated Mississippi State in 2010, the Owls set a school record with just four turnovers. On Tuesday, FAU had 27 turnovers, including 18 in the first half.
  • Up Next: FAU faces Coppin State at 4:30 p.m.. Saturday in Elon, N.C as part of the Maui Invitational.

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Breakdown Box

> Discuss: Burrow Banter | Facebook
> By The Numbers: Official Boxscore

Re-Tweet Replay

  • #FAU vs. #MSU: Owls starters tonight are G Stefan Moody, G Greg Gantt, G Pablo Bertone, F Jordan McCoy, C Dragan  Sekelja
  • #MSU 8, #FAU 5 u16 1st: Bulldogs are 4-5 from field, but they can't keep that up (can they?)
  • #MSU 16 #FAU 14 u12 1st: Cavon Baker's "and 1" put Owls in front at 11-10
  • #MSU 23 #FAU 16 u8 1st: Steele, MSU's leading scorer, taken to lockerroom with head injury
  • #MSU 35 #FAU 21 u4 1st: Still struggling to find rhythm on offense. Owls have already turned the ball over 13 times.
  • Halftime: Mississippi State 43, FAU 26...Gantt 7 points, Owls with 18 turnovers.
  • #MSU 50 #FAU 35 u16 2nd: Trapp starts 2nd half at PG over Moody, Baker. Trainers on floor to examine Sekelja.
  • Sekelja (arm) shakes it off and is fine.
  • #MSU 54 #FAU 40 u12 2nd: Owls doing better job of taking care of ball. Only 2 TOs this half.
  • #MSU 72 #FAU 43 u8 2nd: Gantt has 12 points to lead Owls, but Bulldogs in control and have been for some time.
  • #MSU 75 #FAU 49 u4 2nd: The biggest comeback in FAU history is ...oh, never mind. We'll be back in a few minutes with the final tally.
  • Final: Mississippi State 78, FAU 58...Bulldogs rout Owls, who fall to 0-2 on the season, Gantt leads team with 17 points.


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