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FAU guard Cavon Baker goes up for a shot in the second half of the Owls' game vs. American. (Owl Access Photo)

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Great late

FAU overcomes a sluggish second half by scoring when it counts and defeats American 58-55 in the Owls' home-opener on Saturday.

Originally published on 11/24/2012

by Alyssa Barbieri

BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic shot  26.9 percent from the floor in the second half, but made its shots when it counted in a 58-55 victory vs. American on Saturday at The Burrow.

Freshman guard Stefan Moody sank the game-clinching three-pointer for the Owls with 15 seconds remaining and also knocked down two free throws to secure the victory.

“He’s our best offensive player,” said Owls coach Mike Jarvis. “He had the guts to stand up and take the big shot and make it. Then go to the free throw line and make it.”

Moody, who entered the game as the Owls’ leading scorer, scored all eight of his points in the second half, including five in the final 15 seconds when FAU needed it most.

“For whatever reason—maybe because he thought he’s a freshman and he’s not supposed to be our leading scorer—he deferred too much and passed up too many opportunities,” he said. “So I think he learned a lot. He also knows I’m not going to let him do that. That’s why I put him back in there at the end of the game. If we’re going to have a good season he has to be on the court for us.”

FAU (2-3) led most of the first half keeping the Eagles in check, but American (2-3) came alive in the closing minutes of the first half sinking three 3-pointers to close the gap to one point at halftime.

After shooting a respectable 50 percent (11-of-22) from the floor in the first half, FAU shot a dismal 26.9 percent (7-of-26) in the second half. But American had shooting struggles of its own opening the door for the Owls to take advantage.

“Defensive execution,” said senior guard Greg Gantt when asked about the team’s struggles. “They were scoring a lot in the paint. [There was a moment] where they had three or four straight offensive rebounds before they kicked it out for three,” Gantt said.

“But we fought back and came up with the win.”

Gantt led the Owls with a game-high 23 points and five rebounds and freshman guard Jackson Trapp had 12 points and five assists.

“This team, this stage in the year, for as young as we are, I thought we showed a lot of character,” Jarvis said. “And that’s the main thing.”

Game Browser: FAU 58, American 55

  • Moving forward: Senior guard Greg Gantt scored a game-high 23 points and added five rebounds…Freshman guard Jackson Trapp impressed coach Mike Jarvis with a 12-point, 5-assist performance…While he only scored 8 points, 5 of which came in the final 15 seconds, freshman guard Stefan Moody scored when the Owls needed it most. He also added a team-high 6 rebounds.
  • Moving backward: Junior guard Pablo Bertone struggled going 1-of-5 from the floor, 0-of-2 from three-point range and 1-of-2 from the foul line…Junior center Dragan Sekelja scored only 4 points and nabbed 4 rebounds.
  • Key stat: FAU hit 43.5 percent of its shots from behind the arc, but just 32 percent of its 2-point attempts
  • Up Next: The Owls will open conference play when South Alabama comes to the Burrow on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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Breakdown Box

> By The Numbers: Boxscore

> Talk About The Game: Burrow Banter | Facebook

Re-Tweet Replay

  • #FAU starters vs. American: Sekelja, Trapp, McCoy, Gantt, Bertone
  • #FAU vs. American is underway at the Burrow.
  • #FAU 12, AU 10 U16: Owls have 3-pointers from Gantt and Trapp to start off the game. Trapp leads Owls with 5 pts
  • #FAU 14, AU 10 U12: Trapp leading the Owls with 7 points 14-10 FAU
  • #FAU 22, AU 17, u8 1st: FAU Penn with a nice block down low. Owls maintaining their lead http://www.fauowlaccess.com/articles/329/american-at-fau-live-updates.aspx …
  • #FAU 25, AU 18, u4, 1st: Gantt connects on three free throws to add to the Owls lead. He's got 9 pts.
  • #FAU 31, AU 30; END 1ST HALF. Eagles knock down three 3-pointers to close out the half.
  • Halftime stats: Gantt 12 pts, 3 reb, Trapp 9 pts, Baker 3 reb. Owls shooting 50% both from the field and behind the arc
  • #FAU 37, AU 33, u16, 2nd: Sekelja hits a couple of free throws, but missed a lay-up on a breakaway. He's got 4 pts.
  • #FAU 43, AU 43, u12, 2nd: Stefan Moody with his first points of the game coming from behind the arc http://www.fauowlaccess.com/articles/329/american-at-fau-live-updates.aspx …
  • #FAU 48, AU 45, u8, 2nd: Gantt hits a 3-pointer to put the Owls up by 3. He's hit 4 3's today and leads FAU with 19 pts
  • #FAU 51, AU 51, u4, 2nd: Gantt knocks down a 3-pointer and is fouled. Free throw coming up and chance to give Owls back the lead
  • AU 53, #FAU 52, 1:27, 2nd: Owls have had their chances to take the lead but aren't knocking down shots. They trail by 1
  • AU 55, #FAU 53: McCoy knocks down one of his two free throws and the Owls trail by 2 with 40.1 seconds left.
  • #FAU 56, AU 55, 2nd: Moody knocks down a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to give Owls the lead.
  • FINAL: #FAU 58, AU 55 Owls advance to 2-3 after Moody's game-clinching 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.

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