Greg Gantt drains an early jumper en route to scoring 34 points in the FAU's 88-78 victory over Stetson on Thursday. (Photo by Ralph Landau)
Gantt goes off
Greg Gantt's career-high 34 points leads FAU to a double-digit victory over state-rival Stetson.
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For much of Florida Atlantic's 88-78 victory over Stetson on Thursday the more entertaining question didn't surround the outcome but rather the ability of Greg Gantt to break the Owls' single-game scoring record.
Gantt's 34 points on the night came up five points shy of the record. Other than that, FAU (4-4) really didn't have much to complain about in Deland.
Coming off consecutive 29-point outings, Gantt drained his first six shots en route to a 21-point first half.
“Greg Gantt got them off to an unbelievable start with those shots and put us in a hole early,” Stetson coach Casey Alexander said.
The senior guard even overcame a brief bout of nausea that caused him to have to leave the game to vomit. Upon returning, Gantt kept shooting. He finished the game shooting 13-for-23 and hit all three of his free throw attempts. Gantt also grabbed seven rebounds in a game-high 37 minutes.
The 34-point outing was Gantt's career best and tied for the sixth best in school history. DeAndre Rice (2007) and Earnest Crumbley (2004) currently hold FAU's single game scoring record with 39.
Gannt scored 16 of the Owls' first 22 points, draining open shot after open shot, propelling FAU to open a 16-point first half lead.
“That's what great players do,” Alexander said.
A 5-minute drought late in the half allowed Stetson to close within seven points, but early into the second half FAU had extended that lead to 18 - its biggest lead of the night.
Stetson (2-5) once again closed to within seven midway through the second half. The Owls responded and held a double-digit lead for the final three minutes of the game.
“The guys came into an opposing team's house (and) took control of the game from the very beginning,” FAU coach Mike Jarvis said. “Every time they made a run we had an answer for them.”
Ralph Landau contributed to this story
GameBrowser: Owls 88, Hatters 78
Moving forward: Andre Mattison only scored four points, but two of those came on late free throws that stunted a Stetson run. ...Stefan Moody came off the bench to score 16. ...Kelvin Penn grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes. ...The 88 points by FAU bettered their previous season-high by 16.
Moving backward: Freshman point guard Jackson Trapp didn't make a field goal and turned the ball over six times. FAU coach Mike Jarvis said after the game that Trapp is dealing with minor injuries ...FAU continues to have trouble maintaining big leads. Twice they let the Hatters back in the game.
Key stat: 23 - made free throws in 30 attempts by FAU (76.7 percent)
Up next: The Owls host NAIA Warner on Sunday at 3 p.m.