ODU Stunned by FAU at Home
The Monarchs, going for a fourth straight win, came to a precipitous halt as the Florida Atlantic Owls rallied in the second half to stun them Saturday night at The Ted.
Both teams entered the game with win streaks on the line as the Owls were looking to extend their streak to three in a row, while the Monarchs looked to make it four straight.
ODU (14-9, 7-4 C-USA) shot just under 45 percent from two, and 25 percent from three, while the Owls (8-13, C-USA 4-6) were worse shooting just 32 percent from inside the arch, and just 25 percent from deep.
“We got off to a sluggish start and I thought FAU was getting most of the loose balls,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones.
Despite being careless with the basketball, and underwhelming the scoreboard, both teams made concerted efforts to get the ball inside combining for 26 total first half points in the paint (14 by ODU, and 12 by FAU). The Monarchs led 27-19 at the half behind Ahmad Caver’s six points and two steals, while FAU’s Frank Booker led his team in the first with six points as well.
The Owls had an upset on their minds as they regrouped in the second half with some hot, stellar shooting in what was a tale of two halves from both teams. Florida Atlantic shot 48 percent in the second half and 53 percent from three point land to sink the Monarchs, who shot just 38.5 percent from the field.
ODU held the lead for much of the game including a 14-point lead with less than 12 minutes to go in the game. The Owls tried to cut into the lead, but the Monarchs seemed to answer every attempt at a run by the Owls. FAU, however, tightened things up by playing stingy defense by forcing ODU into tough, contested shots, as well as forcing some key late turnovers. The Owls were helped by their outside shooting, led by guard Nick Rutherford who finished with 14 points, and Justin Massey who led all scorers in this game.
FAU made some tough threes, but we didn’t help ourselves tonight. This one needs to hurt; it should hurt. Now we have some soul searching to do. We have to work this out of our system and move forward,” Jones said.
The Monarchs led by seven with less than three minutes to play thanks to a putback dunk by Brandan Stith who finished the game leading the Monarchs with 14 points.
FAU wouldn’t quit as they trimmed what was a double-digit lead for most of the second half to single digits with 4:25 left in the game, and eventually took the lead with two big three pointers made by FAU’s Frank Booker with under 2:00 left to play, and the go-ahead three-pointers by Justin Massey with 49 seconds left to take the lead.
FAU outscored ODU 46 to 34 in the second half, including a 23-7 to end the game, and ultimately stunned the Monarchs. ODU will look to bounce back after a disappointing loss to a scorching Blue Raiders team. That game will be played on Thursday, February 9 at 8 p.m. at Middle Tennessee.