Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.



I was able to catch glimpses of a really good FAU Men’s Basketball team in their game against Belmont on Jan. 19. They improved their record to 7-3 in the Atlantic Sun Conference and 10-6 overall. At the end of the game I was happy to hear that there were 1,042 fans in attendance. There were also more than a handful of people in the sections of seats above the bleachers. They even cheered during the game. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t giddy with excitement. I just don’t normally see things like this when I go to a game at FAU.

The new Student Government President made a short speech before the start of the game, and told the crowd to cheer the team on, while some other booed. When our guys ran out onto the court for pre-game warm-ups, they did just that. There was also a group in attendance that is affiliated with Student Government, called the Owl Prowlers. They were definitely pumped up for this game. They cheered our team on and also booed Belmont.

There’s a speech that the announcer makes before the game about how fans should only cheer in a positive manner. Otherwise, at least this is what he says, they will be removed from the premises. I’m not challenging people to cause outright chaos, but how far would someone really have to go to get kicked out of a game? If someone did do this I would definitely try to interview them afterwards. That was just something I thought about when the Owl Prowlers were yelling during the game.

Before the game started I noticed that all of our players gathered at center court into a huddle. They actually did this twice. I guess our team is really together. When the announcer did the Owl starting lineups, fans in the bleachers behind the scorer’s table stood and cheered them on.

The beginning of the game gave me the impression that we wouldn’t have much trouble with Belmont. However, we never did get a big lead on them. After the tip-off, Belmont guard Steve Drabyn got slammed into the scorer’s table by one of our players. I wish I could say that was a barometer for the rest of the game, but that was only when FAU played their style of ball. When we played our game we were tough, but for a good portion of the time, we got caught in Belmont’s slow style of play.

What was impressive to me in the first few minutes of the game, was how closely Earnest Crumbley was guarding Drabyn. He indirectly caused three turnovers. The Owls used some good ball movement to take a 13-8 lead with about 14:30 left. After FAU took a 23-17 lead with about 9 minutes left, they were able to get back on defense and almost cause the shot clock to run out on Belmont. The Bruins didn’t go away though. They were able to get some easy baskets in the paint, and tie the score at 31 with about 5 minutes left. The first half ended in a 35-35 tie.

I was hoping that in the second half the Owls wouldn’t play so sloppy on defense, but that took a few minutes. The first two times Belmont got the ball on offense they shot two three-pointers and took a 41-35 lead with about 18 minutes to go. FAU Head Coach Sidney Green then decided to put in the second team players, which provided a much-needed spark. On the very next play, Owl forward Avery Headley hit a shot and was fouled, resulting in a three-point play. Replacement center Nick Neumann definitely breathed some life back into FAU’s offense as well. He was able to get open for a pass in the paint and score two points. He also posted-up to get another two points. This tied the game at 45 with about 15 minutes to go. The Owls took the lead a few minutes later and never lost it.

The score was 62-52 with about 5 and a half minutes left, which was FAU’s largest lead of the game. The Bruins got to within four points with about two minutes left, but Jeff Cowans came up big with a three-pointer to make the score 67-60. Belmont came within three before their final offensive play of the game. However, they could not hit a three and FAU won the game 69-66. As our team walked off of the court the crowd stood and cheered. Once again, it’s not like I haven’t seen fans cheer before, but little things like that actually gave this game an atmosphere. That’s something I haven’t seen much of at an FAU sporting event. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it either.

At the press conference after the game, I was surprised to hear how confident our coach and the players were of themselves. Actually, I can’t say I’m really surprised by it. They have a winning record late in the season and that’s different for them. I haven’t been to any Men’s Basketball games this season besides an exhibition game. It’s exciting to hear them say they are the best team in the conference.

Coach Green gave a pretty good summary of the game with his opening remarks. “First of all, I have to say that Belmont is a very good team. They’re a team that executes extremely well. We got caught up in their style of play. I was happy with our team, and that most importantly we got the ‘W’.” FAU lost their last two games, one of them a double-overtime heartbreaker, so a win was definitely nice.

Although they’ve played in more than a few close games this year, Coach Green isn’t complaining. “We have come a long way. When I say long, I mean long. It’s better than last year and of course the year before that.” At least this season the Owls are barely winning the close games. Two years ago they weren’t even coming close. The players aren’t waiting for Coach Green to tell them what they need to do in a close game either. “In the huddle I hear the players talking, saying that they’ve been in this position before, and let’s get it done. They can coach themselves in an organized fashion.”

FAU only has ten games left in this season and they are all conference games. Coach Green says that, “Teams are going to be waiting for us because we’re pretty much sitting on top of the conference.” This part of the season will show how well FAU can compete in the conference. They will get another shot at a couple of teams. Some of whom they lost to, and others that they easily defeated. FAU will definitely like having another crack at Troy State, who they lost to in double-overtime. Be sure to come check out the team.

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