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.


Owls eliminated by Western Kentucky

With no answer to a furious offensive onslaught and unable to get a defensive stop in the game’s final minutes, FAU fell 86-81 to Western Kentucky and was eliminated from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

Tyrone Brazelton scored 23 and Courtney Lee contributed 20 for the Hilltoppers, who advance to face Arkansas State in the semifinals.

“A very tough game, we knew that it would be. Rex [Walters] has done an unbelievable job with this team…We knew that they had two guys that could really hurt you with DeAndre Rice and Carlos Monroe. I was very proud of how our guys played with the physical effort and the focus in executing the game plan,” said Hilltopper Head Coach Darrin Horn.

In order to keep their season afloat the Owls needed to overcome a late start time and the team with the Sun Belt’s second best regular season record. FAU just wasn’t up to the task as they blew a halftime lead and wilted in the second half.

Seniors DeAndre Rice and Brent Crews fearlessly led the Owls in what turned out to be their final game in blue and red. Rice scored 30 points and Crews chipped in 15.

“We are going to miss DeAndre Rice, I don’t have another guy that can make plays the way he can… Brent Crews brought it every single day. I really appreciate those two, they laid a foundation for this program with effort and leadership,” Walters said.

Carlos Monroe scored the Owls’ first 8 points and had 19 overall. However, the Hilltoppers shut him down towards the end of the game. The Owls appeared to tire down the stretch as they could only play a partial 8 man rotation that was hampered by Jeff Parmer’s foul trouble and Seydou Kone’s ineffectiveness. The two combined for zero points in 25 minutes.

“When you play a team for the second time they tend to change their strategies on you,” Monroe said.

With the season ending the reality sets in that Rice and Crews are moving on after two years with FAU.

“Its hard, just the whole year with so many ups and downs,” Rice said. “We came together as a team and a family. It’s going to be hard not coming back next year.”

However, even Walters – a self-proclaimed ‘glass half-empty’ guy – could see the silver lining in this season, despite the disappointment. “They have laid an unbelievable foundation for this program. We are going to try to come back here next year. We will knock on the door, and then we will kick it down.”

About 20 FAU fans made the trip to Cajundome while WKU had considerably more in attendance, including their cheerleaders and band.

Check out Jay’s Inside March Madness blog for game scores, pictures and behind-the-scenes info on the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

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