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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Owls Bounce Back to Beat Blue Raiders

Jeff Parmer collected the bounce pass along the baseline, went strong to the rim, and flipped in an improbable reverse layup as he was fouled.

It wasn’t just the made basket, but Parmer’s intense, fist-pumping reaction to the and-one play that showed the kind of tenacity the Owls needed to bounce back from a loss to rival Florida International and beat Middle Tennessee State 75-67.

“We wanted it so bad that it hurt,” said Owl forward Carlos Monroe.

After trailing by double digits in the second half, MTSU (13-14, 10-7 Sun Belt) crept within two points with 26.3 seconds left in the game. The Owls (13-16, 7-9 Sun Belt) refocused, Carlos Monroe hit two clutch free throws, and the Owls finished off the Blue Raiders.

Monroe had a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 21 points and Parmer added 17 points and seven rebounds of his own. Unlike the loss earlier this week to FIU, the Owls out-rebounded their opponent in this one, 40-31.

“It’s a mindset at this point. More of a sense of urgency and more committed,” said Owls head coach Rex Walters, of the dramatic rebounding swing.

Walters is known for some dramatic mood swings of his own on the sideline and he picked up a technical foul as MTSU made its comeback bid.

“I came into this game saying I wasn’t going talk to the refs tonight,” Walters said. “I was just going to coach my team.”

As it turned out, Blue Raiders’ coach Kermit Davis had energized his team by getting called for a technical earlier in the half and Walters joked with the referees that it was his turn next. He was right.

“Any time you see Coach that passionate it makes you want to play harder,” Monroe said.

“I’m always going to fight for these guys. I have an unbelievable gratitude [to them] because they work so hard,” said Walters.

With the win FAU kept its chances for a home playoff game alive. The Owls came into tonight just one game behind Denver and New Orleans, the seven and eight seeds in the conference. The four through eight seeds are awarded home playoff games in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament.

“These guys haven’t quit, haven’t caved in. They refuse to give up,” Walters said. “They came in with a focused effort to get us back in the hunt. They’d like to play two more home games.”

The Owls now travel to Troy, Alabama to play the Trojans before returning to FAU Arena for their final regular season game on Saturday against Western Kentucky.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *