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.


Wearing Red, Feeling Blue

In front of the biggest and loudest crowd of the season the Owls couldn’t overcome a sluggish start and woeful second half in a 72-66 loss to rival Florida International last Wednesday.

The loss snapped a seven-game home winning streak for FAU.

“They were tougher, smarter and more together than we were,” said FAU head coach Rex Walters. “I’m really disappointed in myself and our performance tonight.”

The Owls (12-16, 6-9 Sun Belt) trailed for the first 20 minutes and went into halftime facing a 32-27 deficit.

“[FIU] got easy layups early and that just gave them confidence,” Walters said.

Once the second half began, the Owls briefly took the lead when Sean Alarcon hit a 3-pointer with 18:16 left to put FAU ahead 33-32.

From there FIU (9-16, 6-9) regained control again and never relinquished it.

The Owls fell behind by as many as 14 points with 3:21 remaining before mounting a comeback attempt that fell short. In the final minutes FAU narrowed the gap, making the game seem closer than it really was.

“They just came out and got it done tonight,” said Owls forward Carlos Monroe, who had 15 points and seven rebounds, both below his season averages.

Paul Graham led the Owls with 18 points and Jeff Parmer added 14.

Despite the largest home crowd of the season (1,571), FAU couldn’t hang with the Golden Panthers. FIU has now won three in a row to vault them into a third place tie with the Owls in the Sun Belt’s eastern division.

“Our team is getting the job done at the right time of year,” said FIU coach Sergio Rouco.

FAU shot just 40.4 percent from the floor for the game while FIU shot a consistent 54.2 percent. While the Owls protected the basketball and only committed 12 turnovers to FIU’s 22, it was better shooting that made the difference. FIU shot a torrid 60 percent in the second half to seal the season sweep over FAU.

Junior forward Alex Galindo led FIU with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The taller Golden Panthers out-rebounded the Owls 38 to 24, a key to their first road win of the season.

“Every game that we have won we have out-rebounded the other team,” Galindo said. “We played harder than them.”

The loss dampened the Owls’ hopes for becoming a top-8 seed and getting a home playoff game in the Sun Belt Conference tournament in March. With three games remaining, the Owls may need to win all of them to move into the upper half of the conference.

“Coach isn’t going to let us harp on the past,” said Parmer. “We know what we have to do.”

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