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.


WKU defeats FAU 78-69 in overtime

The Owls (14-14) attempted a comeback but failed to complete it against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (18-12) on Thursday, Feb. 25, ending their hopes of claiming first place in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division.

In front of a large crowd, bursts of intensity from the Owls were overshadowed by poor shooting and missed opportunities.

FAU opened with a quick 3-pointer from freshman guard Greg Gantt that gave the team the early momentum. However, within minutes the Hilltoppers had taken the lead, and FAU only led twice by small margins from that point on.

The Owls defense kept them within reach for most of the game, never letting WKU get above a 9-point lead. Despite not pulling out the victory, junior forward Brett Royster was pleased with the way his team played defensively.

“This whole week we’ve been focusing on our defense,” said Royster, who finished the game with 16 points and five blocks. “We didn’t win, but we proved we can be a good defensive team.”

At the end of the first half, the score stood 28-24 in WKU’s favor. The Owls had kept it close with a dunk by Royster and their tight defense.

The second half started in almost the same way the first had. FAU played with intensity, but WKU had other ideas, as the Hilltoppers made it nearly impossible for the Owls to stay on their game. Within minutes of starting the second half, FAU was again missing several scoring opportunities.

The Owls were able to make a late rally off of a Royster dunk and a 3-pointer from Gantt to tie the score at 61-61 with 18 seconds left. Even more drama occurred when, in the final second, WKU junior forward Steffphon Pettigrew drew a foul but missed both throws to send the game into overtime.

Despite their late effort at the end of regulation, the Owls were not able to hold on in overtime. They were quickly overwhelmed by the excellent play of WKU senior guard A.J. Slaughter, who ended the game with 19 points and four assists. Seven of Slaughter’s points came during the overtime period.

FAU’s leading scorer was Gantt, who finished with 19 points and two assists.

Despite the loss, FAU head coach Mike Jarvis was optimistic about his Owls.

“I’m pleased with where we are and with the progress we’ve made this season,” said Jarvis. “If I was asked to pick a team for the future, I have that team.”

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