Men’s Basketball: Owls win in ugly fashion against Manhattan

Ryan Cortes

FAU (12-6) hosted Manhattan (2-14) at The Burrow on Tuesday night, and despite being 17-point favorites, the Owls struggled to put away the Jaspers before ultimately winning 57-50.

Coming into the game, forward Brett Royster needed two blocks to break the record of  UAB’s Alan Ogg, who had 266 career blocks in the Sun Belt Conference. Royster obtained two blocks on one possession, breaking that record two minutes into the game.

“It was good to finally get it out of the way, get it out of my vision,” said Royster after the game. “It’s a great accomplishment and it feels pretty good, I’m proud of myself.”

Freshman Pablo Bertone, from Argentina, was rewarded with his third consecutive start for the Owls, and he responded with efficient play, contributing 7 points on 3-3 shooting and two assists.

Late in the first half, FAU got points off a Ray Taylor 3-pointer and a Brett Royster dunk, putting FAU ahead 26-18 with just under three minutes to play.

Following the scoring outbreak, however, Manhattan closed the deficit to just 2 points, making the score 28-26 at the half.

Head coach Mike Jarvis admitted after the game that despite being 2-13, Manhattan was dangerous, if for no other reason than that people wouldn’t expect it.

“The most dangerous time for a coach is when his team is playing well and they’re playing against a team that’s not,” said Jarvis.

In the second half, FAU opened with an 8-0 run. That ended up giving the Owls a 14-point lead with 14:16 left in the game.

Despite the big lead, FAU was unable to close the door, again allowing Manhattan back into the game. Manhattan forward Demetrius Jemison hit a fade-away jumper with 3:30 to go in the game, putting the Jaspers down 53-47.

After a timeout, guard Greg Gantt leapt in front of a pass, knocking it into the backcourt. He then raced forward to put FAU up by 6 with less than two minutes to play, a deficit that would prove to be too steep for the Jaspers.

Although the Owls won, Jarvis seemed displeased overall with the performance.

“Honestly, I like the fact we won. There wasn’t a whole lot other than that,” said Jarvis. “But we won. There was a day when that in itself would have been quite a feat here, so I guess we must be getting better.”