Men’s Basketball: FAU loses to South Alabama 79-76 in overtime

Jordan Robrish

FAU is now on a three-game losing streak heading into the regular season finale at home versus Troy on Feb 25. Photo by Melissa Landolfa

Despite a pair of 20-plus point performers, FAU lost its third game in a row.

FAU fell to South Alabama 79-76 at The Burrow.

Owls guard Greg Gantt led the team with 21 points. Shavar Richarsdon had 20 points, making four out of six 3s and nailing all six of his free throw attempts.

It was not enough, as South Alabama’s Mycal Ammons hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Jaguars a 79-76 lead. Gantt fouled Ammons before the South Alabama inbounded the ball.

FAU had one last chance, but an Alex Tucker 3-point attempt was off the mark with two seconds left.

The Owls are now 2-2 in overtime games this season.

Afterwards, players expressed their disappointment in losing for the third straight game, but still stressed the importance of closing the regular season strong at home on Saturday night against Troy.

“This one would have been great, but like I said we have to move forward,” Richardson said. “Saturday is a must win for us for at least a little bit of momentum going into next week, a win tonight would of helped our cause.”

Gantt made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, South Alabama went on a 8-2 run to take a 76-69 lead with 2:59 left.

A layup from point guard Ray Taylor, and a 3-pointer by Richardson helped the Owls rally to cut the deficit to 76-74 with a minute remaining in overtime. A pair of free throws by Richardson would trim the lead to 77-76 with under 15 seconds in the extra period before South Alabama pulled away.

FAU held a five-point lead at the half, but South Alabama used a 12-4 run to take a 42-39 lead three minutes into the second half.

FAU responded with a 9-0 run, six coming from Richardson, to retake the lead at 48-42 with 13:36 in the second half. It was FAU’s last lead of the night, as South Alabama went up by one on a layup from Ammons with 7:17 in regulation and never looked back.

Alex Tucker (left), FAU's all-time leader in assists, handed out six more in the loss. Ray Taylor (right), had seven points on 3-9 shooting. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

The Owls lost despite taking better care of the ball than South Alabama. FAU had seven less turnovers than South Alabama (18-11). FAU shot twice as less free throws as South Alabama, but made 13 of its 16 attempts. The Owls were out rebounded 41-30, with no starter having more than four rebounds. FAU made just seven of its 23 3-point attempts.

Owls guard Dennis Mavin had 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.

With one game left until the conference tournament, FAU head coach Mike Jarvis does not sound optimistic about his team’s chances in the postseason.

“The team has been inconsistent all year,” Jarvis said. “There are some years where it just doesn’t happen and I don’t think that we have had enough guys really make the commitment to having a really good team.”

FAU’s final regular season game is at home against Troy on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.