Men’s Basketball: FAU eliminated from Sun Belt Conference Tournament with 70-55 loss to Arkansas State

Rolando Rosa

FAU’s roster shakeup was not enough to ignite a hot streak in Hot Springs, Ark.

Searching for a spark, the Owls inserted Dennis Mavin and Jordan McCoy into the starting lineup in place of Pablo Bertone and Shavar Richardson.

Instead, the eighth ranked Owls, regular champs in 2011, fell to Arkansas State 70-55 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Hot Springs, Ark.

FAU trailed by as many as 19 at one point in the second half, and was run out of the gym by the same Arkansas State team it defeated 58-50 earlier in the season.

Richardson and Alex Tucker conclude their careers at FAU without a single postseason victory in four seasons.

Richardson had 11 points and four rebounds off the bench. Tucker finished with three points, three rebounds and one assist.

Ball movement from both squads was lacking from the contest. The two teams combined for 11 total assists in the game.

With FAU down by seven, Owls point guard Ray Taylor fouled Arkansas State’s Rakeem Dickerson on half-court as the first half buzzer sounded. Dickerson hit two of three free throws, sending the Owls to the break behind by nine.

FAU shot 35 percent for the game and 29 percent from the 3-point line. The Owls made more field goals than the Red Wolves (21-20) but Arkansas State dominated the boards, grabbing 13 offensive rebounds. The Owls were 8 of 9 from the free throw line, but took 29 less attempts than the Red Wolves (27 of 38 on free throws).

Mavin led the team in scoring with 12 points. McCoy was 4-4 with eight points and six rebounds. Forward Kore White fouled out with eight points and three rebounds.