Men’s Basketball: Despite Gantt’s game-high 25 points, Owls routed 88-52 At No. 6 Indiana

Mohamed Abdihakim

The overmatched Owls wasted senior guard Greg Gantt’s game-high 25 points against the Hoosiers in FAU’s first trip to Bloomington.

FAU fell 88-52 on the road to No. 6 Indiana in front of 17,422 fans at Assembly Hall.

Making an upset even more difficult, the Owls (5-7) were again shorthanded due to the ongoing three-game suspensions of freshmen guards Stefan Moody and Cavon Baker for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

“I knew it was going to be almost impossible,” Owls head coach Mike Jarvis said to the Associated Press. “Even if we have all of our players, we don’t beat Indiana right now. But I want to get a team good enough where we can come back here and beat their butts and that’s going to be one of my goals for myself before I die.”

Gantt was the lone bright spot for FAU. He enters the Owls next game on Dec. 27 at Troy just four points away from breaking the school scoring record.

Gantt accounted for five of FAU’s 10 field goals made in the first half. Heading into the game, his 21.5 points per game ranked 7th in the nation.

“Gantt is playing at a level I think no one has ever played at FAU,” Jarvis said. “He can get you 20 points on any given night. Greg is our guy. We’re not too smart if he’s not taking most of our shots.”

However, Indiana’s superiority was evident early on in the game. Zeller (24 points, 6 rebounds) immediately established himself against Owls center Dragan Sekelja.

Before the first half was over, Zeller would collect 15 points on an efficient 5-7 from the field. Meanwhile, Sekelja struggled on the night and fouled out with 14:48 left in the second half.

Indiana coach Tom Crean employed backcourt pressure in unpredictable spurts, forcing FAU into 14 turnovers. However, the Hoosiers ended up with one more turnover than the Owls, as they started mishandling passes and turning the ball over in the second half.

Regardless of any late struggle by Indiana, FAU’s deficit was much too wide (as high as 36) for the Owls to take advantage.

Despite the lopsided score, the Owls impressed their coaching staff with their effort on the floor.

“It’s not like they stopped playing,” Jarvis said. “They continued to press. The effort for 90% of the game was really good. Every time there was a loose ball, there were two or three blue shirts diving on the floor.”

The Owls play at Troy on December 27th at 8 pm.