FAU’s season ends with 81-79 overtime loss to Troy in conference tournament

Zack Kelberman

Like so many games this season, the Owls — especially guard Stefan Moody — fought hard, but ultimately came up short.

As such, their season is officially over.

FAU suffered a tough 81-79 overtime defeat at the hands of Troy in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament on Friday.

Moody, who turned in 28 points in last week’s regular season finale, totaled a career-high 29 points against the Trojans. The freshman finished with an 11-21 mark from the field, but three of those misses kept FAU from a potential victory.

“Tough way to end the year,” Owls assistant coach Mike Jarvis II said. “They ended up making a couple of more plays.”

With the Owls trailing Troy 80-79 in OT, Moody missed a short-range jumper with 13 seconds remaining, and, following an offensive rebound by forward Chris Bryant, failed to put back a dunk.

The Trojans tacked on a free throw, but FAU had time for one final possession, now trailing 81-79. The ball was left in Moody’s hands and he missed yet another jumper as time expired on the Owls’ 2012-13 campaign.

In a back-and-forth affair, FAU led late in the second half, but Troy eventually tied the game at 59-59 with five minutes remaining. The contest remained knotted until the final 28 seconds of regulation, when Owls forward Kelvin Penn hit a layup to give the team a 70-68 advantage.

Troy, however, tied it on a pair of free throws as both teams were destined for an extra period.

Other than Moody, FAU got excellent contributions out of senior guard Greg Gantt and junior guard Pablo Bertone.

In his final game with the Owls, Gantt had 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field.

“He gave everything he had,” Jarvis II said about Gantt. “But the whole team gave effort. We did not win or lose because of one guy.”

Bertone chipped in with 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting in one of his better outings of the season.

Other than those three players, though, FAU didn’t get much help from its other starters — forward Andre Mattison (four points), Penn (two points), and guard Jackson Trapp (zero points).

Overall, the Owls shot 52 percent from the field, 30 percent from beyond the arc, and 71 percent from the free-throw line.

FAU finishes its season with a 14-18 record, but is looking toward the future with Moody and Co.

“I am even more excited about the future with [Moody],” said Jarvis II. “He played great, made big plays, and carried us the last three games.”