Owls trail for entire game, lose to FIU 66-57

Wesley Wright

Jackson Trapp initiates a possession earlier this season. Photo by Max Jackson
Jackson Trapp initiates a possession earlier this season. Photo by Max Jackson

57 points will not win many basketball games at any level of college basketball, but it was all Florida Atlantic (7-13) could manage versus their rival, Florida International University (11-9).

FIU made their first seven field goals in the first 5 minutes of gametime and held the lead 15-5. Forward Justin Raffington was a bright spot for the Owls early, who pulled within six points after a three pointer from point guard Marquan Botley made the score 21-15.

Botley later hit a long mid-range shot just before halftime, and the Owls trailed 34-24 after 20 minutes of gametime.

Guard Pablo Bertone scored no points in the first half, but he came out firing in the second. He scored his first points with 15:19 remaining in the game, making a three pointer from the right wing. On the next possession, he hit another three pointer to bring the FIU lead to seven points at 47-40 with 14:30 to go.

Guard D’Andre Johnson made a three pointer of his own to whittle the FIU lead all the way down to three points. After a third three point basket from Pablo Bertone, FAU trailed 49-47 with 7:20 to go and seemed poised to snatch a late lead.

Raffington picked up his third foul fighting for a rebound following a missed free throw by Johnson. On the other end, FIU hit a three pointer, opening their lead up to five points. The lead then reached seven with just under four minutes remaining.

Another mid range jumpshot by Bertone cut the lead to 5, and FIU’s guard Dennis Mavin responded with the play of the night. Mavin is a Gainesville, Fla. native who transferred from FAU to FIU after the 2010-2011 season. Mavin beat Marquan Botley to his left, spun back to his right, evaded an Owl defender and finished a difficult layup at the rim. Mavin finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds for the Panthers, who led 58-51 with 3:11 left.

The Owls got no closer than a five point spread from there on out. The game ended at 66-57 in favor of the Panthers. FAU now heads to Charlotte, N.C. to take on the Charlotte 49ers in the second of three consecutive road games.

Wesley Wright is the Sports Editor for the University Press. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @NotEvenWes.