Owls unable to overturn late deficit, lose 61-56 to Saint Francis Brooklyn


Max Jackson

Marquan Botley (2) led FAU with twelve points in the 61-56 loss to St. Francis. Photo by Max Jackson

The Florida Atlantic Owls (5-4, 0-0 in Conference USA) lost to the Saint Francis Brooklyn Terriers 56-61. The Terriers snapped the Owls four-game winning streak.

It was a tight contest for a majority of the game. Both teams struggled to score in the beginning, shooting below 40 percent in the first half and 38 percent for the game. The Owls led by one at the half, 28-27.

FAU missed senior center Justin Raffington, who is suffering from a stress fracture in his foot. His presence on defense and rebounding was deeply missed. The Owls were out rebounded in the first half. For the game, the disparity was 42-30 on the glass in favor of the Terriers (4-7, 0-0 in the Northeast Conference).

Without Raffington, FAU was also outscored in the paint 36-28. Raffington’s absence also forced head coach Michael Curry to play freshman center C.J. Turman and senior center Brian Hornstein extended minutes. Turman found himself in foul trouble in the first period, picking up three fouls and eventually fouling out late in the game.

Toward the end of the game, the Terriers took control, going on a 9-1 run. FAU responded with timely 3-pointers from junior guard Solomon Poole. Poole had 10 points on the night in his second game since being deemed eligible on Dec. 16.

He hit a late shot to keep the deficit within three points 53-56. But it was not enough as Terriers’ forward Jalen Cannon  made a 3-pointer to give Saint Francis Brooklyn a six point lead 59-53 with 28 seconds left. Poole responded with another 3-point make seven seconds later, however the Owls could not keep up the momentum.

Marquan Botley led the Owls in with 12 points. They will try to rebound against Eastern Kentucky at home on Dec. 22.