FAU wins tight game in waning seconds against Eastern Kentucky, 69-66


Senior forward Kelvin Penn had a career high fourteen rebounds in the Owls’ win over Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 22. Photo by Max Jackson

The Florida Atlantic University Owls (6-4, 0-0 in Conference USA) won a hard-fought game against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 69-66 to remain undefeated at home for the season.

“This was a tough game to play, but I wanted them to take care of their home court. I want them to get used to winning at home, and they did well tonight,” said head coach Michael Curry.

The Owls shot 63 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range to start the game, but their offense cooled off a bit towards the end of the half.

The Owls were plagued by 11 turnovers in the period. Sophomore guard Marquan Botley led all scorers with 10 points after the first period.

Even though, they were missing some key players inside tonight, the Owls still managed to out rebound the Colonels by nine (17-8) in the first half.

The game was tight in the second half, with nine lead changes. The largest lead of the game for either team was just five points. The Colonels responded every time the Owls scored.

Junior guard Jackson Trapp slowed the Colonels surge with his timely shooting. Trapp made a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to keep the Owls lead at six, 68-62.

“We did good tonight. I knew it was really important to have a good 3-point game for this game,” said Trapp about his shooting. “This was a huge win for us.”

Trapp also made a free-throw which kept the lead at three and won the game for the Owls, 69-66.  He had 19 points on the night.

Eastern Kentucky (6-5, 0-0 in the Ohio Valley) came into the Burrow coming off of one of their biggest wins, a 28-point upset over the 18th-ranked University of Miami.

For the game, the Owls dominated EKU on the glass, grabbing 34 rebounds to the Colonels’ 19.

Up next for the Owls is an away game against Jacksonville University on Dec. 30.

Note: While FAU managed to grind out a win tonight, it came at a price. Sophomore guards Marquan Botley and D’Andre Johnson suffered ankle injuries. Botley stayed in the game, but Johnson did not return. He will have x-rays taken to determine the severity of his injury. This will be a situation to monitor going forward.

Monica Shanice Sherman contributed reporting for this story.