FAU erases early deficit, beats Marshall 76-62


Ryan Murphy

FAU guard Solomon Poole scored 18 points in 28 minutes during the Owls’ win over Marshall on Jan. 17. Photo by Ryan Murphy

The Florida Atlantic Owls (8-8, 1-4 in Conference USA) beat the University of Marshall Thundering Herd 76-62, after trailing for much of the game.

The Owls’ shooting hurt their offensive progress early. In the first nine minutes of the game, FAU shot 3-of-11 from the field, including 1-of-6 from the 3-point line.

With 5:01 remaining in the first half and down 30-20, a combination of steals by freshman guard Justin Massey and junior guard Jackson Trapp with seven unanswered points by the Owls helped get the momentum going in their direction.

“We created these runs by making stops.” said head coach Michael Curry. “The key to these runs is not just good shooting, but making solid defensive stops.”

Junior guard Solomon Poole carried the Owls’ scoring at the beginning shooting 3-of-7 from the 3-point line and 4-of-8 from the field in the first half. He finished the game with 18 points.

Marshall’s (4-14, 0-5 in Conference USA) strong emphasis on getting to the basket helped them get the lead in the first period. Senior Justin Raffington’s absence with a foot injury showed on the court. Without him FAU’s defenders faced a size challenge in the paint as the Thundering Herd shot 14-of-26 inside.

“We have Raffington on the court again,” said Curry when asked about Raffington’s status. “We’ve been adding time to his practices, little by little, he’s progressing well.”

Sophomore guard Marquan Botley played well in the second half for the Owls’ scoring 17 of his 23 points in the second frame.

“I spread the ball around a lot during the first half,” said Botley. “I felt I needed to take offensive responsibility in the second half.”

Two free-throws by junior guard Solomon Poole at the 3:35 mark in the second half gave the Owls’ their first lead which they held onto for the rest of the game.

The win is FAU’s first conference victory of the year and their first win after a four-game losing streak. This is Marshall’s eighth straight loss.

Up next for the Owls is a matchup at the University of Charlotte on Jan. 29.