Men’s Basketball: Owls unable to come back against USM, lose 62-54

Guard+Jackson+Trapp+%2812%29+scores+a+basket+in+a+game+versus+FIU+on+Jan.+4.+Trapp+scored+19+points+in+the+Owls%27+loss+to+Southern+Miss+on+Feb.+14.+Photo+by+Max+Jackson%0A

Guard Jackson Trapp (12) scores a basket in a game versus FIU on Jan. 4. Trapp scored 19 points in the Owls' loss to Southern Miss on Feb. 14. Photo by Max Jackson

Josue Simplice, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic University (8-15, 1-11 in Conference USA) lost a hard fought game to Southern Mississippi Eagles, 62-54.

The Owls played the Golden Eagles (7-17, 2-11 in Conference USA) closely in the first half with the score being 28-24 with the Golden Eagles up by four after one period.

FAU shot 40 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range as a team in the first period. Junior guard Solomon Poole led the Owls with eight points at the end of the first half.

Sophomore guard Marquan Botley provided six points, and freshman center C.J. Turman also had four points and ended the first half with a dunk off of a pass from Botley.

Senior center Justin Raffington was held scoreless but grabbed five rebounds. The Golden Eagles out rebounded the Owls by a margin of 14-13.

The Owls were not able to defend USM inside as they scored 16 points in the paint FAU on the other hand only managed to score six points in the paint.

In the second half, the Golden Eagles were able to continue using their size inside as they scored 14 more points in the paint. The Golden Eagles boosted their shooting up to 53 percent with 12 minutes left in the second half.

With their dominance inside and defense, they were able to get build a 17 point lead with 12:13 left in the game.

FAU tried to mount a comeback with 5:59 left the lead dwindled to nine in favor of USM. Marquan Botley led the Owls with 12 points in the second half going on a 6-0 run by himself at one point. He had 18 points for the game.

With 2:30 left in the game the Owls were down by two, 56-54 but Matt Bingaya hit a jump shot and a layup to keep the Golden Eagles up as they closed out the game.

This is USM’s first win in six games as they break a five game losing streak. The Owls are on a seven game losing streak.

Up next for the Owls is a home game against the University of North Texas on Feb. 19.