Men’s Basketball: FAU holds on late with balanced scoring to beat Charlotte

Owls knock down late free throws to win their fourth conference game


FAU guard Jackson Trapp dribbles past two Old Dominion defenders during the Owls’ 78-66 loss against the Monarchs on Jan. 28. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Contributing Writer

Despite seeing Florida Atlantic’s 11-point halftime lead reduced to four with about a minute remaining, junior guard Adonis Filer made six consecutive free throws to ice the game and give the Owls an 82-77 win.

FAU (6-16, 4-5 Conference USA) had five players score double digits. Filer led the the way with 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Owls held Charlotte (7-14, 4-5 Conference USA) to 49 percent shooting and forced the 49ers into 17 turnovers, which led to 21 points for FAU.

Both teams started the game shooting the ball well on offense, but the Owls used a 32-23 run to break the game open and take a 44-33 lead into halftime.

FAU shot a season-high 53 percent from the field in the first half, including 5-of-11 from the three-point line. Junior guard Marquan Botley led the team in scoring at the half with 11 points, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

The Owls began the second half outscoring Charlotte 13-7, but the 49ers used a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 10 with 9 minutes remaining. Although FAU would extend the lead back to double digits after a Jeantal Cylla 3-pointer, Charlotte was able to cut the lead down to eight with 3:50 left in the game.

“We are all starting to play better together,” said Filer after the game. “Offensively we play as a team and we’re getting baskets together.”

Joseph Uchebo led the 49ers in scoring with 20 points and 13 rebounds, giving him his seventh consecutive double-double of the season.

“If you keep him in front of you and don’t let him get angles, you can do a pretty good job on him,” said head coach Michael Curry after the win when asked about the game plan for Uchebo.

With sophomore center Ronald Delph in foul trouble for most of the night, Curry turned to freshman forward Connor Shorten. Playing in just his third game of the season, Shorten ended with four points and three rebounds in only 12 minutes of game time.

“We don’t win this game today if he didn’t come in and have the presence that he had on the defensive end,” Curry said. “If he continues to progress, I think Connor has a good chance of being a good player for us.”

FAU’s bench players outscored Charlotte’s bench 23-17, behind Botley’s 15 points.

The Owls also assisted on 17 of their 29 field goals made, surpassing their previous season-high of 16 and their season average of 11.4.

FAU heads back on the road to face Middle Tennessee on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Hans Belot Jr. is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, email him at [email protected].