Men’s Basketball: Owls fall 86-82 to Western Kentucky in overtime

Owls can't hang on to late lead as they drop ninth straight game

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Junior forward Matthew Reed (50) defends UT­Martin’s Myles Taylor (33) during the Owls' 57-48 loss on December 29. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball was unable to retain its five-point halftime lead, dropping its ninth straight game of the season and third straight in conference play, 86-82 in overtime to Western Kentucky.

The Owls (2-14, 0-3 Conference USA), who have the No. 10 ranked field goal percentage defense in Conference USA, allowed the Hilltoppers (9-7,1-2 C-USA) to shoot 51 percent from the field, including 5-of-10 from the three-point line.

Western Kentucky’s Justin Johnson was sent to the foul line with a tied score in the final seconds of the game. After he missed both free throws, junior guard Marquan Botley could not get a shot off for the Owls at the end of regulation.

In overtime, the Owls were unable to convert on their chances, with a Johnson layup and two free throws by Chris Harrison-Docks sealing the deal for the Hilltoppers.

Johnson finished the game with 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Western Kentucky. Junior guard Adonis Filer led the Owls in scoring for the second straight game with 14 points, followed by senior guard Jackson Trapp and sophomore center Ronald Delph with 13 points each.

The Owls failed to score for the first two minutes of the game, falling down by as many as eight points early in the first half, but they were able to keep the score close and never let the Hilltoppers run away with the game.

FAU battled through foul trouble early in the game, with four players committing two fouls each.

The Owls committed seven fouls with 10 minutes left in the first half and head coach Michael Curry had to dig deep into his bench. It paid off, as all nine players who played scored.

Delph led FAU in scoring in the first half with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting, sparking a 13-4 Owls run to take a 40-35 lead going into the locker room.

The second half started relatively close with both teams exchanging the lead and neither team being able to pull away.

For the first time in over in 10 games, the Owls outrebounded their opponent 42-36; the last time coming in the 72-59 win over Ave Maria on Dec. 10. Delph led the team with eight rebounds.

The Owls return home to face Southern Miss on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7 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].