Men’s Basketball: Owls Use Total Team Effort to Down UTSA

Jeantal Cylla reaches 20-point mark for the second straight game


Owls’ freshman forward Jeantal Cylla (1) shoots a 3­-pointer over Louisiana Tech’s Jy’lan Washington (22) on Jan. 16. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Chris Libreros, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball’s 86-71 win against the UTSA Roadrunners was a milestone victory for Michael Curry who picked up his first conference road win of his tenure as head coach.

The Owls (5-15, 3-4 C-USA) and Roadrunners (4-16, 2-5 C-USA) were both looking for their third conference win of the season heading into Saturday’s afternoon matchup.

The Owls scored a season-high 86 points led by local Florida product freshman Jeantal Cylla, who contributed a team-high 22 points, reaching the 20-point mark for the second game in a row. Even more impressive was the total team effort put forth in Saturday’s performance on both ends of the floor.

Coming into the game, FAU was tied for last in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting .299 on the season. On the afternoon, the Owls set a season high and made 13 3-pointers on 27 attempts, shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the three-point arc.

The team finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field overall.

Freshman forward Jesse HIll gave the Owls some strong minutes coming off the bench, outscoring the UTSA bench single-handedly with 12 points to accompany his two rebounds and three blocks.

Ball movement was key on offense as the team tied its season-high with 16 assists on 30 made field goals with four players scoring double figures. The Owls spread the ball among their players so evenly that not one player had taken ten shots in the game until 9 minutes were left in the second half.

Not to be outdone by one of the best offensive performances of the Owls’ season, FAU’s true X-factor in this win was defense. Led by sophomore center Ronald Delph’s four blocks, the Owls recorded another season-high with 11 blocks in the game.

Redshirt junior Adonis Filer also got in the action, leading the team in rebounds and effectively shutting down UTSA’s lead scorer Ryan Bowie. The Owls held Bowie to nine points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Overall, the Roadrunners shot just under 36 percent as a team from the field.

FAU finished its Texas road trip splitting both games and have now had wins in three of their last four games. Coming off one of their strongest performances of the season, the Owls are now headed home to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs (10-10, 3-4 C-USA) on Thursday, Jan. 28, at FAU Arena.

Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer for the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.