Men’s basketball: FAU overcomes early shooting woes to defeat South Florida

The Owls made a season high 11 3-pointers on the night.


Junior Gerdarius Troutman made four 3-pointers in the Owls win over USF on Tuesday night. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball used a pair of double-digit runs in each half to turn what was once a 10-point deficit in the first half into a 78-62 win over the University of South Florida on Tuesday night in Boca Raton.

The Owls (2-3) shot 45.3 percent from the field, including knocking down a season high 11 3-pointers.

“Regardless of the team’s defense, if we’re disciplined enough to move the ball side to side, we can play with more freedom of taking more shots,” head coach Michael Curry said. “All we ask for them is to be disciplined and share the basketball.”

The Owls held the Bulls (2-2) to just 20 percent from deep, while also forcing 12 turnovers that led to 13 FAU points.

Three players scored at least 14 points for FAU, led by by freshman Jailyn Ingram’s 16 points. He also pulled down eight rebounds.

After averaging just 4.8 points on just 36 percent shooting from the field in the first four games of the year, Ingram credited the rotation as well as himself being more comfortable as the two reasons behind his breakout game.

“I’ve been taking shots that I feel comfortable with,” Ingram said. “I’m coming into my own each and every game.”

FAU started the game slow on the offensive end, shooting just 3-for-18 from the field in the first nine minutes of the game and 0-for-6 from the three-point line. The tough shooting put them in an early 19-9 deficit.

However junior Gerdarius Troutman and senior Ronald Delph sparked a comeback effort, turning a 20-25 hole into a 31-25 advantage.

After going ice cold from deep in the opening minutes, the Owls hit six of their last nine three-point attempts of the half, all six of which came from Troutman and junior Frank Booker. FAU outscored the Bulls 29-15 in the final 11 minutes of the half to take a 38-34 halftime lead.

Troutman finished the half with 14 points, making 4-of-5 from three. He ended the game with 15 points.

“[Troutman’s] becoming a crowd favorite,” Curry said. “He’s a team favorite as well. That’s just who he is.”

FAU was able to keep the Bulls leading scorer, junior Geno Thorpe, quiet for the most of the game, holding him to just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field.

The Owls began the second half just as they closed the first, hitting eight of their first 12 shots to open their first double-digit lead of the game, 56-46.

FAU never looked back, continuing to keep its foot on the gas and extending its lead by as much as 17.

The Bulls were able to cut the lead down to 12 with 3:40 remaining in the game, but FAU used strong defensive plays to hold the Bulls to just one field goal throughout the rest of the game.

The Owls used a 8-2 run to close out the game, giving them their second win of the year.

After getting beat on the boards in three of the first four games of the year, FAU outrebounded USF 48-31.

“It [was] important to get this win,” Curry said. “[It was] important to show the progress in what we want, in the things we’ve talked about and what kind of team we want to be.”

Hans Belot Jr. is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.