Men’s basketball: FAU struggles on the road, suffers 20-point blowout in Miami

The Hurricanes have won 22 of their 23 games against the Owls.

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Sophomore Nick Rutherford (10) drives past Miami's Bruce Brown (11) in the Owls loss on Friday night. Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Christopher Libreros, Contributing Writer

Playing for the first time since its 79-77 overtime win over Ohio State University on Dec. 6, Florida Atlantic men’s basketball was met by the Hurricanes on the road at the University of Miami, where it lost for the third time in four games, 76-56.

The Hurricanes (8-3) now lead 22-1 in the all-time series between the two teams.

Following senior Marcus Neely’s two-point basket that put the Owls (3-6) up 10-8 at the 13:08 mark of the first half, the Hurricanes proceeded to go on a 19-5 run that gave them their first double-digit lead of the game at 27-15.  

FAU was never able to recover with a poor shooting performance and struggles rebounding the ball. The combination handcuffed the Owls attempts to establish any rhythm offensively.

After both teams struggled in the early minutes of the game shooting a combined 7-for-22,  Miami picked up its play on both ends and shot over 45 percent from both the field and behind the three-point line in the first half.

In the second half, Miami continued to control much of the game through defense and rebounding. The Hurricanes totaled six steals, outrebounded FAU by 21 and held the Owls to their lowest shooting percentage all year at 33.3 percent.

“I thought this was going to be the best defensive team that we faced, that we will face all season, and they were,” head coach Michael Curry said.  “It forces guys to try to force plays.”

Miami senior Davon Reed led the Hurricanes in scoring, finishing with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. Freshman Bruce Brown nearly finished with a triple-double, scoring 14 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Redshirt Senior Marcus Neely led the Owls with 12 points and was one of only two players to score in double figures for FAU. The Owls leading scorer this season, senior Adonis Filer, was the other.

He finished with 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting off the bench.

Coach Curry said he hopes the experience from playing Ohio State and Miami back-to-back will “help us as we get ready for this homestand that we have, and help us get into conference play.”

Florida Atlantic will look to regain its form before conference play with an upcoming five-game homestand starting on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. against Webber International.

Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @ChrisIsAirborne.