Men’s basketball: FAU comes out of Texas winless after overtime loss to UTEP

The Owls comeback bid falls short despite a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.


Junior Gerdarius Troutman scored a team-high 22 points in the Owls loss at UTEP on Saturday night. Photo by Mohammed F. Emran

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor

After forcing overtime with a Gerdarius Troutman 3-pointer with two seconds remaining, Florida Atlantic men’s basketball was unable take advantage in the extra period, resulting in a 66-65 loss to UTEP Saturday night in El Paso, Texas.

The Owls (5-11, 1-4 Conference USA) trailed 66-58 with 1:11 left in overtime, but four points from sophomore Nick Rutherford and an additional 3-pointer from Troutman cut the lead to one with three seconds remaining. FAU was unable to foul a UTEP (4-13, 2-3 Conference USA) player following the make, and the Miners ran out the clock.

With 13 seconds remaining in regulation, FAU was trailing by one point and trying to get the ball back. However, after forcing a missed shot, senior Dominic Artis grabbed the offensive rebound and made the layup, giving the Miners a three point lead.

After the timeout, head coach Michael Curry decided to go with Troutman, the only player who made a 3-pointer for the Owls on the night. He knocked it down and forced overtime.

Troutman finished with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting — all of which were three’s — to lead FAU.

The Owls shot 36 percent from the field, and were outscored in the paint 40-22. The Miners shot 42 percent from the field, but only 2-for-11 from three.

FAU started the game slow offensively, knocking down just two of their first eight shots and getting behind by as many as nine points.

However, the Owls were able to bounce back and and close down on the Miners, making four of their last seven shots of the quarter while holding UTEP to just three field goals in the last eight minutes of the half.

In the first half, sophomore Jeantal Cylla was the bright spot for the team — which shot 33 percent from the field in the first half — scoring six points. He finished with 10 points for the game.

The second half was a much closer affair, with neither team being able to pull more than six points away from the other.

With 3:57 remaining, the Owls took their first lead since the first minute of the game, 50-49, after a pair of free throws by Troutman and holding the Miners to zero field goal for more than four minutes.

Four UTEP players scored in double digits, led by Omega Harris’ 18 points. Harris also added a team-high four assists.

The loss drops FAU to 12th place out of 14 teams in the Conference USA standings.

FAU will return home to host the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m.

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.