Men’s Basketball: FAU unable to overcome slow start in loss to Middle Tennessee

The Owls trailed by as much as 31 points during the game.


Nick Rutherford looks for a teammate to pass to while being defended by UAB’s Tosin Mehinti during his team’s loss 80-78 loss to UAB on Jan. 19. Ryan Lynch | Editor in Chief

Hans Belot Jr,, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic Men’s Basketball could not overcome a tough first half shooting and defensive display, leading to a 86-57 loss to Middle Tennessee State Saturday night in Boca Raton.

FAU (5-13, 1-6 Conference USA) shot 23 percent from the field, knocking down just one 3-pointer on nine attempts. The Blue Raiders, on the other hand, shot 51 percent from the field.

Despite the Owls shooting 47 percent in the second half, FAU’s defense still struggled, allowing Middle Tennessee to shoot 62 percent from the field. The Blue Raiders finished the game shooting 56 percent from the field, including 8-for-20 from three.

“These guys are like robots,” said head coach Michael Curry of Middle Tennessee. “

Junior Frank Booker came off the bench to have a career night with 22 points, going 7-for-14 from the field, five of which were 3-pointers.

“I’ve been struggling shooting the ball lately and coach sat me down and talked to me about it,” Booker said. “ I play my role. The loss hurts but it felt good to see the ball go in the net.”

FAU had a slow start to the game compare to Middle Tennessee’s, as the Blue Raiders jumped to an early 17-2 lead within the first five minutes of the game.

The closest the Owls were able close the deficit to was eleven points the rest of the half, but the Blue Raiders kept their foot on the gas for the rest of the time.

Redshirt junior Frank Booker was one of the few bright spot for the Owls in the half, leading FAU with eight points on 2-for-5 shooting, but had his playing time limited due to foul trouble.

The Blue Raiders came out of the locker room still shooting hot, leading by as much as 31 points with 7:41 left in the game.

However, Booker was also still hot, scoring 11 of the Owls first 21 points in the half.

Although FAU came as close as 18 points with 2:30 remaining, Middle Tennessee scored the final 11 points of the game to close it out.

The Blue Raiders were led by three players in double-digit scoring, with Giddy Potts leading the way with 17 points.

The Owls has now lost ten consecutive games to the Blue Raiders.

FAU will visit Florida International University looking to complete the season sweep on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. at FIU Arena in Miami.

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_.