Men’s basketball: FAU’s slow start leads to third straight loss

The Owls came out stronger in the second half, but did not have enough to hold off the Blazers of UAB.


Senior Adonis Filer scored the Owls first two baskets in their loss against UAB on Thursday night. Ryan Lynch | Editor in Chief

Jordon Edwards, Contributing Writer

Wins seem tough to come by at this point of the season for the Florida Atlantic men’s basketball team. The Owls (5-12, 1-5 Conference USA) came in Thursday night’s game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham (12-7, 5-1 Conference USA) looking to slow down the Blazers, who entered the game in a three-way tie for the second best record in the conference, but were unable to do so, falling 80-78 in Boca Raton.

At the two minute mark of the fourth quarter, FAU trailed by seven, but after clutch shots by both sophomore Jeantal Cylla and junior Gerdarius Troutman — who led all scorers with 21 points — the lead would dwindle to four with under a minute left in the game.

UAB brought its lead back up to six, and it seemed like the nail was in the coffin for FAU.

Troutman then converted a four-point play, which brought the Owls to within two with 0.8 seconds left. However, the Blazers were able to dribble out the ball and secure their 12th win of the season.

The Owls had a tough start to the game, scoring just 32 points while shooting 42.9 percent from the field in the first half. On the other side of the ball, UAB could not be stopped, shooting not only 57.7 percent from the field but also 66.7 percent from three.

That would all change when FAU stepped back on the court for the second half, starting the half on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 41.

Senior Adonis Filer had seven of those points to start the rejuvenated Owls.

The Owls would even take a two-point lead, but it would be short-lived.

A key issue for FAU in the game was defending the big men of UAB, juniors William Lee and Chris Cokley. The duo combined for 31 points, while shooting 61 percent from the field.

On the other side, juniors Ronald Delph and William Pfister would only account for four points, shooting only 40 percent from the field.

The Owls next opponent will be no easy task, as they welcome the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (16-3, 6-0 Conference USA), the number one team in Conference USA.

Tipoff will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, at FAU Arena.

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