Men’s basketball: second-half shooting woes results in loss to UTEP

The Owls couldn’t retain their shooting percentage from the first half.


Sophomore Nick Rutherford recorded a game-high nine assists in the Owls loss to UTEP. Alexander Rodriguez | Contributing Photographer

Ryan Richman, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball was unable to shoot the ball as well in the second half as it did in the first, resulting in a 60-55 loss to the University of Texas El-Paso on Thursday night in Boca Raton.

The Owls (9-17, 5-10 Conference USA) and the Miners (12-15, 10-5 Conference) both shot above 50 percent in the first half, but the second half was another story.

The Owls shooting percentage dropped to 33 percent in the second half, bringing them to 43 percent for the game. UTEP was able to retain a decent shooting percentage in the second half, making 46 percent of its shots.

“Missed shots,” head coach Michael Curry said on the difference in the game. “We had some open shots, thought we had some good drives. They mix up what they do defensively.”

FAU senior guard Adonis Filer led the team with 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half.

Freshman Jailyn Ingram had it going early for the Owls, as he made two slam dunks and a 3-pointer in the first five minutes of the game.

Miners junior center Matt Willms seemed unstoppable early and ended the half with 10 points. UTEP’s junior forward Jake Flaggert was also a factor early as he knocked home two three-point shots for the Miners.

FAU junior center Ronald Delph came in off the bench and gave a big momentum boost to the team with six first-half points, making three out of his four field goal attempts. UTEP also had its own spark off the bench in freshman center Kelvin Jones, who scored 6 points in the half and 10 in the game.

“We let a guy, Kelvin Jones, come off the bench and get 10 points,” Curry said. “That’s kind of a way the game was lost.”

The second half was much more slow-paced as there were only three made shot in the first five minutes.

With less than a minute left in the game, Filer got fouled and made both of his free throws, leaving FAU down by three late. The Miners turned it over, but the Owls missed their opportunity. Flaggert eventually iced the game with two free-throws..

FAU plays the University of Texas at San Antonio on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in Boca Raton.

Ryan Richman is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @rydogg_818.