Men’s Basketball: FAU upsets FGCU 92-88 for third straight win

The Owls scored over 90 points for three straight games for the first time since the team’s first three games of the 1988-1989 season


FAU graduate student guard Payton Hulsey (0) makes a pass across the court while Bethune-Cookman’s Soufiyane Diakite (11) guards him. FAU went on to win 93-75 against Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 2 at FAU Arena. Joshua Giron | Staff Photographer

Matt Brown, Contributing Writer

After being down by as much as 14 in the first half and 11 at halftime, FAU Men’s basketball outscored Florida Gulf Coast 58-43 in the second half for a 92-88 upset victory Tuesday night.

The Owls (5-3) have now won three straight games for the first time since last season when they defeated FIU, Charlotte and Old Dominion from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.

After a four-game win streak, the Eagles (6-4) have now lost two straight games. This is just the second time this decade that FGCU has lost two home non-conference games in a row.

Coming into this game the team was 74-5 when leading at the half under head coach Joe Dooley.  

After shooting just 34 percent in the first half, the Owls shot for 56 percent in the second half to score 58 points, their second highest scoring output for a half this season.

They have scored over 90 points for three straight games for the first time since the first three games of the 1988-1989 season. They have scored more than 90 points in four of their eight games this season.

Senior guard Justin Massey led the team in scoring for the third straight game, scoring over 20 points each time. He finished the game with 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half.

He shot 5-of-10 overall and 7-of-9 on free throw attempts.

“He is playing his role,” said FAU head coach Michael Curry. “You have got to have a guy that can come off the bench that can be able to score the basketball for you.”

Graduate student guard Payton Hulsey shot a season high 19 points. He and Massey combined for all 40 of the team’s bench points.

He shot 50 percent from 3-point range and finished 7-of-13 overall.

Redshirt senior center Ronald Delph tied his season high of 19 points. Thirteen of his points came in the second half where he was 5-of-6. He shot 8-of-14 overall. He also grabbed a team high eight boards and had two blocks.

Senior guard Gerdarius Troutman scored over 10 points for the fifth straight game. He shot 50 percent from three and was perfect from the free throw line, scoring on all three of his attempts.

He finished with 14 points and two steals.

The Owls made 25 of their 33 free throw attempts, a 75.8 percentage rate.

“We knew it would come down to free throw shooting,” Curry said. “We probably shot 20 minutes of free throws today and 10 minutes of free throws yesterday because we know these tight games are going to be close and could come down to free throw shooting.”

The Eagles’ offense was led by guard Brandon Goodwin. He shot a game high 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting. He also had a game high 11 rebounds and four assists.

FGCU forward Antravious Simmons had his second highest point total of the season with 13, all coming in the first half. He also had six rebounds and one assist.

Both the Eagles and Owls had five players in double figures.

Two fan busses rode two hours to Ft. Myers to the game to support the team.  

“Our guys get energy with that. They were excited.” said Curry “We really appreciate them. It is a great experience for them while they are in college. They will think about it years later. For our guys in the present having that support on the road really gives them confidence to stick with the game and grind it out and they were able to do that.”

The Owls next game is at home on Sunday, Dec. 10 at noon against Webber International.

Matt Brown is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @mattyb407.