FAU starts its season 2-0 after a thrilling last-second win over UCF

FAU has now beaten UCF in five out of their last seven meetings.


FAU junior guard Anthony Adger (3) attempts to shoot a two pointer against MTSU. Photo by Joshua Giron

Matt Brown, Staff Writer

FAU basketball remains undefeated through two games of the Dusty May era, hitting a last-second shot to top UCF 80-79 on the road.

The Owls (2-0) victory is their first over UCF since 2014. Despite leading the overall series 22-9, the Knights (1-1) have lost five of their last seven against FAU.

FAU played a back-and-forth game deep into the second half, UCF taking a 74-73 lead with under two minutes remaining.

With seven seconds left, UCF’s B.J. Taylor hit what looked like a game-winner for his team. But the Owls had other plans.

FAU guard Michael Forrest pulled up for a last-second shot to win the game, but the ball rimmed out, Simeon Lepichev putting it back up to bring his team ahead with less than a second remaining.  

“Simeon made a great hustle play,” FAU basketball coach Dusty May said of Lepichev’s game-winner.

Guard Anthony Adger was FAU’s leading scorer, netting 19 points on 7-12 shooting.

Forward Xavian Stapleton recorded his first double-double as an Owl, scoring 14 points to go along with 10 boards.  

The Owls shot a measly 9-30 from the field in the first half but came out on fire in the second, shooting 19-37 in the final 20 minutes.

UCF got off to a hot start, scoring 12 unanswered points to start the game. Its lead quickly ballooned to 20 after going on a 9-0 scoring run minutes later.

FAU went on a run of its own, closing the gap at 11 with under six minutes remaining.

The Owls finished the half strong, behind by six, 37-31, after 20 minutes of play.

After trading baskets to start the second half, FAU took a 53-51 lead midway through the third quarter, its first of the game

FAU hopes to stay undefeated when it plays next Friday against Georgia Southern in the Bahamas Showcase tournament. Tipoff in Nassau is at 5 p.m.

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