Basketball: Cornelius Taylor helps FAU survive in narrow 84-79 victory over Palm Beach Atlantic

Although the Owls won their second game of the season, they struggled to put the game away late.


With the win yesterday over Palm Beach Atlantic, the Owls are 2-0 on their home floor. Photo by Michael Hoyos.

Kevin Fielder, Contributing Writer

In a season that was supposed to be filled with new hope, similar mistakes that plagued the FAU basketball team last season arose again in the Owls’ 84-79 win over the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish.


Despite the Owls taking a nine-point lead into halftime, Palm Beach Atlantic was able to claw their way back into the game, thanks, in large part, to a 56 percent shooting performance in the second half. The timely shooting, combined with FAU’s struggles shooting, allowed Palm Beach Atlantic to tie the game at 76 with just over a minute remaining.


With 29 seconds left, guard Cornelius Taylor’s left corner three-pointer would give the Owls a 79-76 lead, and the Owls would not look back, pulling out an 84-79 victory.


“Honestly, I had a clear mind. I knew I had just missed one in that same left corner but I knew I would get another opportunity to hit that one,” Taylor said. “Every day at practice, I step in and hit game-time shots. I’ve made game time shots in my career, so it was going to be that same mentality.”


Taylor, a graduate transfer from Lincoln Memorial, finished the game with 10 points, including five in the final 30 seconds of action to secure the Owls’ win.


Following the game, FAU head coach Dusty May said he was encouraged by Taylor’s transition from Lincoln Memorial to FAU.


“He’s a big shot maker and he’s a pest defensively,” May said. “Coming from another school where you play for four years, he knows a different offensive system, a different defensive system, so he’s changing everything he does.”


The Owls were led by Serbian big man Aleksandar Zecevic, who scored a game-high 16 points (7-9 shooting) and grabbed another five offensive rebounds, four of which came on offense.


“I thought our guards did a good job of finding him in his spots, and his touch and his scoring ability is elite for someone his size,” May said about Zecevic. “I thought he showed some effort defensively, trying to improve.”


Although the offense showed flashes from three-point range, it was an overall disappointing game from long range for FAU. In the second half, the Owls hit just three of their 13 attempts from deep. On the game, the Owls were eight of 27 from three. 


On Nov. 20, FAU (2-2) will travel to Fort Myers to play Florida Gulf Coast, before playing their next five games at home.


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