Men’s Basketball: Owls falter 99-92 at New Mexico in season opener

Michael Forrest was the Owls’ leading scorer with 26 points.


Eston Parker III

Michael Forrest scored a team-high 26 points in the loss to New Mexico on Nov. 10, 2021.

Angel Rassi, Staff Writer

FAU men’s basketball (0-1) started their season in Albuquerque, N.M. with a loss against the University of New Mexico (1-0) on Wednesday night, falling 99-92. 

The first half began with the Owls getting the offensive start by scoring the first four points of the game via free-throws. The Lobos, however, scored a field-goal first with a two-pointer three minutes into the game.

UNM had the perimeter shooting advantage at halftime going 4-12 from beyond the arc, while FAU missed all of its five shots from three-point range. Despite that, the Owls outrebounded UNM by 10 at the half with 23 rebounds.

The game stayed close as both teams kept the score tied until the 10-minute mark of the second half. Then, the Lobos caught fire and went on a 16-4 run for the next five minutes.

FAU tried to go on a shooting spree in the second half but were only able to go 8-21 from three, while UNM continued to be consistent from beyond the arc, going 8-11 in the second half.

Junior guard Michael Forrest was the Owls’ leading scorer with 26 points. Graduate forward Bitumba Baruti helped out with 15 points, nine rebounds, and one assist, while junior forward Madiaw Niang scored 14 points and grabbed three boards.

UNM’s junior guard Jaelen House scored a game-high 30 points, six assists, and three rebounds in 37 minutes. Junior forward Jay Allen-Tovar contributed with 18 points of his own and eight boards.

Head coach Dusty May spoke post-game on FAU’s inconsistent three-point shooting.

“I think the last four minutes, we shot a lot of them and then if you just factor in if you can shoot 33% from three, your offensive efficiency is going to be one of the best in the country. If you only shot those particular shots, we’d be better than we’ve been offensively,” May said.

May also spoke about House’s offensive dominance and why FAU couldn’t slow him down.

“We probably could’ve either trapped him a little bit more and got it out of his hands, but that’s a challenge when the other guys are making shots. You can’t let him get 30 and the other supplementary guys get 20 each,” May said.

The Owls will play their next game in the Burrow at Abessinio Court against Warner University on Nov. 13 at 4:00 p.m. It will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

Angel Rassi is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @arassi2000.