Pablo Bertone scored 20 points and had seven assists on Saturday.
Jan. 11, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - A career-high 19 points from Marquan Botley and Justin Raffington's fourth straight double-double helped the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team rally to defeat Rice 73-68 on Saturday.
The game was tied 7-7 early in the first half when Rice (5-10, 0-2 C-USA) when on a 19-4 run to take a 26-11 lead. FAU (5-11, 1-1 C-USA) clawed its way back into striking distance, and went into the halftime break trailing just 30-25.
Pablo Bertone scored the first five points of the second half to tie the game. For the next several minutes, the two teams exchanged baskets, neither side taking a lead larger than three points. Rice shot 48 percent from the floor in the first half, but FAU held their opponents to only one field goal during a stretch of more than 10 minutes in the second stanza. By the time the drought ended, FAU had built a nine-point lead with less than six minutes to go.
It was Texas' version of the Owls turn to fight their way back into contention. Keith Washington hit a layup to cut FAU's lead to one, 65-64 at the 2:41 mark. Bertone nailed a pair of free throws, but Sean Obi's putback cut the margin back down to a single point. Botley and D'Andre Johnson each split a pair of free throws to push the lead back to three.
Max Guercy drew a foul and made a pair from the charity stripe, but Johnson matched him on the other end to keep FAU's lead at three. Rice had the ball and a chance to tie the game with 19 seconds left, but FAU's defensive pressure forced a turnover. Jackson Trapp hit two free throws to provide the final margin.
FAU returns home on Thursday, Jan. 16 to host ECU. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Live video will be available at fausports.com. The game can also be heard on ESPN 106.3 FM. For tickets, visit fausports.com or call the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.