Jan. 25, 2014
MIAMI, FL (January 25, 2014) - A slow start doomed the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team in a 66-57 loss to rival FIU on Saturday.
Three straight turnovers and cold shooting by the Owls (7-13, 2-3 C-USA) helped FIU (11-9, 3-2) build an early 17-5 lead. FAU cut the lead to six twice in the first half before the Panthers pushed their advantage back out to a dozen. Marquan Botley hit a jumper from the corner just before the buzzer to trim the lead to 34-24 at the half.
In the second half, the game fell into a pattern of FAU pulling close to the Panthers, followed by FIU counterpunching to reestablish separation. The Owls' best chance to gain firm control of the contest came after Pablo Bertone hit a three-pointer to shrink the Panther lead to 49-47 with just under nine minutes to go.
However, FAU went scoreless for nearly four minutes after that bucket, allowing FIU to extend its lead back out to seven. The margin remained at least five points for the rest of the game. Free throws continued to bedevil the Owls, as they shot just 46.7 percent as a team.
Justin Raffington scored 12 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Bertone scored all of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
The Owls travel to Charlotte to play the 49ers on Thursday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Live audio of the game will be available on fausports.com. The game can also be heard on ESPN 106.3 FM.