March 6, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Despite building a large first half lead, the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team lost to FIU 74-70 on Thursday night.
The Owls (10-21, 5-11 C-USA) started off the game hot from the floor and built a 28-12 lead on the strength of five three-pointers from Marquan Botley. The lead was still 16 at 36-20 when FIU scored eight straight points to cut the lead in half at the break.
After a Justin Raffington dunk to start the second half, FIU went on another 8-0 run to trim the margin to two. The Owls fought their way back out to a nine point lead at 48-39 just over five minutes into the half. The Panthers responded with a 13-0 run to take a four-point advantage, which is the biggest lead either team would have the rest of the game.
Jackson Trapp converted a three-point play to retake the lead for FAU, 65-64 with just under two minutes to play. Less than a minute later, Marquan Botley was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and made all three free throws to tie the score at 68. After an FIU layup, FAU turned the ball over, leading to a Panther dunk. A Raffington dunk made the score 72-70, but FIU made two free throws to ice the game.
Botley ended the night with a career high 27 points, while Raffington scored 19 points and added eight rebounds. FAU will move on to the Conference USA Tournament, starting Tuesday, March 11 in El Paso, Texas. The Owls will be the no. 11 seed and play 14th seeded Marshall at 8 p.m. eastern. Live audio will be available at fausports.com. The game will also air on the C-USA Digital Network.