Dec. 10, 2011
BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic men's basketball team returned to FAU Arena for the first game on their own floor in 22 days, and found the home nets to be very welcoming, shooting 54 percent from the field and making 10 three-pointers in the first half alone in defeating Warner Saturday night, 98-70.
A back-and-forth first five minutes actually saw Warner lead the Owls 10-9 with 14:55 remaining. But over the course of the next 5:30, a 23-6 run highlighted by five three-pointers gave FAU a 32-16 lead, one that would never dip into single digits again.
Freshman Omari Grier made five of the Owls' 10 first half threes, and finished with 18 points in the game on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the arc. The Owls were led by Greg Gantt with 21 points, who had an efficient shooting night, going 9-of-12 from the field. Also making it into double digits was sophomore guard Dennis Mavin, who had eight of his 13 points in the second half.
The Owls shot 63.6 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, going 21-for-33. They were 10-of-15 from behind the arc in the first half. For the entire game, they also nearly doubled the much taller Warner team in rebounding, 42-22. Pablo Bertone had a team-high 11 rebounds to go along with his nine-point effort, and Raymond Taylor had 10 assists and eight points.
"I'm glad that we were able to get started again. I saw some things that I liked. When we have run our offense, we have gotten good shots," said FAU head coach Mike Jarvis. "If you take care of the basketball, take good shots and make your free throws, you have a chance to win."
The Owls are back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Starkville, MS, to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs at 9 p.m. eastern. The game will be televised on CSS and streamed live on ESPN3.com.Live audio of the game can be found at www.fausports.com.