GAME NOTES: Florida Atlantic travels to South Beach tonight to face Conference USA foe FIU at U.S. Century Bank Arena.
FAU returns to C-USA action after defeating Harvard on Monday night, 68-53.
Marquan Botley scored a career-high 23 points for the Owls, who have won three of their last four outings. Pablo Bertone added 17 points for FAU, which led from start to finish.
The Owls scored 17 of the first 22 points and went into halftime with a 29-20 edge. FAU eventually pushed the lead to 16 (45-29) with just under 13 minutes to go in the game, but Harvard fought its way back to within five with 5:36 remaining, 48-43. However, back-to-back buckets by FAU, including a Jackson Trapp triple, pushed the advantage back to 10, 53-43, and the Owls were never seriously challenged again.
As a team, FAU shot a season-high 53.3 percent from 3-point range.
Bertone leads FAU in scoring with 18.1 ppg, but Jackson Trapp is the only other double-digit scorer with 10.6 ppg. Justin Raffington averages 9.4 ppg and a team-high 9.2 rpg for the Owls, who score only 68.6 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting for head coach Mike Jarvis.
FIU is also coming off a win, downing East Carolina last Saturday, 68-64, in C-USA action.
Redshirt senior Rakeem Buckles had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers, who won for only the second time in seven games.
Senior Tymell Murphy also had 18 points and redshirt junior Dennis Mavin added 10 for FIU, which held on to improve to 2-2 in C-USA action.
For the game, the Panthers shot 52 percent (24-of-46) from the floor and held the Pirates to 44 percent (22-of-50). FIU also controlled the boards, 32-29, while forcing 14 turnovers.
Murphy is the Panthers' leading scorer this season with 16.5 ppg. He also pulls down 7.7 boards per tilt, which ranks just behind team-leader Buckles (9.4 rpg). Buckles is the second-leading scorer on the squad, averaging 13.3 ppg.
This season, the Panthers are averaging 68.2 ppg on 44.6 percent shooting, while yielding 69.7 ppg.
FIU has been struggling lately despite it's latest win, but FAU is not good on the road. Being a road conference contest, don't expect an offensive explosion from the Owls.
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