Strong Second Half Lifts FAU Past ULM, 76-71
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Florida Atlantic overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat ULM 76-71 on Thursday evening inside FAU Arena. The Owls (11-12, 6-6 SBC) shot 51.7 percent in the second half and knocked down four big 3-pointers in the final minutes to outlast the Warhawks.
The Warhawks lost despite a career-high 25 point effort from junior Amos Olatayo. The Alief, Texas, native finished 11-of-18 from the field and also contributed seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks in 30 minutes. It marked Olatayo's second consecutive 20-point scoring game and his fifth of the season.
Sophomore Trent Mackey finished with 14 points, junior Millaun Brown contributed nine points and nine rebounds off the bench and junior Jayon James added seven points, eight rebounds and a career-best nine assists.
ULM (3-14, 2-9 SBC) shot just 21.1 percent in the second half after shooting a blistering 65.4 percent clip in the opening half.
The Warhawks led 63-58 on a layup from Olatayo with 6:05 remaining. However, FAU's Jackson Trapp knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a 9-0 run for the Owls. A 3-pointer by Greg Gantt capped the run and gave the Owls a 67-63 lead with 4:08 remaining.
Olatayo scored on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 67, but another 3-pointer by FAU -- this time by Pablo Bertone -- gave the Owls the lead for good.
Gantt paced FAU with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while Stefan Moody chipped in 16 points and Bertone finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Owls.
The Warhawks put together their most productive first half of the season, shooting 65.4 percent (17-of-26) and netting a season-best 45 points before halftime. Olatayo scored 12 points in the half, including a pair of transition layups as part of an 8-2 run that gave ULM a 28-21 lead with 9:12 remaining.
FAU answered with a 7-0 run to tie game at 28 on a 3-pointer from Stefan Moody. The lead changed hands seven times before ULM reeled off 10 consecutive points to take a 45-36 at the break.
The Owls quickly erased the Warhawks' lead with a 15-4 run to open the second half. FAU took its first lead of the second half on a jumper from Gantt with 12:46 remaining.
A pair of free-throws from junior R.J. McCray, a 3-pointer from Mackey and two free throws from junior Marcelis Hansberry pushed ULM back in front 56-51 with 10:37 to play.
ULM closes out its two-game road trip at FIU on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT.