Photo Credit: FAU Athletics
Despite a strong second-half showing, the Florida Atlantic Owls could never find a breakthrough.
After entering halftime down by double digits, the Owls clawed back into the game, tying the game and trailing by just two points multiple times. The fight, however, would prove to be too much for FAU, as the Owls fell 74-71 to the Charlotte 49ers.
The loss puts FAU at 8-7 (3-3 C-USA).
The Owls were led in scoring by Karlis Silins, who contributed 15 points and with 7 rebounds. Guards Michael Forrest and Kenan Blackshear contributed 14 points each.
FAU opened up the game with a 9-2 lead, shooting 55.9% from the floor. Following a Charlotte timeout, however, the lead quickly dwindled. A strong showing to end the half put Charlotte up 39-29 at half, as the 49ers shot at a blistering 50% to end the half.
The Owls, who have long lived on their ability to consistently shoot the three, connected on just two of their seven in the first half.
The biggest story at halftime, though, was the injury of Jailyn Ingram. Ingram suffered an apparent ankle injury midway through the first half and, despite returning to the sideline later in the period, did not return to the game. Ingram finished the night with just 3 points in seven minutes.
To open the second half, the Owls quickly went on a 13-3 run to tie the game at 42. The switch to a zone defense put the tempo back in FAU’s hands. The Owls couldn’t manage to get over the hump and take a lead.
Multiple small but timely runs allowed Charlotte to hold onto the lead, and with 2:51 remaining, the 49ers led by six points. Despite a final Owls comeback attempt, BJ Greenlee stepped out of bounds with 0.6 seconds remaining, ending the game.
As a team, the Owls struggled to keep Charlotte away from the free-throw line. The 49ers shot 42 free throws, converting 34 of them. The Owls finished the game with 28 personal fouls.
Jahmir Young led the way for Charlotte with 25 points. Jordan Shepherd also contributed 19 points on 5-9 shooting. As a unit, the 49ers shot 47.4% from the field.
FAU returns to play on Friday and Saturday with a trip to West Virginia to take on Marshall (9-4, 3-3 C-USA)