BOCA RATON – Jailyn Ingram’s put-back of an errant Scuta Taylor shot with 20 seconds remaining broke a 65-65 tie, giving FAU all the points it would need in a 69-65 victory over Conference USA leader Western Kentucky.
“I knew all eyes were going to be on Cornelius,” said Ingram, who led FAU scorers with 16 points. “He’s a big shot maker and taker, but I just wanted to put myself in position, in case he missed, to get the rebound and go back up.”
Taylor blocked a Taveion Hollingsworth shot as the Hilltoppers attempted to tie the game in the closing seconds, sending the ball out of bounds off Hollingsworth.
Two Richardson Maitre free throws with two seconds remaining sealed the victory for FAU.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Owls. The loss dropped WKU into a tie for second in C-USA./
“I’m very pleased with how we were able to battle back after a poor start,” coach Dusty Mayy said. “We got contributions from a lot of different players. Jailyn Ingram didn’t have one of his better games, but he made winning plays late.”
FAU (13-9, 5-4) overcame a sluggish start that saw WKU (14-7, 7-2) score the first 12 points of the game. A Taylor 3-pointer nearly four minutes into the contest finally put the Owls on the scoreboard.
The Owls stormed back, taking the lead at 28-26 on two Michael Forrest free throws with a little more than five minutes remaining in the half. FAU trailed 33-30 at the half.
FAU never trailed in the game’s final 10 minutes, though WKU managed to tie the contest several times.
The Owls opened their largest lead of the game, five points, with 2:58 remaining but the Hilltoppers rallied to tie the game on two Carson Williams free throws with 45 seconds to go.
FAU milked the clock on the ensuing possession, then saw Taylor’s airball from the corner fall pleasantly into Ingram’s arms.
The Owls return to the court on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip-off against Marshall.