BOCA RATON — Once the lights went out in The Burrow, the darkness that consumed FAU’s court was a sign of things to come.
After a power outage delayed tip-off by about 15 minutes, the Owls (5-13, 1-6) came out flat in a 86-57 blowout loss to Conference USA-leading Middle Tennessee.
Two days after nearly edging UAB with a second half comeback, FAU fell behind 17-4 in the first seven minutes and finished the first 20 minutes down 45-21.
Unlike the UAB game, FAU never threatened a comeback.
FAU fell behind by 30 early in the second half but was only outscored 41-36 in the half as a whole. Still, the improvement across those final minutes wasn’t enough to make coach Michael Curry dismissive of the loss.
“[We had] turnovers early and if you take the turnovers, they got them early on and they ended up with 26 points off turnovers,” Curry said. “They’re a very good executing team – they’re like robots. They know exactly what they’re going to do.”
FAU did find a positive in the defeat, however, as shooting guard and Oklahoma transfer Frank Booker scored a season-high 22 points.
GameBrowser: MTSU 86, FAU 57
Moving Forward: FAU out-rebounded the Blue Raiders…William Pfister played his best game of the season, recording 11 points and 7 rebounds – and avoiding fouling out for the second straight night. …Reserves Justin Massey, William Pfister, Frank Booker and Marcus Neely all played more than 20 minutes. No FAU starter logged that much time.
Moving Backward: Adonis Filer went 1-9 from the field. …Starting point guard Nick Rutherford played only 11 minutes. …After the game, Curry said the Owls’ second-consecutive poor start will prompt him to make a change to the starting line-up.
Key Stat: 26 – points that the Blue Raiders scored off turnovers.
Working Women: The 2016 FAU women’s softball team was honored during halftime and received their Conference USA championship rings. Their season will start Thursday, Feb. 9 against North Florida.
Up Next: FAU will make the drive south to Miami for a Thursday showdown with the Florida International Golden Panthers – the only C-USA team the Owls have beaten this season. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.