A constant theme of the 2017-2018 FAU basketball season continued in last Saturday’s home win against FIU: if Massey’s three-point shot falls, the Owls win.
In all five conference wins this season, Massey drained at least three triples, shooting them at 45 percent.
In the Owls’ nine conference losses, Massey shot just over 22 percent from long range and only made three or more triples twice.
FAU coach Michael Curry understands his team hits another gear when Massey is scoring from distance.
“You hate to put it on just Massey but normally when Massey shoots the ball well we score good,” Curry said. “We need him to finish up strong and go on a long streak–and he’s done that in the past so hopefully he can run some games together where he really shoots the basketball well.”
Curry attributed Ronald Delph’s career-high 24 point performance in the win against FIU to Massey’s hot three-point shooting as well.
“Massey did make some three’s and it required (FIU) to pick a poison and stayed home to play Ronald one-on-one, and if you play Ronald one-on-one he is going to score at a high clip,” Curry said.
In the late January victory at Rice, Massey nailed a buzzer-beating 30-foot game winner that landed at No. 9 on ESPN SportCenter’s Top Ten for the day.
“It was a big moment for Massey,” Curry said. “You don’t get a lot of memories throughout your college career but you get some and they’re memories forever.”
Rice currently sits at second to the bottom in the conference with a 2-12 conference record but, considering that FAU nearly lost to Rice three weeks ago, Curry isn’t taken the Houston school lightly.
With a win, FAU clinches its spot in the C-USA tournament.
“What we focus on with our guys is the thing that’s at hand, and we have Rice,” Curry said. “We want to just continue to play good basketball…if we keep doing that, everything else will take care of itself.”
- The narrative for most of the season has been Curry’s team struggling at home and in second halves, but FAU broke both of those trends on Saturday as the Owls outscored FIU 38-30 in the second half of an eventual home victory. “We won at home because in that second half stretch we were able to get timely makes and timely stops,” Curry said. “It felt good getting that home win.”
- Ball movement hasn’t led to FAU points in conference play this season. The Owls rank second to last in assists per game (10.92), but in the win against FIU the Owls flipped the script: seven different players had at least two assists and Payton Hulsey dished out eight assists of his own.
- The Owls were efficient from the line in the FIU win, hitting 15-16 attempts. On the season FAU is shooting 71.5 percent from the line, fourth in C-USA play.
Around C-USA: Middle Tennessee remains on top in the C-USA with a 12-1 conference record and is ranked No. 24 in the AP Top 25. Old Dominion and Western Kentucky are tied for second behind the Blue Raiders, with win streaks of five and four respectively. FAU is tied for 10th in the conference at 5-9.
Working Women: The Lady Owls losing streak stretched to six after getting blown out by FIU on the road 86-65. Sasha Cedeño continues her ascension into the record books as she became the eighth player in program history to join the 1,000 point club. The Lady Owls return to The Burrow against Southern Miss on Friday Feb. 23 for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Game Of The Week: Tough decision here because FAU can clinch a C-USA tournament berth with a win against Rice on Thursday night, but with the seniors playing such a big role for the Owls this season, senior night has to be the choice. The Owls will be honoring their seniors Saturday Feb. 24 against North Texas, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.