Xavian Stapleton’s last-second bid to extend FAU’s season drew only iron, sending FAU to a 68-66 defeat against Charleston Southern in the first round of the CIT Tournament.
The loss ended FAU’s season. The Owls’ 17-16 record is their fist winning season since 2011. FAU has yet to win a game in postseason play, with Thursday’s loss being its third in as many tries.
“(Charleston Southern) was quicker to the ball,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “They were the more energetic team.”
CSU led 66-58 with 3:40 remaining before an Anthony Adger three, and a Stapleton steal and dunk narrowed the Owls’ deficit to three with 1:16 remaining.
After the teams traded buckets, CSU missed a pair of free throws with 11 seconds to go, setting up Stapleton’s attempt at a game winner.
FAU trailed by as much as 12 points in the first half largely because of a nearly eight-minute scoring drought. The Buccaneers led 34-30 at the half.
An Adger six-point second-half run helped the Owls gain a 41-40 edge. Neither side held a lead larger than five points for the next 10 minutes of game action.
Anthony Adger led the Owls with 17 points. He made four three-pointers in the game, giving him 93 for the season, the second highest single-season total in FAU history.
The Owls ended the season with four consecutive losses and five defeats in their final six games. Four of their final five losses were by three points or less. The Owls also had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final seconds of their Conference USA tournament opening round loss to La. Tech but couldn’t convert.
“We have good pieces, but our internal expectations are very high,” May said. “We’re very excited about where this team and this program can go in the near future.”
GameBrowser: Charleston Southern (18-15) 68, FAU (17-16) 66
Moving Forward: Freshman guard Michael Forrest enjoyed his best game of late, scoring 15 and tying a career-high with six assists. …Stapleton came off the bench to score 14 points and grab five rebounds in his final game as an Owl. …Adger finished the season with 513 points, good for eighth place in FAU single-season history, and his 82.2 percent free throw shooting percentage is third best in program history. … FAU shot 75.1 percent from the free throw line as a unit on the season, a program record.
Falling Backward: Maitre Richardson started as part of the Owls’ three-guard attack but didn’t score, missing all three of his field goal attempts. …Cedric Jackson missed all but one of his six shots. …FAU shot 29 percent in the first half.
Key Stat: 39.3 – rebounds per game averaged by FAU this season, best in program history.
Up Next: FAU’s season is complete.