No. 24 Florida Atlantic hopes to avoid letdown vs. Temple


After splitting two overtime games on the road last week, No. 24 Florida Atlantic returns home to face Temple on Thursday at Boca Raton, Fla.

Florida Atlantic (19-5, 9-2 AAC) lost 76-73 at UAB last Thursday but rebounded with a 95-82 victory at Wichita State on Sunday. Vladislav Golden had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Owls on Sunday, while Brandon Weatherspoon had 19 points.

Despite failing to make a shot from the floor for nearly 3 1/2 minutes at the end of regulation, Florida Atlantic forced extra time then made 7 of 8 shots in OT to win it.

It wasn’t just a rough ending to regulation for Florida Atlantic, which also missed its first six shots to open the game. Its Final Four pedigree from last season was visible while taking over in OT and outscoring the Shockers 21-8.

“We’re getting great reps in pressure situations,” FAU head coach Dusty May said. “We’re seeing that the more game experience you can have, it’s obviously going to pay dividends later but also it gives you confidence. I think it gives our guys confidence that we’ve been in so many different situations.”

FAU forward Giancarlo Rosado has not played since Jan. 14 when he sustained a sprained knee in a game against UAB. He might not be on the court Thursday either.

“We met with the training staff and he is progressing as scheduled,” May said Monday. “He will be doing limited practice (Tuesday). … We’re not going to rush it. When he’s ready to go he will go.”

Temple (8-16, 1-10) has continued to fade while on a nine-game losing streak. After dropping consecutive overtime games Jan 28 to East Carolina and Feb. 4 to Tulane, Temple then lost 84-77 to Memphis on Thursday and 73-70 at home to Charlotte on Sunday.

It is Temple’s longest losing streak since dropping 11 consecutive games during the 1975-76 season.

Hysier Miller scored 14 points against Charlotte, while Quante Berry matched his career high with 13 points and had a career-best four assists in his return from a two-game absence because of a shoulder injury. Matteo Picarelli’s potential game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds remaining was off the mark.

Temple tied the score 43-43 with 12:53 remaining before Charlotte went on a 20-6 run to grab control. Temple took care of the ball, committing just five turnovers in the loss.

“I think it’s hard when you have so many injuries like we’ve had,” Temple head coach Adam Fisher said. “… I would love for everybody on our team to have their best night of the season every time out, but that’s not how it works. That’s what a team is. And when certain guys aren’t having their best night, the other guys will step up.”

It will be Temple’s lone meeting of the season against Florida Atlantic as the squad tries to win for the first time since beating Wichita State 68-61 on Jan. 7 at home.

–Field Level Media

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