FAU loses in basketball to Middle Tennessee State

Middle Tennessee State University used a big run late in the first half to take control of Thursday night’s Conference USA matchup with Florida Atlantic. The Blue Raider offensive run led to a 70-57 victory for MTSU (10-6, 1-2 CUSA).

FAU (8-7, 1-1 CUSA) got off to a good start. The Owls scored the first six points of the contest. For the first 13 minutes, it was basically a back-and-forth affair. There were four ties and three lead changes in the first 13 minutes.

A Vlad Goldin free throw with 7:10 left in the first half tied the contest at 20-20. For the remainder of the first half, it was almost all Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders scored the next nine points, as a Josh Jefferson 3-pointer sparked the spurt. Jefferson led all scorers in the contest with 19 points, including a game-high 5 3-pointers.

A pair of Alijah Martin free throws stopped the 9-0 run, but MTSU scored the next seven points to regain control. The Blue Raiders led 40-24 at the intermission.

A Michael Forrest 3-pointer early in the second half trimmed the FAU deficit to 15. But that’s as close as the Owls would get until the final minute of the contest. Middle Tennessee’s lead ballooned to 28 points over the next five minutes, as the Blue Raiders put together a 15-2 outburst.

FAU got within 17 on a Martin 3-pointer with 8:44 remaining. But the Owls couldn’t utilize the momentum to mount the comeback. Martin paced FAU with 13 points and five rebounds. He was the only Owl to score in double digits.

FAU is back in action again Saturday afternoon in Birmingham. Tipoff for the Owls vs. UAB is set for 4 p.m. ET.

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