Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Pablo Bertone scored 20 points and notched a team-high seven assists as the Florida Atlantic Owls handed a 73-68 defeat to the Rice Owls in Conference USA action at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Marquan Botley chipped in 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and added five rebounds for FAU (5-11, 1-1 C-USA). Jackson Trapp scored 14 points and Justin Raffington netted 11 and grabbed 12 rebounds for the double-double. FAU has won two of its last three games.
Sean Obi scored 14 points and secured 10 rebounds for Rice (5-10, 0-2) in the losing effort. Austin Ramljak also had 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, all from beyond the 3-point arc. He connected on both of his free-throw attempts. Rice has now lost five games in a row.
FAU had a rough first half, shooting just 31 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3-point range. Rice hit 48 percent of its shots in the first frame and went into the half with a 30-25 lead.
FAU picked it up in the second half, connecting on 50 percent of its shots and hitting 17-of-23 from the charity stripe. Rice's shooting accuracy took a dip in the second period, dropping to 40.7 percent. FAU outscored Rice in the half, 48-38.
FAU topped Rice at the free-throw line in the contest, 21-13, and forced the home squad to turn the ball over 16 times to FAU's 10, winning the points off turnovers battle, 18-12.