FAU nets landmark victory in 68-53 win over Harvard

FAU coach Mike Jarvis

BOCA RATON — FAU freshman guard Marquan Botley is sure to have plenty of hot-shooting nights in his promising career, but he'll be hard pressed to top his performance Tuesday at FAU Arena. 

Botley scored 23 points on 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc to lead the Owls to a 68-53 win over highly-regarded and recently-ranked Harvard. 

Harvard entered Tuesday's game with the nation's 36th best RPI, which makes FAU's win arguably the most impressive non-conference victory in the Mike Jarvis era. 

For Jarvis, a Cambridge, Mass. native and former Harvard assistant coach, it ranks highly not only in his FAU tenure, but his overall coaching career. 


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“Tonight was just a great victory for our program and this team. I think it justifies the schedule that we play,” Jarvis said. “I’m from Cambridge… There was a time that I should have been the head coach at Harvard — I took this one personally.” 

The Owls played inspired basketball Tuesday, with Botley setting the tone. The freshman made his first six 3-pointers Tuesday, helping the Owls (7-12, 2-2) open leads of 8-0 and 20-5 in the first half. 

Botley left the game with 2:51 left in the contest after he landed awkwardly following a play at the rim. He would return moments later, but Pablo Bertone had already taken over the contest, scoring six points in the final two minutes to seal the win. The Owls never trailed in the contest.

Bertone scored 17 points in the contest. Forward Justin Raffington's double-double streak was snapped at a school-record six games — he had 7 points and 9 rebounds Tuesday. 

Harvard did little to contest the outcome, as FAU was able to counterpunch a late-first and early-second half surge with 3-point shooting. The Owls shot 47 percent from the floor and 53 percent from beyond the arc Tuesday, while holding the Crimson to 23 percent shooting (16 percent from beyond the 3-point arc). FAU added 12 blocks in the game, five coming from forward Kelvin Penn. 

The Owls’ slow start to the season will require a better-than-strong finish to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, and Jarvis hopes that Tuesday’s win will be a springboard to that finish. 

“I hope so, I pray so, I really want to believe so,” Jarvis said. “We’ll find out Saturday at FIU.”