Costly mistakes doom No. 4 Arizona Basketball in 2OT loss vs No. 14 FAU

Desert Classic - Arizona v Florida Atlantic
Desert Classic - Arizona v Florida Atlantic / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

LAS VEGAS, NV – Despite a hot start, No. 4 Arizona Basketball (9-2) couldn't hang on as they fell to No. 14 FAU (10-2) by a 96-95 final in double overtime.

Looking to close out its non-conference schedule with a bang, No. 4 Arizona Basketball would have a tough battle on its hands as they took No. 14 FAU in Las Vegas as part of the Desert Classic on Saturday afternoon.

Taking on a talented FAU team one year removed from a Final Four appearance, the Wildcats were going to have a significant challenge in this one.

And luckily for us, the Wildcats looked sharp from the tip, especially as they climbed out to a commanding, 19-5 lead after the first few minutes of play.

Unfortunately, that would all be for naught as FAU was able to regain control of the game, using a strong, second-half effort en route to its thrilling, 96-95 win in double overtime.

Arizona would have four starters finish in double-figures in this one with Caleb Love leading the way with 26 points on 8-25 shooting (4-12 from three).

However, it was FAU's guard Johnell Davis that would be the star of the game in this one as he scored a game-high 35 points on 15-27 shooting, meanwhile Jalen Gaffney finished his day with 20 points.

But despite the Wildcats outrebounding the Owls 52-39 and fouling out FAU big man Vladislav Goldin, Arizona couldn't make enough plays in the end as FAU was able to earn the hard-fought victory.

Leading by six at the half, costly mistakes and defensive breakdowns doomed No. 4 Arizona Basketball in its 2OT loss to No. 14 FAU.

Unfazed by elite competition, Arizona Basketball returned to the hardwood as they looked to close out its most daunting non-conference schedule in recent memory.

And taking on a talented and well-coached FAU team, the Wildcats looked poised from the start, especially as Arizona climbed out to a commanding, 19-5 lead in the first, six-plus minutes of game time.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't last long as FAU would begin to find its rhythm in this one, clawing its way back and eventually pulling within two after Goldin converted on two free throw attempts to make it 27-25 Arizona with 5:11 to play.

Starting to regain its momentum, the Cats would close out the half on a 10-6 run as they went into halftime with a 37-31 lead.

Up six, Arizona would enter the second half hoping to continue to control the game. But unfortunately, the Wildcats looked awful to start the half.

From porous shot selection, bad ball movement, etc., the Owls were able to climb back into this one, tying the game at 41 before gaining the lead at 43-41 after an alley-oop dunk from Goldin.

And from there, FAU wouldn't look back either as they continued to control much of the second half, even pushing their lead to as many as eight with 12:37 to play.

Luckily, Arizona would respond, slowly chipping away at the Owls' lead as Arizona would regain the lead at 65-64 after a made floater from Pelle Larsson. Caleb Love would extend Arizona's lead moments later as he put the Wildcats in front at 67-64 with 4:28 to play.

With the Wildcats back in control, unfortunately, the lead wouldn't last for long as FAU once again responded, regaining its lead at 69-67 with 3:23 to play.

Trading baskets down the stretch, Arizona would have a chance to win it after a made three-point jumper by Love put Arizona in front at 73-71 with 1:13 to play.

The Wildcats would have the opportunity to put this one away for good, but a missed layup after a steal by Kylan Boswell gave FAU another chance to come back in this one.

Driving down, Johnell Davis would shoot a deep three to try and put the Owls back in front, but after a defensive lapse, Goldin was free near the bucket for an uncontested dunk to tie it at 73-73.

Arizona would have one last shot to try and win it, but Boswell was unable to convert as the Cats headed to overtime.

1st Overtime

From the tip, the Owls continued its hot shooting as FAU took the lead after a pull up jumper from Davis to make it 75-73.

Arizona would regain the lead at 77-75 after a pair of free throws from KJ Lewis but FAU wouldn't go away as they once again took the lead at 80-77.

Luckily, Arizona would continue to have an answer after each FAU bucket, even tying it at 84-84 after Love converted on two, huge free throws to send it to double overtime.

2nd Overtime

Once again gaining control from the tip, FAU would take the lead after a layup from Gaffney put the Owls up 86-84. And from there, FAU would not relinquish its lead as they continued to control this one.

Trailing by one, Arizona would have a chance to earn the win, but a desperation three would not go in as No. 14 FAU knocked off the Wildcats 96-95 in double overtime.

With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 9-2 on the year and will resume basketball action next weekend as they begin Conference play.

Arizona will travel to the Bay to take on Cal on Friday followed by Stanford on Sunday. Tip-off on Friday against the Golden Bears is set for 8:30 PM MST and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

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