Men’s Basketball: Owls show resilience in a 66-53 overtime win over the Charlotte 49ers

Michael Forrest’s 21 points rally FAU to a thrilling overtime victory over Charlotte 66-53.

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Michael Forrest (pictured #11) had a team-high 21 points in the win against Charlotte. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Courtesy of Owl TV

Eston Parker III, Photo Editor

Editor’s note: You can view Owl TV’s accompanying video above this story.

The FAU Owls (8-6, 3-2 C-USA) continued their winning streak Friday night, defeating the Charlotte 49ers (6-7, 2-3 C-USA) 66-53 in overtime. The win extends FAU’s streak to three and places them third in the east division of C-USA.

In the first half, FAU lacked firepower, shooting 28.6 percent (8-18) from the floor. Adding to their woes, they made only one of 10 three-point shots in the first half. Even despite Charlotte’s absence of any made three-point shots, their overall lead in rebounds allowed them slightly more opportunities.

Senior guard Everett Winchester led the way for FAU through his eight rebounds and was their most efficient player (8.0) in the half. However, the Owls’ leading scorer was junior center Karlis Silins, who scored 6. 

Overall, the first half was nothing memorable for either side. 

The Owls displayed a resurgent second-half performance, eventually coming back from a 12-point deficit early in the second half. Offensively, FAU acquiring an eye for the three-point shot was crucial for their explosion. After a dismal 1-10 in the first half, the Owls improved to 10-18 from the three-point line.

That turning point came when after a crucial three-point shot by junior guard Michael Forrest with just over 6 minutes remaining, the Owls defense stepped up to hold Charlotte to a shot-clock violation. The momentum swing was almost carried by the Owls for the remainder of the game, having the lead until a surprising three-point shot from Charlotte guard Jahmir Young tied the game with 24 seconds remaining.

With 2.7 seconds on the clock, FAU’s inbound pass ended in the hands of Silins. Unfortunately, Silins was forced to attempt a three-point shot, and his miss resulted in the game going into overtime. 

In the Owls’ first game in overtime this season, FAU shined at the moment. They controlled the flow of the game, outscoring Charlotte 16-3 in overtime. Most importantly, the Owls did not miss a single shot throughout overtime.

Junior guard Michael Forrest elevated his performance in the second half and overtime, scoring all 21 points after the first half. He led the team in scoring and got eight of FAU’s 16 points in overtime. He also snagged five rebounds and led the team in efficiency (20.0).

Alongside him, Silins and sophomore guard Bryan Greenlee were crucial factors in FAU’s resurgence. Silins controlled the paint towards the latter stages of the game, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, and tying Greenlee for a team-high three assists. Greenlee contributed 12 points and was 2-4 in three-point shots.

FAU continues their season against Charlotte tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Burrow and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Eston Parker III is the Photo Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @EstonParker.