Men’s Basketball: Owls beat Western Kentucky 78-69 at home

All five starters scored at least 10 points, helping FAU win its second straight game.


Eston Parker III

Photo of graduate guard Everett Winchester.

Bryce Totz, Sports Editor

FAU men’s basketball (10-8, 3-2 C-USA) won their second straight game Thursday night at home, winning 78-69 against the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Hilltoppers (10-8, 2-3 C-USA). 

Each of the five starters scored at least 10 points. The starters were freshman center Vladislav Goldin, freshman guard Alijah Martin, sophomore guard Bryan Greenlee, junior guard Michael Forrest, and graduate guard Everett Winchester. 

“All of our smaller guards shoot really well,” head coach Dusty May said.

The game started slow, as the two teams combined for 11 points through the first 4:05. The Owls trailed until Winchester scored a three-pointer 25 seconds later. 

“[Western Kentucky] forces you to play differently than you do on a daily basis and I thought our guys really figured some things out,” May said. 

Both WKU and FAU went back-and-forth exchanging the lead throughout the first half. 

The Owls remained disciplined through the first five minutes, but Greenlee took the team’s first penalty with 14:34 to go in the half. 

The first half ended with the Hilltoppers leading 36-33. FAU shot 46.9% from the field, 25% from behind the arc, and turned the ball over seven times. 

“We didn’t defend the three-point line well at all in the first half,” May said. “We made a couple scouting report errors and a couple of them were in transition where we just didn’t get our defense set.” 

Freshman guard Johnell Davis scored nine points on his first four shots of the game. Winchester also scored nine points in the first half. 

“[Davis] over the last month has improved more than anyone in our program,” May said. 

FAU trailed for the first 13:53 of the second half. They trailed by six with about 10 minutes left in the game, but then they went on a 14-4 run over the next 5:39. At this point, the Owls led 61-57.

Winchester had a breakaway towards the end of the game, but was unable to convert after bouncing the ball off of the rim.

“It was definitely very important to just forget about it because I don’t know how much time was left on the clock,” Winchester said. “You can’t really dwell on that last dunk because I would sit there and pout about it and I may not be engaged in the next play.” 

The Owls kept the momentum for the rest of the game and finished with an 8-0 run behind a couple of three-pointers and a layup. 

“We love the three-point shot,” May said. “Everyone on our team works on them and they have a greenlight to shoot them.” 

Overall, the Owls shot 49.3% from the field, 36.7% from beyond the arc, and 33.3% at the free-throw line. Despite WKU having a center that measures at 7-feet-5-inches, they scored 38 points in the paint. 

Winchester and Forrest led the team with 14 points each. Greenlee led the team with four buckets from behind the arc. Martin played the most minutes at 31. 

“It was pretty easy to play like that when you [have] everybody behind you to back you,” Winchester said. 

The Hilltoppers were 12-for-18 at the free-throw line, shot 50% from the field, and 43.8% from three-point territory. 

WKU’s starters contributed 57 points. Sophomore guard Dayvion McKnight was a rebound away from a double-double, as he scored 22 points and had nine rebounds. 

FAU will finish the three-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 22 against Marshall University at 4 p.m. It will be broadcast on C-USA TV. 

Bryce Totz is the Sports Editor at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or tweet @brycetotz.