Men’s Basketball: FAU sets program record with ninth win in C-USA play

FAU snapped a four-game losing skid with the win.


Eston Parker III

University Press Stock Photo of #20 Bitumba Baruti (left), #2 Everett Winchester (center), and #4 Bryan Greenlee (right).

Kevin Garcia, Staff Writer

The Florida Atlantic Owls (16-13, 9-7 C-USA) notched a hard-fought 74-69 victory on the road in Charlotte, N.C. against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (15-13. 8-8 C-USA) on Saturday evening. With the win, the Owls recorded a program-best nine wins in C-USA play this season. 

Freshman guard Alijah Martin led the Owls’ scoring attack with 16 points, followed by junior guard Michael Forrest who added 14 points. FAU outpaced Charlotte 38-19 in the rebounding department.

However, this game did not come easy for the Owls as the two teams engaged in a back-and-forth contest throughout. 

The action started off relatively slow with the Owls taking a 9-4 lead 6:28 into the first half off of a three-pointer from graduate forward Bitumba Baruti. The scoring continued as less than a minute later, Martin sank two free-throws to extend the lead to 13-6.

A run from the 49ers cut the Owls lead briefly to 14-13 about 10 minutes in,  followed by a three-pointer from Charlotte. FAU responded with an 8-0 run to expand its lead to 21-14. 

No lead was safe in the first half as the teams traded leads to end the half. FAU trailed 34-32 going into halftime after leading for most of the half. 

FAU came out of the half flat, failing to score for the first three minutes. This led to a nine-point lead for the 49ers, their highest of the game. The drought ended when freshman forward Giancarlo Rosado made 1-2 free-throws.

The Owls battled back and took a 48-45 lead on a three-pointer by Martin. However, the teams exchanged leads for several minutes following the three-pointer. 

Sophomore guard Bryan Greenlee made two free-throws to put FAU up 70-63 with 32 seconds left to seal the victory for the team.

FAU will next take the court against the Florida International University (FIU) Panthers in Miami, Fla. on Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+. 

Kevin Garcia is a staff writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @kevingar658.