Men’s Basketball: Owls dominate FIU 71-51 on the road

The win clinches head coach Dusty May’s fourth consecutive winning season at FAU.


Eston Parker III

Photo of Johnell Davis driving to the paint against FIU on the road on Marc 3, 2022.

Cameron Priester, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (17-13, 10-7 C-USA) beat their archrival, the Florida International University (FIU) Panthers, (15-15, 5-12 C-USA) 71-51 Thursday night on the road at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fla.

The win evens the all-time record between the two rivals on the basketball court at 18 apiece and clinches the fourth straight winning season for head coach Dusty May at FAU.

The Owls got out to a hot start with freshman guard Johnell Davis sinking a three-point shot to take an early 8-0 lead with 13:01 in the first half. 

FIU made a surge late in the first half and took a 21-19 lead on a three-point shot with 2:53 left. However, sophomore guard Bryan Greenlee made his first basket of the night with 50 seconds left in the first half to give FAU a 22-21 lead at halftime.   

FAU did not have a fantastic first half on offense, shooting 30.8% from the field and 25% from three-point range. Guard Alijah Martin continued his fantastic freshman season as the Owls’ point leader at halftime with seven. He also had two rebounds and an assist. 

In the second half, the Owls found their rhythm on offense and shot the ball much more efficiently than in the first. 

With 13:19 to go in the second half, sophomore guard Brandon Weatherspoon made his first three-point shot of the game to give FAU a 41-26 leadtheir largest lead of the night to that point.

Graduate forward Bitumba Baruti connected on a second-chance layup to extend the Owls’ lead to 56-36 with 7:32 left in the second half. 

Graduate guard Michael Forrest was a nightmare for the Panthers in the matchup in January and continued the same trend Thursday. With 5:25 to play in the game, Forrest made his fourth three-point shot, extending the Owls’ lead to 63-41. 

FAU continued to execute well on offense late in the second half, squashing any possibilities of a late comeback for the Panthers.

Despite a rough first half shooting the ball, the Owls finished the night shooting 46.3% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range. Martin led the team with 13 points, three rebounds and an assist.

The Owls will now prepare for a rematch against FIU on Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m. in the Burrow at Abessinio Court in Boca Raton, Fla. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Cameron Priester is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron.