Men’s Basketball: Owls’ season ends in an 80-66 quarterfinal loss to UAB

This marks the second straight quarterfinal loss for FAU.


Photo of #15 freshman guard Alijah Martin taking the ball up the court against the UAB Blazers in the 2022 C-USA Quarterfinals. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Business Manager

FAU men’s basketball (19-14, 11-7 C-USA) saw its season conclude with an 80-66 defeat to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (25-7, 14-4 C-USA) in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament at Frisco, Texas on Thursday night.

The Owls were heavy underdogs entering the game. According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, UAB was 84.9% likely to win as seven-point favorites compared to FAU’s 15.1%.

FAU had a hard time guarding UAB’s offense. Within the first six minutes of the game, the Blazers unleashed a barrage of five three-pointers to take a 15-8 lead. Three of those shots came from UAB’s junior guard and leading scorer Jordan Walker, who finished with 18 points at the half.

Even as junior guard Michael Forrest and freshman guard Johnell Davis combined for 18 points to keep the Owls within reach, they were down 47-35 once halftime arrived.

FAU hit its lowest point of the game to start the second half. The team conceded 20 points in less than seven minutes, going down by as much as 22 points to UAB.

In a span of seven minutes, however, the Owls had one last spark in them. They went on an 18-4 run to cut the deficit to eight with 6:39 remaining. Forrest made two three-pointers to contribute in that frame.

Despite FAU’s efforts, the offense slowed down. With the score at 71-63 in the final minutes, the team only scored three points for the rest of the game, sealing their fate with another quarterfinal exit.

Forrest led the Owls in scoring with 16 points alongside three assists and two rebounds. Davis had 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals while graduate guard Everett Winchester put up 10 points with two assists and steals each. 

Freshman guard Alijah Martin, one of FAU’s key scorers, had a tough outing as he scored 11 points on 4-15 shooting. However, he did have a balanced statline of eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Only scoring eight points in the second half, Walker finished his performance with 26 points and five steals for the Blazers. Graduate guard Quan Jackson comes next with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, as graduate guard Michael Ertel put up 16 points and five rebounds on 4-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

The team will now retool for next season.

Richard Pereira is the Business Manager for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.