Men’s Basketball: Owls dominate Lynn 81-46 in season-opener

Sophomore guard Johnell Davis was the Owls’ leading scorer with 15 points.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Sophomore guard Alijah Martin throws down a one-handed dunk against Lynn on Nov. 8, 2022.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU men’s basketball (1-0) tipped off their season with a dominant 81-46 victory over the Lynn University Fighting Knights in the Burrow at Abessinio Court in Boca Raton, Fla. on Monday night. 

“Good start to the season, I thought we played hard,” said head coach Dusty May. “There’s still a lot to clean up that we’ll have to do on the practice court. But overall, [I’m] happy with our team spirit and competitive nature.”

The Owls had their share of struggles in the first half despite taking a 17-7 lead in the opening 10 minutes. Halfway through the first period, they were shooting 38.9% from the field as a team, and missed all six of their attempts from three-point range.

“Just first game jitters,” said redshirt freshman guard Nick Boyd, who finished with 10 points. “As time went on, we got [comfortable] and started making our shots.”

FAU ended the opening period shooting more efficiently to take a 42-16 lead heading into halftime, thanks in part to sophomore guard Johnell Davis’ 11-point first half. In only the fourth start of his career, Davis led the Owls in scoring with 15 points after shooting 62.5% from the field, in addition to his five rebounds and three assists.

“I just let the game come to me. I [didn’t] want to force anything,” Davis said.

The Owls continued shooting the ball well into the second half, going on an 11-point run to extend their lead to 69-28, their largest lead of the night. Six of those 11 points came on three-pointers from sophomore guard Alijah Martin and junior guard Jalen Gaffney.

Martin, who was named to the Conference USA All-Preseason team, was relatively quiet in the season opener. He finished the night with nine points, shooting 30.7% from the field and 14.2% from three-point range.

“Alijah is in a completely different role than he’s ever been in, as the go-to guy,” May said on Martin’s shooting struggles. “He’s adjusting to an entirely new situation with the way he’s being defended. He’s not gonna go for one for seven very many times this year.”

With 58 seconds remaining in regulation, redshirt sophomore guard Alejandro Ralat put an exclamation point on the victory by nailing a three-pointer to make it a 81-46 win for the Owls.

“There’s a lot to clean up, we’re not pleased with how we played,” said May. “We have to play more sound, solid, disciplined basketball if we’re going to be competing for championships in March.

The Owls will now travel to Oxford, Miss., for a matchup with the Ole Miss Rebels (1-0) on Friday, Nov. 11. The game will be broadcast by ESPN+.

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