Men’s Basketball: Owls extend win streak with 70-63 win against WKU

With Saturday’s win, the Owls now hold longest active win streak in the nation with 20 consecutive wins.


Branden Connelley

FAU Owls basketball get together for a group photo after their win against WKU on Jan. 28, 2023. This win locked them in as having the longest win streak in the nation.

JD Delcastillo and Branden Connelley

After a blowout win on Thursday, the #21 FAU Owls (21-1, 11-0 C-USA) secured yet another conference win against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (WKU) (11-11, 3-8 C-USA) in a 70-63 victory at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. 

“Just like all the other wins, a team effort,” said head coach Dusty May. “We did a lot of good things and everyone stepped up, and when you look down at this box score, you see why we’re as successful as we are cause these guys really play well together.”

The Owls came out of the gates shooting well from three-point range, making three shots from behind the arc in the first three minutes. Two were supplied by junior guard Bryan Greenlee, followed by another from junior guard Jalen Gaffney to take an early lead of 9-3 at the 17:00 mark in the first half.

WKU quickly responded, taking the lead at 13-12 after the Owls went over four minutes without a field goal. This drought was ended with a slam-dunk by sophomore guard Alijah Martin thanks to a solid screen set by sophomore center Vladislav Goldin, which retook the lead for FAU 12:18 left in the half.

With tough defense being played by both teams, neither side made a field goal for the next 4 minutes. Junior guard Brandon Weatherspoon ended this drought with a three-pointer which left the Owls ahead by 5 points with 5:31 till halftime.

“When we’re not scoring, we just rely on defensive rebounding,” said sophomore forward Giancarlo Rosado on the team’s poise when struggling on offense. “That’s what we get to when we can’t score, we’re gonna play defense.”

Rebounding was exactly what the Owls did, out rebounding the Hilltoppers 45-39—14 of those being offensive rebounds.

“Once again, you walk in here and at times we’re undersized at 5-out-of-5 positions, and for us to out rebound them by six is a testament to our guys,” said May.

Scoring would pick up for both teams, flipping the lead a numerous amount of times as the first half came to a close. The Owls ended the first half on a 7-0 run, with the final play being a steal and driving lay-up by Martin to beat the buzzer. FAU entered halftime with a 35-30 lead.

Freshman guard Nicholas Boyd kicked off the second half with a make from deep, extending FAU’s lead to 8. WKU retaliated with 6 unanswered points, cutting that lead to 2.

FAU would maintain the lead as sophomore guard Johnell Davis would splash back-to-back threes, followed by a lay-up by Rosado that pushed FAU’s lead back to eight with 13:12 in the second half.

For the next 10 minutes, FAU would maintain a steady lead. At the 3:13 mark WKU shrunk the deficit 58-61. With 2:23 in regulation, Goldin made a contested layup under the basket off an assist from Boyd which left them ahead 58-63.

Scoring leader for WKU, senior guard Jordan Rawls was the scoring leader for WKU, making two free throws after a foul by Boyd, bringing the lead back down to 3.

However, Davis closed out the final 1:30 for the Owls, finding Goldin under the basket where he drew a foul before converting the three-point play. Davis then grabbed a steal on the defensive end, which led to two free throws for himself, both of which he made to seal the Owls’ 70-63 win.

FAU ended the night with 10 players on the roster scoring at least four points, as Weatherspoon led in scoring with 14 points.

When asked about if there is any talk in the locker room about looking forward to the postseason, May deferred to Rosado.

“That’s their locker room,” said May. “We have unbelievable leadership within the locker room, and I sometimes ask what you guys talk about because I’m curious.”

“One game at a time,” answered Rosado. “Actually, one possession at a time. One possession at a time, frame-by-frame.”

The Owls will now look to extend the nation’s longest win streak against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers (15-7, 6-5 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 2. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network.



JD Delcastillo is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email him at [email protected] or reach out on Instagram @jd.delcastillo