Men’s Basketball: Owls survive late comeback attempt to defeat Charlotte 71-67

The victory moves the Owls’ winning streak to thirteen consecutive games—the second longest active winning streak in the country.


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 (14-1, 4-0 C-USA) extended their winning streak Saturday afternoon, staving off a late comeback attempt, taking down University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (11-5, 2-3 C-USA) 71-67 at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena in Boca Raton, Fla. 

With the victory, the Owls winning streak now sits at 13 consecutive games, which is the second longest active win streak in the NCAA.

“Everything didn’t go well, but our guys stepped up to make the plays necessary to win,” said head coach Dusty May. “I’m most impressed with their poised and togetherness.”

The matchup wasn’t always as close as the final score suggests, as sophomore guard Alijah Martin sank a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions with 9:12 remaining in the first half, giving the Owls an early ten-point lead. 

With 48 seconds remaining in the first half, Martin connected again from deep, his fourth of the first half, which left the Owls ahead 41-26 and capped an efficient first half shooting the ball, especially from three-point range.

In the first half, FAU shot 54.2% from the field and 64.7% from three-point range, with eleven of their 13 first half field goals coming from behind the arc. 

As the second half began, it seemed as if the Owls would continue to roll as sophomore center Vladislav Goldin scored on back-to-back possessions to open the half. Minutes later, sophomore guard Johnell Davis, who was coming off a 36-point performance against UAB days ago, made a layup pushing FAU’s lead to 20—the largest lead of the night. 

At this point, however, the Owls began to unravel. With 12:02 in the second half, the 49ers mounted a 20-4 scoring run, which slimmed the Owls lead to three. 

Goldin temporarily stopped the bleeding, as he made layups on back-to-back possessions pushing the Owls’ lead back to eight points. However, Charlotte proceeded to go on another run, which shrunk FAU’s once 20-point lead, to just two with 1:16 to play. 

On the following possession, Martin made his fifth three-pointer of the night, followed by a layup by junior guard Bryan Greenlee which returned their lead back to eight and effectively sealed the victory for FAU. 

“I’m overall very pleased that we were able to find a way to win against a very tough and physical Charlotte basketball team that’s well-coached,” said May. 

For the fifth time this season, Martin finished as the Owls’ leading scorer with 17 points, including five-of-nine from three-point range, along with four rebounds and an assist. As a team, the Owls shot 46.4% from the field and 46.8% from deep, while being outrebounded by the 49ers 32-30.

FAU will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 11 against their rival, the Florida International University Panthers (7-7, 1-2 C-USA) at Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fla. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on C-USA TV. 

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