Men’s Basketball: Owls regroup with 67-52 victory over Charlotte

Michael Forrest made his 288th career three-pointer in Saturday’s win, which made him FAU’s all-time leading three-point scorer.


Branden Connelley

Jalen Gaffney draws a foul on the layup attempt and gets sent to the free throw line on Jan. 28th, 2023.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

The #19 FAU Owls (22-2, 12-1 C-USA) bounced back after Thursday’s loss with a 67-52 road win over the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (13-10, 4-8 C-USA) Saturday afternoon.

“What a complete team effort once again,” said head coach Dusty May. “I thought our defensive energy, our physicality and our attention to detail were probably as good as we’ve had.”

After sophomore center Vladislav Goldin won the tip, he got FAU on the board first with a layup. With two three-points early on, the 49ers were able to take back the lead, but sophomore guard Alijah Martin responded with his first three-point of the game, leaving FAU ahead by one.

Junior guard Brandon Weatherspoon’s back-to-back three-pointers extended the Owls’ lead to five and made it four consecutive makes from behind the arc for FAU after missing their first four.

Around halfway through the first half, the 49ers cut the lead in with a scoring run capped by a dunk from sophomore guard Isaiah Folkes. The Owls went a little over three minutes without a single basket before Goldin ended their drought with a layup.

Although FAU was able to push their lead back to nine, problems turning the ball over by the Owls kept Charlotte in the game. Another scoring run by the 49ers, this time for seven unanswered points, cut the lead to two.

Senior guard Michael Forrest was able to end the Owls’ scoring drought with a make from deep. However, with 34 seconds till halftime, 49ers redshirt sophomore guard Lu’cye Patterson drew a foul and converted the 3-point play, which left Charlotte with a 1e-point lead heading into halftime at 31-30.

Though both teams were shooting relatively efficiently at halftime, the Owls had a slight edge. FAU was shooting 50% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range, compared to the 49ers’ respective 45.8% and 36.4%. Sophomore guard Alijah Martin led the Owls in scoring with nine points and two rebounds.

Back-to-back field goals by Goldin gave the Owls a 3-point lead to open up the second half. A pair of baskets by Weatherspoon and Martin continued the Owls’ momentum and carried on their eight-point run.

With 11:08 in the second half, junior guard Bryan Greenlee connected from beyond the arc, which Forrest followed with a 3-point of his own. Not only did that play give the Owls their largest lead of the night, but it also made Forrest the all-time leading three-point scorer in FAU’s program history with 288 makes from deep.

A layup by sophomore guard Johnell Davis extended their run to 12 points; that was before Charlotte responded with a 6-point run of their own.

Around the eight-minute mark in the second half, however, the Owls began to pull away. After grabbing a defensive board, sophomore guard Nicholas Boyd took it all the way across the floor on a fastbreak for a layup, which pushed their lead to 12. 

A three-point by Greenlee with 4:45 in regulation gave the Owls their largest lead of the night at 17 points and appeared to put a dagger in the game. Goldin put an exclamation point on the win with a slam dunk with 1:10 to play, leaving FAU with a 15 point victory. 

After a sloppy start in the first half, FAU dominated the second half, holding the 49ers to score just 22 points. Goldin finished the night as FAU’s leading scorer with 15 points, six rebounds, and an assist. Martin also chipped in with 13 points and six rebounds.

“Because of our physicality, our activity, and picking them up full court, I think we were able to wear them down because of our sheer numbers,” said May. 

The FAU Owls will now return to Boca Raton for a matchup against the Rice University Owls (15-7, 6-5 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 9. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena and will be broadcast on ESPN+.