Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Men’s Basketball: Owls advance to ESPN Events Invitational Championship

Six players scored double digits for the third time this season and the second time in the tournament. Junior guard Johnell Davis led the team in points with 26. 83 of FAU’s 96 points came from the starters.
FAU Athletics
FAU junior guard Johnell Davis going against a Texas A&M defender during the Owls’ 96-89 victory over the Aggies on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. Davis led the team with 26 points.

On Friday, the No. 19 Florida Atlantic men’s basketball team (4-1) defeated the No. 12 Texas A&M University Aggies (5-1) 96-89 in the semifinal round of the ESPN Events Invitational. This win became FAU’s first against a ranked opponent this season.

The Owls shared the ball throughout the game as seven players contributed to their advance to the ESPN Events Invitational Tournament finals.

“We focus on the preparation, trying to find some competitive advantage, and then hopefully, our guys stay in the right mindset. This is typically when we grow when we’ve had a lot of time together,” said head coach Dusty May. “We are just excited to continue this journey together.”

Junior guard Brandon Weatherspoon got the Owls going with back-to-back layups to open the game.

The Owls junior guard Johnell Davis sank the first three of the game before Aggies’ senior guard Hayden Hefner responded with a three. His back-to-back threes tied the game at 16 a piece.

Davis hit his third three to give FAU a one-point lead before Texas A&M junior guard Wade Taylor IV answered with his own. 

The Aggies would continue to battle, keeping the game close. Hefner’s second three was answered on a second chance opportunity by junior guard Alijah Martin to keep the game even.

Junior center Vlad Goldin put the Owls up four off a put-back, which would continue the Owls’ 15-0 run. Forcing three back-to-back turnovers, Martin and Davis combined for 13 points before the Aggies answered with a three from Taylor IV.

The Aggies would answer with a 13-3 run, cutting the lead to two at halftime, 46-44. Martin led the team with 16 points, Davis contributing with 15.

FAU’s junior guard Jalen Gaffney hit back-to-back threes to open the second half. Davis also hit his back-to-back threes, his fifth of the night, to put the Owls up at 13 at 16:55.

Davis ended the four-minute scoring drought with another three-pointer at 12:21 before Weatherspoon extended the Owls’ lead to 18 after draining a three.

The Aggies slowly chipped away, cutting the lead to six with just 6:41 left before senior guard Bryan Greenlee sank a three. 

Greenlee’s second three gave the Owls some breathing room before Aggies’ Taylor IV sank his own 35 points. 

FAU shot 53% from the field and the arc. Davis led the Owls with 26 points, 6-9 from the arc. Martin added 25 points and seven rebounds. 83 of FAU’s 96 points came from the starters. 

FAU will play in the ESPN Events Invitational championship game on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m.

Gianna Alberti is a staff writer at the University Press. Email her at [email protected] or @giannaalbertii on Instagram for information regarding this or other stories.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *