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 defeat Butler 91-86 on Thanksgiving

FAU’s shooting performance propels them to 91-86 win over Butler University with six Owls scoring double digits.
Gasner Delvarin, Jr.
The FAU men’s basketball team in huddle prior to their 100-57 home opener victory over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

On Thursday, the No. 19 Florida Atlantic Owls (3-1) men’s basketball team bounced back from their first loss of the season, shooting 52% from the field on their way to a 91-86 win over the Butler University Bulldogs (3-2), 91-86.

“Well we talked about it that our response to any adversity is good, we’re glad that it happened as long as we respond and learn and grow from it,” said head coach Dusty May. 

Butler started the game aggressively, with senior center Jalen Thomas capitalizing on a steal, sinking a three. 

FAU struggled from the three-point line, shooting  22% in the first half from deep. Despite the poor three-point shooting, they shot 61% from the field in the first half.

The Owls would take their largest lead of the first half when junior guard Alijah Martin caught an alley-oop from senior guard Jalen Gaffney to make it 33-23 with 7:22 remaining.

From there, Butler would continue to battle and keep the game close. Butler made it a one-possession game with 3:23 left in the first half. A big shot from Bulldogs senior guard Jahmyl Telfort brought the Bulldogs within two, trailing 37-35. 

Both teams would get contributions from multiple players. FAU had five guys with at least eight points in the first half, while Butler had three.

The second half saw both teams continue to go blow for blow. Butler would take their first lead of the game since they led 3-0 when Bulldogs senior center Andre Screen made a layup off of an FAU turnover to make it 56-55. 

Martin would immediately cancel that out by sinking back to back threes to take a six-point Owls lead, 61-56. 

FAU junior guard Johnell Davis shot 4-9 from the field, scoring 13 points, and was 2-3 from three-point range. He would also draw a couple of fouls and sank all three of his free throws. 

The Owls were able to give themselves some breathing room late in the second half. Two made free throws from junior center Vlad Goldin, made it an 86-78 FAU lead with 2:32 to go. Goldin easily got to the line in the second half, going 8-12 from the line. 

“It was extremely important for us to perform up to our standards as far as energy, effort, and togetherness,” said May. “We can’t define ourselves if the shots are going in, and I thought our guys did that tonight.”

FAU out-rebounded Butler 37-31. They also outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 46-40.

Butler finished the game with five players scoring double digits, with Telfort leading the way with 19 points. Goldin led the Owls with 19 points on 5-6 shooting and 9-14 from the free throw line.

FAU will play in the semifinal round of the ESPN Events Invitational against the No. 12 Texas A&M University Aggies (5-0) at 11 a.m. on ESPN 2.

Jake Walker is a contributing writer for the University Press. Email him at [email protected] or DM via x (@jwalk729) and Instagram (@jake_walker729) for more information regarding this or other stories.

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