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


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


Men’s Basketball: Game-winning shot by Johnell Davis secures FAU a 66-63 win over North Texas

Johnell Davis had 28 points and eight rebounds, along with a game-winning three to take the win for the Owls. FAU extends their win streak to six.
FAU Athletics- JC Ridley
Johnell Davis rising up for the game-winning shot that secured the 66-63 victory over North Texas for FAU

In a game with 11 ties and seven lead changes, the Florida Atlantic University Owls (17-4, 7-1 AAC) fought their way to a 66-63 win against the University of North Texas Mean Green (12-5, 5-2 AAC). 

The game came down to the wire, 63-63, with 55 seconds left. North Texas missed back-to-back threes to take the lead. With 16 seconds left, Johnell Davis came down with the defensive rebound, walked the ball up the court, and hit a game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left on the clock.  

“Coach drew up the play, I tried to stay in my drive, and I stepped back for the shot and got it,” said Davis. “We’re very comfortable [with last-second shots]. We know what we have to do, and at the end of the day, we got the win.”

Johnell Davis surveying the court with less than 16 seconds before he would hit the game-winning shot for FAU

Head coach Dusty May stated that he wants the team to shoot the final shot in games and tries to build the team from moments like that.

“It’s no secret; a lot of what we’re trying to do is get [Davis] in a space to his left hand. We just use different ways to camouflage it and maybe use him as a decoy to set up something later,” said May.

The Owls battled the entirety of the game to continue their tie for first in AAC and extend their win streak to six. 

“Anyone that’s followed our program can put in the number of games that we’ve played against North Texas, and they all look a lot like this,” said May. “[The matchups are] one-possession games, two teams that really put a lot into it and value winning. We couldn’t have more respect for them, but we know that we have a long road ahead of us.”

Johnell Davis marked his 14th consecutive double-digit scoring game. At the half, he was leading with 11 points. He ended the game with 28 total points and eight rebounds. 

Vlad Goldin was the team’s second-highest scorer of the night, with 13 points and eight rebounds. His height proved beneficial as many plays relied on throwing the ball up for him to get a layup. 

North Texas came into the game as one of the best defenses in the nation, holding opponents to 38% shooting (9th best in Division I) and 59 points per game (4th best in Division I).

The Owls ended the game shooting 42% from the field, 35% beyond the arc and led with 38 total rebounds. UNT shot 46% from the field and 40% beyond the arc. 

“We hope this has championship ramifications later. We’re not worried about that. We’ve got six days to get our minds and bodies right and prepare for another home game,” said May.

FAU will play again at home on Feb. 3 to take on the University of Tulsa Hurricanes (11-8, 2-5 AAC) at 6 p.m., looking to extend their win streak to seven. The game will stream on ESPN +


The tip went in favor of the Owls, but a turnover by Goldin allowed UNT to have a quick two-point jumper. North Texas downed another two for an early 4-0 lead. 

FAU was on the board at 16:24 with a three-point jumper by Bryan Greenlee, 3-4. 

A one-handed layup by Davis sunk to keep the Owls trailing by one, 5-6. He continued to pound away at the lead with a three for the game’s first tie, 8-8. 

The Mean Green quickly got their lead back with a three 11-8, 13:48. Both teams were fighting to get their hands on the ball, with two jump balls called within two minutes. 

North Texas secured a two-pointer and drew the foul, making one of two, 14-11. Alijah Martin tied the game back up after a three-point jumper.

With 8:16 left in the half, Davis got the Owls their first lead with a fast break three, 17-14. 

A 5-0 scoring run by UNT put them back up with the lead, and Martin quickly made it a tied game again, 19-19. 

The Mean Green went on another 5-0 run during the half’s final minutes. With 1:14 left, Davis hit another three-pointer to bring it within two going into the break, 26-28.

Vlad Goldin going up with the ball in traffic. (Jaden Wiston)

At halftime, Davis led with 11 points. The Owls were shooting 35.7% from the field and beyond the arc. The Mean Greens were shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.5% beyond the arc. 

After the break, UNT came out quickly to kick off the second half with a 5-0 run, giving them the game’s largest lead by 7, 33-26.

Goldin put down a layup for FAU’s first score of the half, and Nick Boyd followed up with a three of his own to get the game back within two, 31-33.

The Owls continued to trail between one or two points until Brandon Weatherspoon’s back-to-back twos tied it up at 40, 12:39. 

Davis drove down the paint for a layup and drew the foul. He made one of two free throws to give FAU a one-point lead, 48-47, but UNT stayed fighting and went up by four with just under seven minutes left.

Each team was doing well defensively, making it difficult to find a wide-open shot and causing no large runs in the final minutes. 

UNT took advantage of a turnover by FAU and sprinted down for a layup, 59-57. Davis came back by drawing a foul inside the paint to make it a tied game once again. 

The Mean Greens made it a two-point game with 1:32 to go. Boyd got off a reverse layup thanks to a timely back door cut to tie it with 53 seconds.

UNT had the ball, but after two missed shots, Davis grabbed the rebound and dribbled it. He shot a three with 0.5 left on the clock and drained it to make the crowd erupt with cheers, giving FAU the last-second win, 66-63

Johnell Davis talking to the ESPN broadcast after his game-winning shot. (Jaden Wiston)

Megan Bruinsma is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @megan_bruinsma.

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Megan Bruinsma
Megan Bruinsma, Sports Editor
Megan is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in sports studies. She has grown up with a passion for watching and playing sports. She’s excited to continue her journey of learning how to cover sports in a professional sense. Megan has hopes to become a sports reporter for an NFL or NBA team.

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