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 the SMU Mustangs 80-70 in the inaugural Sandstorm game

FAU defeats SMU for the first in school history to increase their win streak at home to ten.
FAU Athletics – JC Ridley
Alijah Martin rising up to throw down a monster dunk over an SMU Defender

After a loss against the University of South Florida Bulls, the Florida Atlantic University Owls (21-6, 11-3 AAC) bounced back on the first “Sandstorm” night with an 80-70 victory over the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs (19-8, 10-4 AAC).

The first half was a tight back and forth game with eight lead changes, but FAU went into halftime with a 41-37 lead.  

After the Owls started the second half with a 5-0 run, FAU was the one to pull away and control the second half to win the game, holding a six point lead or better for the rest of the game 

FAU scored 25 points on second chance opportunities compared to SMU’s eight. There was also a noticeable dip in efficiency from SMU in the second half, with 32.3% from the field compared to 46.7% in the first half. 

“When we’re able to get stops then we can come at you in waves of transition, we can generate a ‘sandstorm’ of transition, especially when our guards rebound and our guards did an unbelievable job tonight to keep our [possessions]alive,” said head coach Dusty May.

Vlad Goldin flushing a dunk down the lane (Erika Fletcher)

Vlad Goldin led the team with 21 points and two blocks. Alijah Martin was right behind him with 20 points and a team high of three made threes.

“It’s coming naturally, just letting the game come to me,” Martin said. “Not relying on the three ball to fall and get to the rim and get to the free throw line. Just credit to my teammates and coaches, man.”

Get to the rim Martin did, throwing down an emphatic dunk over an SMU defender in the first half, landing him a #1 ESPN Sportscenter Play of the Day

“I was just thinking ‘no ducking,’” Martin said. “I’ve been mad at myself all year for just taking these finger roll layups around the rim and I can play above it.”

FAU will continue their AAC play on the road against the University of Memphis (19-8, 8-6 AAC) on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be available to watch on ESPN.


FAU scored the first points of the game after Brandon Weatherspoon found a wide open Vlad Goldin under the basket for an easy slam dunk. Immediately after, Weatherspoon stole the ball from SMU sophomore guard BJ Edwards and found Johnell Davis for a driving dunk to take the early 4-0 lead a minute into the game. 

SMU senior guard Chuck Harris stopped FAU’s momentum with a three from the top of the key to make the score 4-3. The game became a back and forth affair until SMU went on a 7-0 run to have a lead of 20-14 with 11:23 remaining in the half. 

SMU held onto their lead for over three minutes until FAU went on a 7-0 run themselves, highlighted by Martin nearly clearing SMU’s senior guard Emory Lanier for the poster dunk plus the foul. The score was 27-26 with 7:51 remaining in the first half. 

The half continued to be a struggle for the lead between the two teams, with FAU coming out on top 41-37. 

Both teams had nine turnovers. FAU scored 30 of their 41 points in the paint and had ten second chance points compared to SMU’s 0. 

FAU opened up the second half with Martin hitting a three from the wing and two free throws from Goldin to extend the lead to nine. After a back and forth between Goldin and SMU forward Tyreek Smith, FAU went on a 9-2 run to obtain a double digit lead, 57 to 44, with 14:21 remaining. 

FAU was able to control the game from this point forward. SMU tried to swing momentum their way by getting within seven with 8:14 left to go, but FAU continued to answer with points of their own.

Two made free throws from Jalen Gaffney would conclude the game and secure FAU’s ten game winning streak at home. 

Bryan Greenlee (left) and Martin (right) picking Goldin up off the floor (bottom) (Erika Fletcher)

“We’re extremely proud of our effort tonight against a really sound, physical program that we have a ton of respect for [SMU head] coach Lanier and the way they go about it and the way they play the game,” May said. “…[the team] had the focused look that we’ve been missing a little bit of lately, so it’s nice to have that back, but we’re excited going forward to have another opportunity on a quick turn.”

Morgan Larkins is a Staff Writer for the University Press. Email him at [email protected] or DM him on Instagram or Twitter @mj_larkins for more information regarding this or other stories. 

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Erika Fletcher
Erika Fletcher, Lead Photographer
Erika is a junior majoring in multimedia studies with a minor in photography. She loves shooting sports and street photography and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, skateboarding, playing soccer, listening to music, and being with her friends and family. She joined the UP on a whim to make new friends and to get better at photography. In her time here, while not long, she's made connections and learned so much about herself already and can't wait to continue her journey with such great people.

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