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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Men’s Basketball: Owls fall 76-73 to UAB in overtime

UAB snapped the Owls’ seven-game winning streak on Thursday as FAU fell 76-73 in overtime to the Blazers.
FAU+guard+Johnell+Davis+on+the+fast+break+before+his+dagger+dunk+in+the+win+against+Tulsa+on+Feb.+3%2C+2024+at+Eleanor+R.+Baldwin+Arena.
Matthew Vogdes
FAU guard Johnell Davis on the fast break before his dagger dunk in the win against Tulsa on Feb. 3, 2024 at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena.

The No. 20 Florida Atlantic Owls (18-5, 8-2 AAC) fell 76-73 in overtime to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers (15-8, 7-3 AAC) Thursday night at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. 

The loss ends the seven-game winning streak the Owls were riding heading into the matchup, and moves them to 0-8 in program history when facing UAB on the road. 

We didn’t finish around the rim nearly well enough,” said head coach Dusty May. “[UAB] was very disciplined staying on our shot fakes as well, so compliment[s] to them. They didn’t bite on any of the fakes, made the shots tough for us.”

In an uncharacteristic shooting slump Thursday night, FAU shot 33% from both the floor and three-point range in regulation, before making just two of their ten shot attempts in overtime. 

Junior guard Johnell Davis led the scoring charge for FAU with 17 points, despite shooting just 23% on 21 shot attempts. Junior guard Alijah Martin followed with 14 points. 

Meanwhile, the Blazers took control of the paint and leaned on a 17-point, 21-rebound double-double by junior forward Yaxel Lendeborg. FAU was outscored by the Blazers 42-30 in the paint, and were outrebounded 47-45. 

This is what we expected coming into this environment, into this arena, a very difficult place to play,” May said. “We have to clean a few things up before Wichita on Sunday.”

The Owls will now look to regroup from the loss when they take on the Wichita State University Shockers on Sunday, Feb. 11. Tip-off from Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas is scheduled for noon and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Recap

Things started slowly for both teams as FAU and UAB combined for eight turnovers in the opening five minutes, allowing the Owls to take an early 18-10 lead on a three-pointer by senior guard Jalen Gaffney.

After Gaffney’s three, the Blazers would go on an 11-point scoring run capped by a three-pointer made by junior guard Eric Gaines that put the Blazers in front 21-18 with 7:26 in the first half.

The Owls, however, quickly took back that lead to end the first half. After senior guard Brandon Weatherpsoon scored on back-to-back possessions, Davis dropped in a layup before completing a three-point play a possession later to put FAU up 39-32 going into halftime.

The back and forth action continued into the second half as the Blazers again took back the lead five minutes into the second half on two consecutive scoring possessions by junior forward Christian Coleman. 

After taking back the lead early in the second half, UAB would remain until the 2:14 mark as shots refused to fall for FAU, who shot 33.3% from the floor in the second half. 

FAU finally was able to get back in front with two minutes in regulation when Davis drew trips to the free throw line on consecutive possessions and made all four foul shots to give the Owls a 65-64 lead with 2:14 in regulation. 

A Blazers free throw tied things at 65, until junior center Vladislav Goldin put the Owls up 67-65 with a layup with a minute and a half to play. But a UAB layup on the ensuing possession tied the score at 67 and sent the game to overtime.

The poor shooting in regulation only exacerbated in the overtime period as the Owls missed their first six shot attempts allowing the Blazers to jump ahead 73-67. 

A three-pointer by redshirt sophomore guard Nick Boyd with 1:46 overtime, the Owls’ first successful attempt of overtime, trimmed that lead to three. But it was immediately answered by a three from UAB moving that lead back to six.

Martin sank another three for FAU with 13 seconds to play but it was too little, too late as the Blazers cruised to the overtime victory. 

Cameron Priester is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron

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About the Contributor
Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large
Cameron Priester is an Editor-at-Large for the University Press. Having served as Sports Editor for the 2022-23 academic year, he is a multimedia journalism major and intends on pursuing a career in sports journalism. He can be found on Twitter @PriesterCameron and you can email him at [email protected].

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