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 North Texas 80-76 to earn season sweep

FAU gets back-to-back wins before their final game of the season. Johnell Davis had 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
Courtesy of North Texas Athletics
Johnell Davis on the breakaway dunk after a steal against North Texas.

After losing their last two away games to South Florida and Memphis, the Florida Atlantic University Owls (23-7, 13-4 AAC) got an 80-76 win in Denton, Texas against the University of North Texas Mean Green (16-13, 9-8 AAC).

The game was an offensive explosion for Johnell Davis and North Texas guard Jason Edwards, going off for 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, respectively. Thanks to scoring contributions from six other Owls, FAU was the one to pull out the win. 

“We’re excited to have a great team win on the road. So many players contributed, we got some great bench production, especially in the second half,” said FAU head coach Dusty May. “We knew we had a dog fight in front of us, and fortunately, we made the plays we needed to.”

FAU started off the game scoring hot, making their first four threes to take an early 12-0 lead two minutes into the game. However, the Mean Green responded by scoring 48 points and holding FAU to 28 the rest of the half after that point, taking a 42-40 lead into halftime.

The second half opened up with a 5-0 North Texas scoring run, giving the Mean Green their largest lead of the night at seven. The Owls settled into the half by getting to the free-throw line, which ignited a 10-0 run for FAU to take a 50-47 lead with 16:40 on the clock. 

The game went back-and-forth with the lead for the next three minutes until two straight layups by Nick Boyd gave FAU the lead they’d hold onto for the rest of the game. 

The game was bogged down due to 41 total fouls and 50 total free-throw attempts, but May was confident in the team’s ability to close out a close game due to their veteran experience.

“Our guys are very confident because we’ve been in that situation so many times,” May said. 

“Last year, we had I think 13 or 14 one-possession games; this year, the numbers are not that much different. So I do think there’s a comfort level of these guys having been in so many battles similar to that.”

The Owls are 5-5 in games decided by five or fewer points this season compared to a 10-2 record last year. 

FAU will look to lock up the #2 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament with a win when the University of Memphis Tigers (22-8, 11-6 AAC) visit Boca Raton for the Owls regular season finale on Mar. 9 at 12 PM. The game will air on CBS.


After both teams missed their first shots of the game, FAU made their first four three-point attempts to open the game with a 12-point lead, forcing North Texas to take an early timeout.

FAU allowed North Texas to stop the run by fouling on back-to-back defensive possessions, giving them five three throws to get on the board. The Mean Green scored nine of their 17 points off free throws in the first ten minutes of the game. 

Davis got his shot blocked, and Edwards took the ball down the court for a wide-open layup to tie the game at 21 with 8:47 left in the first half. From this point on, Davis took on the responsibility of keeping the score close, going on an 11-8 run all on his own and giving the Owls a three-point lead. 

The rest of the half was a matter of who would draw a foul and make their free throws, as only six field goals were made for the final four and a half minutes of the first half, compared to nine free throws. 

Despite North Texas placing an emphasis on walling off Davis on his drives, he had 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting with three rebounds, three assists, and no turnovers in the first half. The rest of the team had 19 points, with the next leading scorer being Giancarlo Rosado with nine points. No other Owl took more than three shots. 

“I’m not gonna lie, [I was feeling it to start the game]. I saw the first one go in and [Brandon Weatherspoon] hit me in the corner, and I just went from there,” said Davis. “I’ve got to try and make the right play and try to get my guys going early so it can open up [scoring for others] and go from there.” 

The second half opened up with a 5-0 run for the Mean Green, giving them a seven-point lead in the first 80 seconds of the half. FAU switched roles with North Texas as they’d end the run thanks to five straight free-throws on consecutive possessions to bring them back within two. 

Weatherspoon got a steal and fastbreak layup to tie the game up 47-47. FAU came down with the defensive rebound on the following possession and Jalen Gaffney found Vlad Goldin in transition for a slam dunk plus the foul; the Owls took a three-point lead.

After three minutes of tugging for a lead larger than two, Boyd secured back-to-back layups that gave FAU the lead for the rest of the game. Despite efforts from North Texas to come back, the Mean Green were forced to switch to a trap defense to gain extra possessions. They were unsuccessful, as this led to a wide-open Goldin under the rim to give FAU a seven-point lead with 40 seconds remaining. 

North Texas tried to play the long game with intentional fouls, but FAU hit four of their last seven free throws to secure the four-point victory.

JD Delcastillo is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or DM on Instagram @jd.delcastillo or X (Twitter) @jd_delcastillo.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
JD Delcastillo
JD Delcastillo, Managing Editor
JD is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in sports studies and digital marketing. Since high school, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry. He's published work in magazines, started his own sports newsletter, and currently interns with ESPN West Palm.

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 *