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 get revenge on the Memphis Tigers in a 92-84 win

FAU ends their regular season with a victory over Memphis, locking up the No. 2 seed in the American Conference Tournament.
Jaden Wiston
FAU players in the huddle in their 92-84 win against the Memphis Tigers.

The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls (24-7, 14-4 AAC) got revenge on the University of Memphis Tigers (22-9, 11-7 AAC) with a 92-84 win in the Owls’ regular season finale. With the win, FAU clinches the No. 2 seed and a double-bye, having to only play three games in three days to win the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament in comparison to four or five. 

After losing to Memphis in their first match-up of the season on Feb. 25, the Owls responded by winning their final three games of the season and remaining undefeated in the month of March since the 2022 season.

“As a coach, you hope you’re building and building instead of adding, and then taking a step back, and then building up and taking a step back,” said FAU head coach Dusty May. “We like where we are right now. We feel good about the pulse of our locker room, the synergy of our team. We’re going [to play] on neutral sites, and there’s no reason why we wouldn’t be extremely confident that we’re going to play well on whatever neutral site we have after the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.”

Not only was this the regular season finale, it was also Senior Day at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. Bryan Greenlee, Brandon Weatherspoon, and Jalen Gaffney were able to get a win in their final home game at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. 

Greenlee had arguably his best game of the season, putting up 21 points and making five of six three-pointers along with the four free-throws at the end of the game to secure the win for the Owls. After going through a shooting slump, scoring zero points in five of the last seven games, Greenlee was able to bounce back and tie a team-high in points.

Bryan Greenlee with family and head coach Dusty May before the game for his Senior Day celebration. (Jaden Wiston)

“It’s probably one of [the most meaningful games of my career] just because I’ll remember it forever. My last game here at the Elly, the Burrow, with my guys, my brothers and my family here to watch me, and obviously I had a great performance,” said Greenlee.

Gaffney and Weatherspoon also contributed 15 points, as well as making some momentum-shifting plays in the game. 

Memphis was first on the board and held onto the lead for the first 10 minutes of the game. Although FAU was able to tie it up along the way, the Tigers had a bucket in response every time. 

The tide wouldn’t change for the Owls until Vladislav Goldin decided to take matters into his own hands and score the next six FAU points, giving them a lead with 7:04 on the clock in the first half. 

The lead stayed with FAU for the rest of the game, although for the first half it was a small lead, never bubbling up larger than six. 

In the second half, FAU kept pouring it on with points, taking a 10-point lead after Nick Boyd found Alijah Martin in transition for a lob-dunk that gave the home crowd the energy that fueled the players. 

“Hopefully we see [FAU] in a neutral-site game because the crowd gave them a huge boost. said Memphis forward Jayden Hardaway. “I’m just going to give credit to their crowd. It was hard for us to get organized today because our coaches were seeing adjustments we could make and we couldn’t hear our coaches from the sideline today.”

Although Memphis was able to cut FAU’s largest lead of 14 to to six with 38 seconds left in the game, the Owls were able to protect the ball and draw out the clock till it had zeroes on it. 

Memphis forward David Jones shared with the press after Memphis beat FAU in their first matchup this season that Jayden Hardaway and Malcolm Dandridge, Tigers who were on the team last year when FAU beat them in the first round of the NCAA tournament, said that FAU “wasn’t like that” in an attempt to hype up the team. 

After today’s loss, Jayden said that it’s all respect between the Tigers and the Owls, and that it was only said because “they like to talk a little trash,” something that even his father, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway has cited before.

Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway in post-game press after their 92-84 loss to FAU. (Jaden Wiston)

In the post-game press, Penny wanted to reassure that those were not his words. 

“I’ve never said that, and I don’t think they mean it in that fashion. I think they were trying to give each other confidence, like ‘everybody thinks that this team is going to beat us because they went to the Final Four last year and their entire team is back,” said Hardaway. “To me, there’s never going to be any disrespect from my guys…We know how tough this team is and we have a lot of respect for this team. Young guys, that’s how they fire each other up and there’s nothing wrong with that, because FAU knows they’re talking as well. It’s just a part of the competition.”

FAU has a six-day break before they play in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament on Friday, Mar. 15 at 7 PM. The Owls will play the winner of game five between the No. 10 seed Tulane University  Green Wave and No. 7 seed University of North Texas Mean Green.  The game will air on ESPNU.

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.

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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.

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