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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: Owls soar past North Texas a third time in AAC quarterfinals, 77-71

After six days of rest, the No. 2 Owls defeat the No. 7 Mean Green, 77-71, completing the 2023 sweep in their inaugural AAC Conference Tournament game.
Christian Proscia
Vladislav Goldin flexing after a tough bucket in FAU’s 77-71 win over North Texas in the AAC quarterfinals

On Friday, the No. 2 seed Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls (24-7, 14-4 AAC) defeated the No. 7 North Texas Mean Green (18-13, 10-8 AAC) in their third matchup this season, the second time in March, 77-71. 

FAU entered the game as the defending Conference-USA Champions, while North Texas entered the game as the defending National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Champions. The atmosphere was like a home game for North Texas, as their fans had a short trip from Denton to Fort Worth, Tx. 

“Very, very proud of our team to fight and compete and just find different ways,” said FAU head coach Dusty May. “These guys are very confident. They expect to win, but they don’t expect it just to happen, they go earn it.”

Vladislav Goldin had another 20+ point game, finishing with 21-points, 10 rebounds, and two steals. Johnell Davis finished with 18 points and shot 8-11 from the field. Nick Boyd and Alijah Martin both finished with double digits.

The Owls opened up the game going on a 12-4 run. Both teams played tough defensively, with the first three pointer for North Texas being with 8:27 in the game. Florida Atlantic responded every time North Texas scored, whether it was a layup or jumper.

Following a timeout, North Texas responded with a 9-0 run, tying the game before Davis ended the run. The Owls lead 35-30 heading into the half. Goldin led the team in scoring at the end of the half with 10. The first half featured nine combined turnovers. 

Goldin doing a post-game interview after his 21-point performance. (Christian Proscia)

“I talked to Coach May and he told me I need to play more physical [and] be more present down there so that’s what I tried to do and I guess it paid off,” said Goldin on his performance.

The second half opened up with seven lead changes in the first 4:32 minutes. North Texas shot 44% from the field and 33% from behind the arc; FAU shot 48% from the field and 20% from the perimeter at the beginning of the second half.

The Mean Green had their largest lead of the game with four points, leading 45-41. Similarly to the last half, in the second half the Mean Green answered everything the Owls threw at them. The Owls were quick to tie the game 58 apiece. 

Boyd saved an Owls possession to mark the tenth lead change. North Texas rallied back to tie the game for the fourth time at 62. North Texas guard Rubin Jones, the winningest player in Mean Green history, fouled out with nine points. 

Martin completed a deep three-pointer to extend FAU’s lead to eight, 70-62, with less than two minutes to go. Martin finished the game with 15 points and shooting 4-10 from the field.

Mean Green stole a baseline pass by the Owls, but North Texas guard Jason Edwards couldn’t complete a three and Weatherspoon rebounded the ball with 10.0 seconds remaining. Weatherspoon scored his first two points of the game at the free throw line to seal the win for the Owls. 

FAU had 17 second chance points compared to North Texas’ 6. The Owls had 18 points from the bench and 42 points in the paint. North Texas had 19 bench points and 28 points in the paint.

“The level placement has been higher than I and the staff had anticipated because the computer metrics said that there wasn’t much of a jump and sometimes stats and numbers can be manipulated and they can lie and I feel like we were lied to by the numbers,” said May on the level of competition this year.

“It’s been tough, it’s been grueling. Every single night in our league, it’s been a one or two possession game, it seems, and just like tonight I would anticipate the next game we’re watch[ing] will go down to the final few possessions with two teams competing in a high-level. It’s been a well-played, well-coached league and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Florida Atlantic will face No. 11 Temple Owls on Saturday at 5 PM ET on ESPN2.

Maddox Greenberg is a staff writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or DM him through Instagram @maddoxblade04 or X @MaddoxGreenberg.

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About the Contributor
Maddox Greenberg
Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor
Maddox started writing sports for the UP in Summer 2022 with the intention of improving his journalistic writing. He is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism and plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. He is a broadcaster for FAU Owl Radio.

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