BOCA RATON, Fla. — Here’s the possession that sums up the night for Florida Atlantic: Bryan Greenlee got a steal near midcourt and wound up trying a dunk in transition, got stuffed by the rim, then made a 3-pointer a few seconds later.
Everything went FAU’s way.
Johnell Davis scored 24 points, Alijah Martin and Vladislav Goldin each scored 18 and No. 20 Florida Atlantic easily topped Tulsa 102-70 on Saturday night for its seventh consecutive win.
“It’s so in character for our team that it turned into a 3 on the same possession,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “The staff reminds me a lot — I get frustrated when we miss a dunk, and we usually tip it out and hit a 3, and they’ll hit me on the shoulder and say ‘3 is better than 2.’”
Nick Boyd finished with 13 and Greenlee added 11 for Florida Atlantic (18-4, 8-1 American Athletic Conference), which remained tied with Charlotte and South Florida atop the league standings. Charlotte pulled away to beat East Carolina earlier Saturday and USF won at North Texas.
PJ Haggerty scored 25 and Cobe Williams added 16 for Tulsa (12-9, 3-6). The Golden Hurricane scored 27 points in the first half, then needed only 10 minutes of the second half to score their next 27 — but trailed by double digits most of the way.
Tyshawn Archie scored 11 for Tulsa, which was 4 for 28 from 3-point range.
“It’s hard to reel it back in on them, because they’re a rhythm team,” Tulsa coach Eric Konkol said of FAU. “It’s almost like they get going faster and faster. I was really impressed on both ends by them. We had a hard time on both ends.”
FAU scored six points in three seconds midway through the second half, and the margin got out of hand from there. Davis scored while Goldin was being flagrantly fouled to start that burst. Goldin made both free throws, got fouled again three seconds later and made two more from the line.
The 32-point margin was the second-largest in an American conference game this season. SMU beat Tulsa by 33 on Jan. 20.
“We’re young, and with that comes some wildly good moments and wildly not-so-great moments,” Konkol said.
Brandon Weatherspoon went baseline for a dunk with 9:18 left in the half to start what became a 19-1 FAU run, one that turned a one-point deficit into a 17-point lead — and took only 4 1/2 minutes.
Davis and Boyd each made two 3-pointers in that burst, Tulsa missed seven consecutive shots and the FAU lead was 32-15 with 4:50 left until halftime.
The Golden Hurricane closed within nine later in the half, but FAU’s edge was 40-27 at the break. The Owls then scored 62 points in the second half.
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Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane are now 0-6 since Dec. 29, 2020 against ranked teams, 0-11 against ranked foes away from home over the last eight seasons — and 1-7 away from home this season. At home, Tulsa is 11-2 and plays four of its next six games on its own floor.
Florida Atlantic: Goldin set a tone with four first-half dunks and finished with at least seven field goals for the ninth time this season. The Owls went to their 7-foot-1 center early and often; the game was nearly 6 minutes old before anyone besides Goldin scored for FAU.
Only nine teams appeared in every AP poll last season, and FAU is one of 12 schools to have been in all 13 editions of the AP Top 25 so far this season. The Owls may rise a bit when the new poll is released Monday after No. 13 Creighton, No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 17 Utah State and No. 19 New Mexico were among the teams that had a loss this week.
Tulsa: Hosts North Texas on Wednesday night.
Florida Atlantic: Visits UAB on Thursday night.