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No. 15 Owls soar past Florida International 94-60

Panthers fall to 0-26 against ranked opponents
Florida Atlantic Owls guard Johnell Davis steals ball from Florida International Panthers guard Jayden Brewer, Dec. 13, 2023
Posted at 9:44 PM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 22:08:02-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Johnell Davis scored 16 points and Alijah Martin had 14 as No. 15 Florida Atlantic rolled past rival Florida International 94-60 on Wednesday night.

Bryan Greenlee and Brandon Weatherspoon each scored 12 for the Owls (8-2), who opened the game on a 12-2 run and never looked back.

Jaidon Lipscomb scored 17 points for FIU (3-8), and Javaunte Hawkins added 12.

FAU shot 64% to FIU's 36%, outrebounded the Panthers 43-27 and held a 48-20 edge in points in the paint. Owls center Vladislav Goldin, who entered the night as the national leader in field-goal percentage at 73.7%, made all three of his shots and grabbed nine rebounds.

It was FAU's seventh consecutive win over its regional rival; the campuses are about 60 miles apart. They were both members of Conference USA through last season and kept the rivalry going this season with FAU now having joined the American Athletic Conference.

Florida International Panthers guard Dashon Gittens fouls Florida Atlantic Owls guard Alijah Martin, Dec. 13, 2023
Florida International guard Dashon Gittens fouls Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin during the first half Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Panthers fell to 0-26 against ranked opponents, including 0-2 this season — with both those losses coming to teams that made the 2023 Final Four. FIU gave Miami a serious scare and wasted a 12-point second-half lead before falling 86-80 last month.

This time, there was no scare.

It was 18-7 midway through the opening half and that's when FAU truly broke it open — making eight consecutive shots to push the lead out to 36-15. The margin was 43-20 at halftime and reached 37 in the second half.