GAME CAPSULE: #20 FAU vs Tulsa - February 3rd, 2024
What: #20 FAU (17-4, 7-1 AAC) vs Tulsa (12-8, 3-5 AAC)
When: Sat. Feb. 3rd, @ 6:00 PM EST
Where: The Burrow - Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena
Series: Second matchup. Tulsa won the inaugural game 71-52 in February 2014.
Radio: FoxSports 640
Live Stats: Here
Line: FAU -16
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 83 PPG, 49% FG, 37% 3PT
Defense - 72 PPGA, 44% FGA, 35% 3PTA
Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents
Ball game. That's probably what Johnell Davis was thinking when he knocked down the game-winning three to help FAU beat North Texas at home.
It was a big win for the Owls, once again taming the defensive juggernaut that continues to pester them even after transitioning from CUSA to the AAC. The victory also marks the program's 52nd dating back to the beginning of last season, the most out of every Division I team in the country.
Wins Since Start of 2022-23 Season
1. Florida Atlantic 52
3. UConn 50
4. Purdue 49
San Diego State 48
Now they look forward to their first-ever matchup against Tulsa in the Dusty May era. The last time the Owls faced them was in 2014, falling 71-52 to the Golden Hurricane. Notable alum from that game include the likes of D'Andre Johnson, Marquan Botley, Justin Raffington, and Pablo Bertone.
Keep an eye on Davis to continue his scoring outbursts. He has scored at least 28 points in three of his last five games, which has helped raise his season average to 18.6 points per game at the moment.
A bounce-back performance from Alijah Martin could be in the cards. He had a quiet five points and three steals against the Mean Green after scoring in double-digits for three straight games, so it is possible he may have a more prominent role in the Owls beating Tulsa.
Nick Boyd (pictured above via Christian Proscia) might also have a significant impact against Tulsa's defense. He is averaging 13.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 47.7% shooting from the field and 41% from three over the last seven games.
Being aggressive on the boards will be needed as well. Tulsa has a negative rebounding margin of 1.9, meaning that the Owls must take every chance they can get in boxing out every Golden Hurricane for the ball to get out on the transition or have second-chance opportunities.
FAU will get a few more days of rest before traveling to Alabama to face UAB on February 8th at 9:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Tulsa Team Site: Here
Tulsa at a Glance
Offense - 78 PPG, 44% FG, 35% 3PT
Defense - 72 PPGA, 42% FGA, 30% 3PTA
Rebounding - 36 RPG, 38 RPG Opponents
Golden Hurricane Notables
There was a feat Tulsa achieved after overcoming a 15-point deficit to take down Wichita State this past Wednesday.
With back-to-back victories over Rice and the Shockers, it marked the first time Tulsa won back-to-back regular season AAC games since the 2020-21 season when they won four straight from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6.
The Golden Hurricane offense is mainly centered around the dynamic duo of PJ Haggerty and Cobe Williams. They are responsible for helping Tulsa be as effective as they are scoring-wise, having the team average 78.1 points per game which is good to be one of the five best offenses in the AAC (82nd nationally).
Haggerty is the nationís leading freshman scorer at 19.5 points per game, and ranks sixth overall in the nation with 147 made free throws (sixth for most attempted with 181). He is coming off his 11th game this season with 20 or more points, the 8th time in the last nine games so FAU will be busy figuring out how to slow him down.
As for Williams, who transferred from Louisiana Tech last summer, is Tulsa's best perimeter shooter with 40 makes from downtown. He may not be averaging 18.8 points like he was doing last year with the Bulldogs (scoring 13.8 per game this season), but he leads the team in steals with 44 as he ranks 33rd in the country. His effectiveness on both sides of the ball is something FAU must keep track of whenever he's in the game.
FAU guards will also have to be cautious about Jared Garcia's defensive presence on the court. He has totaled 10 blocks in the last three games, including a game-high three rejections against the Shockers.
Following this matchup, the Golden Hurricane will travel back to Oklahoma for a home encounter with North Texas on February 7th at 8:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.