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Florida Atlantic beats Virginia Tech 84-50 in a blowout matchup in the finals of the ESPN Events Invitational on November 26th. The Owls, trying to become a powerhouse in college basketball, showcased their resilience and skill, in this dominant performance. The victory against Virginia Tech in the ESPN Events Invitational will be remembered as a defining moment for FAU’s basketball season. It not only marks a significant win against a power 5 opponent but also highlights the potential and talent within their roster. The win serves as a statement to the college basketball community that the Owls are a forced to be reckoned with again this season, and should not be underestimated.

Opening Tip

From the tip-off, it was evident that FAU was not intimidated by the reputation of their ACC opponent. The Owls came out with intensity on both ends of the court, playing with a level of determination that set the tone for the entire game. The Virginia Tech Hokies, on the other hand, seemed caught off guard by FAU’s tenacity, struggling to find their rhythm early on. Two of the key factors in FAU’s success was their stellar defense and rebounding. The Owls implemented a suffocating press that disrupted the Hokies offensive flow, forcing turnovers and blocked shots. The defensive strategy not only prevented the Hokies from establishing any offensive rhythm but also allowed Florida Atlantic to capitalize on fast-break opportunities, converting defensive stops into quick points on the 0ther end. FAU out rebounded Virginia Tech 40-29, and the Owls big man Vladislav Goldin had three block shots.

Coaching 101

Coach Dusty May’s squad demonstrated exceptional teamwork and cohesion throughout the game. The players moved the ball effectively, finding open teammates and creating high-percentage shot opportunities. The Owls ball movement exposed weaknesses in Virginia Tech’s defense, leading to open three-pointers and well-executed drives to the basket. Guard play was a significant factor in FAU’s triumph. The backcourt tandem of Alijah Martin 17 points 8 rebounds with 4 assists and Johnell Davis 12 points 7 rebounds with 2 steals orchestrated the offense with precision, making smart decisions and connecting on shots. Their ability to navigate through the Hokies defense and find open looks contributed significantly to the Owls offensive success.

The Frontcourt

The Owls frontcourt of Vladislav Goldin played a pivotal role, dominating the paint and with block shots, rebounding and providing a strong interior presence. Florida Atlantic’s big man contested shots, altered the Hokies attempts in the paint, and secured crucial rebounds. The combination of effective guard play and a dominant big man in the paint allowed the Owls to maintain control of the game. Goldin finished with 14 points 4 rebounds with 3 blocked shots.

Game Time

As the game progressed, FAU continued to display resilience in the face of adversity. Virginia Tech, recognizing the threat posed by the Owls, attempted to adjust their game plan and mount a comeback. However, Florida Atlantic remained composed and focused, weathering the storm and responding with timely baskets to keep the Hokies at bay. The Owls bench also played a crucial role in their victory. Coach May strategically utilized his reserves, ensuring a fresh and energized lineup throughout the game. Bryan Greenlee provided valuable minutes coming off the bench, contributing both offensively and defensively. Greenlee finished with 10 points 5 rebounds 4 assists and 3 steals. This depth proved to be a significant advantage for Florida Atlantic, especially in the later stages of the game when fatigue became a factor.

Conclusion

Looking ahead, this triumph could propel FAU into the national spotlight and potentially impact their seeding in future tournaments. The players and coaching staff will likely use this victory as motivation and confidence as they continue their journey through the season. The win against Virginia Tech serves as a reminder that in college basketball, on any given day, the Owls can rise to the occasion and outshine their opponent. FAU’s victory over the Hokies in the ESPN Events Invitational is a testament to the Owls skill, determination, and ability to perform under pressure. The game showcased FAU’s prowess on both ends of the court, from stifling defense to efficient and effective offense. This win sets the stage for a promising season ahead.

 

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