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In this college basketball matchup at the Desert Classic, #14 Florida Atlantic emerged victorious 96-95 in double overtime against #4 Arizona, securing a memorable win that will be etched in the minds of basketball fans. The game showcased the resilience and determination of both team, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.

The Tip-off

It was evident that this clash was going to be a closely contested battle. Arizona, known for its strong defense and offensive prowess, faced a formidable challenge in Florida Atlantic, a team with a reputation for tenacity and strategic gameplay. The first half saw Arizona get up 17-3 to start the game with 14:00 minutes to go, then FAU went on a 22-11 run over the next ten minutes to make it 28-25 Arizona up by three points. With teams exchanging baskets to end the first half, Arizona established a 37-31 halftime lead.

Second Half Action

As the game progressed into the second half, the intensity heightened, and every possession became crucial. Arizona’s Caleb Love 26 points, and Omar Ballo 13 points, 21 rebounds showcased their skills, but Florida Atlantic’s Johnell Davis 35 points responded with clutch shots and effective defensive plays. FAU started the second half on a 14-4 run, giving them a 47-41 lead with 16:00 minutes to go. The crowd was treated to a display of skill and athleticism, over the next 16:00 minutes making it clear that this matchup was an instant classic. With 3:00 minutes to go FAU up 71-67, Arizona went on a 6-0 run putting them up 73-71, with 0:07 FAU ran one final play setting up Vladislav Goldin for a slam dunk to send the game into overtime.

First Overtime

Heading into the first overtime, the tension in the arena was palpable. Both teams fought tooth and nail, refusing to back down. Each basket was met with roars from the crowd, and the players left everything on the court. FAU’s  Johnell Davis made a layup with 0:11 to go, putting them up 84-82, then Arizona’s Caleb Love got fouled with 0:06 making both of his free throws tying the game 84-84. Despite numerous lead changes, neither team could secure the win in the first overtime period, setting the stage for a dramatic double overtime showdown.

Second Overtime

In the second overtime, Florida Atlantic managed to edge ahead 95-90 with two minutes to go in overtime with a combination of precise shooting. Arizona’s Kylan Boswell made a three pointer making it 93-95, then Caleb Love made two more free throws tying the game at 95-95. Florida Atlantic’s Giancarlo Rosado made one free throw with 0:57 left on the clock, giving them a 96-95 lead. The players exhibited exceptional stamina and mental fortitude, overcoming fatigue to make crucial plays when it mattered most. Arizona fought valiantly until the final seconds, but Florida Atlantic’s resilience proved to be the difference maker.

Conclusion

The final score reflected the intensity of the contest, with Florida Atlantic emerging victorious in a hard fought battle. The Desert Classic had witnessed a basketball spectacle, showcasing the spirit of competition and the unpredictable nature of the sport. This double overtime win for Florida Atlantic will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in their season. It not only solidifies their standing in the tournament but also serves as a testament to the team’s ability to perform under pressure. The Dessert Classic will be remembered as the stage for an epic clash that exemplified the essence of college basketball.

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