EL PASO, Texas (AP)Johnell Davis scored 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting and No. 24 Florida Atlantic extended its program record for consecutive wins to 18 with a 67-59 victory over UTEP on Saturday night.
Davis hit 2 of 3 attempts from 3-point distance and was perfect on six shots from the line for FAU (19-1, 9-0 Conference USA). Vladislav Goldin finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the Owls.
Calvin Solomon finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Tae Hardy also scored 16 points for UTEP (11-9, 4-5). Mario McKinney Jr. added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Goldin scored consecutive baskets in the paint to spark a 12-0 opening run and Owls never trailed. UTEP went 0 for 6 from the field and committed seven turnovers before Calvin Solomon hit a jumper with 13:11 left in the first half.
The Miners twice cut their deficit to six points before Boyd scored inside and Davis followed with a jumper and 3-pointer as Florida Atlantic scored nine of the final 11 points before halftime to take a 37-24 lead into intermission.
”I thought UTEP played really determined basketball tonight,” FAU coach Dusty May said. ”They were focused, energetic and were flying around the floor, credit to Coach Golding and their team.”
Otis Frazier III put back McKinney’s missed layup to cap six consecutive UTEP points and pull the Miners within nine points with 15 minutes to play, but Michael Forrest answered with a 3-pointer to make it 44-32 with 14:14 to go.
Florida Atlantic made 8 of 10 from the free-throw line – Davis hit 4 of 4 – in the final two minutes to seal it.
FAU – which went into the game ranked No. 15 nationally and first in C-USA in rebounding margin (plus-7.4) was outrebounded by the Miners 43-40, committed a season-high 20 turnovers and tied its season high with 10 missed free throws on 31 attempts.
The Owls have won three consecutive road games by an average of nearly 12 points since the release of the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, where they were ranked for the first time in school history.
”For our guys to go on this road trip in this swing of five games in 10 days and three games in six days, with the tough travel that we have – we’re pretty far away from home – and come away with five wins is a testament to their determination and character more than anything else,” May said.
FAU returns home from a three-game road trip to play Middle Tennessee on Thursday.
UTEP plays the first of three consecutive road games Saturday at North Texas.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25