The Florida Atlantic Owls men’s basketball team are up and flying again. And they are in new territory when it comes to winning for the basketball program.
The Owls defeated Louisiana Tech Bull Dogs 69-61 on Thursday night and were led by Xavian Stapleton who finished with 19 points, nine rebounds furthermore freshman Karlis Silins added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
The Owls (13-9, 4-5 Conference USA) has already passed last year’s win total under first-year coach Dusty May. Its most overall wins since the 2012-13 season, when it was still a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
“It is a long season, we cant let that get to out head,” Stapleton said. “The most important game is the next game.”
Coach May has history with Bulldogs leading him to his head coaching position now with the Owls. He joined the staff at Louisiana Tech where he was an assistant under both Kerry Rupp and Mike White.
May followed White to take an assistant coaching job at Florida, where he served from 2015 to 2018 before being named the head coach at Florida Atlantic. The Owls notched their second win in six tries against the Bulldogs.
“We don’t really have time to dwell on the side stories,” coach May said. “Maybe our families, people we are connected to probably think about it more than we do, we are locked into the moment.”
The Owls, who never trailed kept their composure nursing a small lead, shot 36 percent from the floor and 22 percent from three-point land, but hit 24 of 30 free throws.
Amorie Archibald was the alpha for the Bulldogs. Hitting five 3-pointers and scored 18 points to keep the fight in the Bulldogs (15-8, 5-5).Louisiana Tech shot 34.5 percent from the floor and made 12 of 18 at the foul line.