SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) No. 15 Florida Atlantic has been relying on its high-powered offense to win games this season.

On Saturday, the Owls needed a strong defense to beat a pesky St. Bonaventure team.

Johnell Davis scored 16 points and FAU held off the Bonnies 64-54 on Saturday in the Hall of Fame Classic.

Vladislav Goldin added 11 points for FAU (9-2), nine of them in the second half.

The Owls won despite being held 21 points below their season average.

“It’s good for us to be able to win a game like this,” said FAU coach Dusty May. “Because, in a league where you’re going to have to play so many games, you’re going to have to win different styles, different systems. And so this is very good for us to prove that this team can win like that.”

Moses Flowers had 12 points for St. Bonaventure (7-3), which had won five straight coming into the game. Assa Essamvous and Chad Venning each added 11 points. But Venning fouled out with just over five minutes left in the game.

The Bonnies led 41-38 before two dunks by Goldin sparked a 14-0 second-half run that gave FAU a 52-41 lead.

A 3-pointer by Flowers made it a six-point game late, but a follow-up layup by Alijah Martin pushed the lead back to eight with just 55 seconds left and the Owls held on for the win.

FAU scored 24 points off 21 St. Bonaventure turnovers.

The Bonnies had the first big run of the game, holding FAU without a field goal for more than seven minutes during an 11-0 spurt for a 20-10 lead in the first half.

But a steal and dunk by Brandon Weatherspoon broke that drought and the Owls took control of the half from there, going on a 15-3 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the half and scoring the final nine points before intermission.

“They stepped up their intensity and we didn't react too well," St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. ”They didn't panic."

The Owls went into halftime leading 27-26 after a long 3-pointer by Venning was ruled to have come just after the buzzer.

“It takes time to get used to how they were playing, what they do,” Goldin said “And after we adjusted, we just take what the game gives us.”


St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies fell to 30-88 against Top 25 teams. They have not beaten a ranked opponent since beating then No. 14 Rhode Island in February 2018 at home.

FAU: The Owls came into the game averaging over 85.4 points a game and shooting 51% from the floor. They shot just 41.7% on Saturday, but held St. Bonaventure to 41.1%

“We knew from the jump, from our gameplan, we had to put pressure on them,” Davis said. “Coach stressed it a lot during Thursday and Friday practices and we just came out and executed.”


FAU's Nick Boyd returned from a leg injury that has kept him out since mid-November. The sophomore guard had seven points in 20 minutes.


St. Bonaventure returns home to face Binghamton on Dec. 22.

FAU: The Owls have a week off before facing top-ranked Arizona in Las Vegas on Dec. 23.


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