BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) Johnell Davis scored 24, and Vladislav Goldin added 17 points and 12 rebounds to propel No. 13 Florida Atlantic to a 90-74 victory over Charleston in the finale of the Field of 68 Tipoff.

Coming off a performance without a field goal against Liberty in the Tipoff opener, Davis took over the Owls’ offense in the final 12 minutes. Davis, a junior, also grabbed 10 rebounds.

“This was the fastest he looked in a long time,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “His first step was dynamic.”

Reyne Smith led the Cougars (4-4) with 14 points.

Back-to-back Davis buckets gave the Owls (7-1) their first lead of the second half, 56-55. The Owls never looked back.

A physical game inside a charged Eleanor Baldwin Arena saw tempers flare several times. At one point, May and Charleston coach Pat Kelsey needed to be separated by referees.

“I guess there was miscommunication during the game and something was said and I couldn’t hear, and then it just it escalated from there,” May said, adding, “You know, they’re a fiery program. They’re scrappy. They’re tough. That’s why they are good. They fight tooth and nail and we fight tooth and nail as well, so it’s two competitive programs.”

Hard feelings didn’t linger.

“When competitors are out there competing, stuff happens from time to time,” Kelsey said. “We shook hands after the game.”

Goldin spent the final 11:40 of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul. With the Owls primary big man sitting, Charleston outscored FAU 31-21 to take a 46-40 lead at the half.

“There’s no secret that at the top of the scouting reports of every team we play is getting Vlad in foul trouble,” May said.

The victory is the first for FAU against Charleston in 10 games.

Next up for FAU is a return to Madison Square Garden, where the Owls won the East regional last season as a No. 9 seed and earned their trip to the Final Four.

“I’m really excited to go back to a place where we have such fond memories - to stay in the same hotel and play in the same arena is a cool deal,” May said, “But this is a new team that’s extremely honored to play in this event with Coach Valvano - Jimmy V’s - legacy, playing in MSG on ESPN in a doubleheader with such historic programs is once again a complement to the guys we have in our program.”


Charleston: Guard Reyne Smith left the game with 14:46 remaining and did not return after sinking a running one-hander along the baseline, then appearing to land on an FAU defender’s foot. ... Ante Brzovic came off the bench for a team-high nine rebounds.

Florida Atlantic: Starting point guard Nick Boyd missed his fifth consecutive game with what is being called a leg injury. The Owls are hopeful he’ll return for Tuesday’s game. ... With Goldin in foul trouble, Giancarlo Rosado gave FAU a huge first-half boost with 14 points.


Charleston: Hosts Rhode Island on Dec. 10.

Florida Atlantic: Faces No. 24 Illinois on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.


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