Martin makes last-second free throws to lift No. 24 FAU over Tulane, 85-84
NEW ORLEANS — Alijah Martin hit two of three free throws after being fouled by Tulane’s Jaylen Forbes on a desperation 3-point attempt that was not close to going in with less than a second left, and No. 24 Florida Atlantic escaped with a 85-84 victory over the Green Wave on Thursday night.
Martin missed the second free throw, but made the third to secure a result that helped FAU avoid what would have been a second straight loss after being upset at Charlotte — where they fell 70-68 on free throws with 1.7 seconds left.
Nick Boyd tied a career high with 21 points to lead FAU (12-4, 2-1 American Athletic), which led 83-74 after Brandon Weatherspoon’s 3 with 3:03 left, but nearly collapsed.
Tulane responded with a stunning 10-0 run that included Forbes’ 3 and a pair of contested driving layups by Collin Holloway, the second giving the Green Wave an 84-83 lead with 28 seconds left.
FAU then missed twice but rebounded both times to set up the third shot on which the decisive foul was called.
Vladislav Goldin had 19 points and 11 rebounds for FAU, while Johnell Davis and Martin each scored 14 points.
Forbes scored 28 points and Kevin Cross added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Tulane (10-5, 1-2), which dropped its second straight league game.
Florida Atlantic led 39-38 at halftime and widened its lead to 10 in the first five minutes of the second half, when Boyd contributed a pair of 3s and Martin added another.
Tulane clawed back within a point when Cross’ free throws made it 73-72.
That’s when Boyd made another 3 while being fouled by Percy Daniels and completed the 4-point play with a free throw to make it 77-72. He added his sixth 3 of the game shortly after to make it 80-74 with 4:05 left.
FAU: The Owls made eight of their 14 3-pointers in the second half. … FAU outrebounded Tulane 42-33, including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points (including the winning points). The Owls have won 39 of their last 41 games in which they have outrebounded their opponent.
Tulane: Tulane has lost 53 straight against Top 25 opponents since a 72-63 win over then-No. 25 North Carolina State on Dec. 22, 1999. … Tre’ Williams, a transfer guard from Oregon State who has scored 10 or more in half of his games this season, was expected to be available but remained sidelined for a third straight game with an ankle injury.
FAU: Hosts UAB on Sunday.