Monday, February 5, 2024

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over, FAU Men’s Basketball’s Version

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

A lot of us know that New York Yankees Hall of Fame Catcher Yogi Berra coined “The title of this story” many years ago, to the point that it’s a well known cliche in sports.

On January 28, 2024, In addition to myself, a packed house at the Eleanor R Baldwin Arena, in Boca Raton, FL., got to see it first hand.

All afternoon, the No.22 FAU Owls found themselves in a dogfight with their long-time rival North Texas as the game was nationally televised on ESPN 2. 

FAU entered the contest with a 16-4 mark while the visiting Mean Green came to South Florida with a 12-6 record.

What the fans saw in the first half was a defensive struggle and North Texas took 28-26 lead into the intermission. Mean Green Guard Jason Edwards led his squad in scoring with 11 points and grabbed four rebounds

FAU Guard Johnell Davis played 16:50 of the 20 minutes and led the Owls with 11 points and three rebounds. There wasn’t much to talk about as both teams played smothering defense. 

The second half opened up a little bit and there would be seven lead changes in the contest. The biggest lead in the game was by North Texas at seven points while FAU led by three points.

The last basketball game that I’ve seen during the past six years was when the Detroit Pistons lost to the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena and this was the last time I saw Dwyane Wade play. Due to busy schedule. I just haven’t had time to see basketball games because I’ve been busy with football and baseball.

I came to see my friend former ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Dave Barnett who is the voice of the Mean Green. Prior to the game, I did an interview with his color analyst Hank Dickensen.

What all of us would see was an outright classic buzzer beater.

With 0:00.5 seconds remaining in the game, Davis nailed a three-point shot which gave FAU a 66-63 win as the crowd absolutely erupted. Davis led all scorers with 28 points and he amassed eight rebounds to go along with a pair of steals. 

FAU outscored North Texas 40-35 in the second half.

When you break down the time with the lead, North Texas led for 29:07 while FAU had it for 3:16. What a disparity and in the eyes of Yogi Berra, this is what happens between the lines.

After the contest, Davis and Coach Dusty May met with us to talk about this thrilling contest for what Dickenson would say, “they’re bunk buddies.” May elaborated on that and was proud that his team battled to a hard fought win. 

I encourage you to watch this video in the story so you can gauge everything about this game.

While both teams played at a championship levels, we’re glad that our work was done by 4 PM as it was the week of the NFC and AFC Championship Games. 

The Lions visited the San Francisco 49’ers and the Kansas City Chiefs were in Baltimore to face the Ravens.

The Owls had plenty of time to enjoy the win as they hosted Tulsa on Saturday Night and crushed the Golden Hurricane 102-70.

FAU’s record now stands at 18-4 and is first in the American Athletic Conference while Tulsa (12-9) is 10th.

FAU moved to No.20 in the polls and now they visit the UAB Blazers Thursday Night, who are 14-8 and fifth in the AAC.

When you put this game into perspective, the game was tied at 63-63 until Davis hit the shot to avoid overtime. Then again, after FAU’s Final Four run last season, the Owls are used to these close games and they know they’re going to have plenty more this season.

As for Berra, this game was over thanks to Johnell Davis.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can see his broadcasts by subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Also, his book, “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle. He talks about  Old School Media vs New School Media. This book is good for aspiring podcasters, journalists and any other people that want to know the inner workings of the media.


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