The Florida Atlantic Owls secured their first ever NCAA Tournament victory on Thursday night, edging out the Memphis Tigers 66-65 in an enthralling affair.
The Owls, who were playing in their first ever March Madness game, staved off a late Memphis rally to seal the win and advance to the second round.
Florida Atlantic started strong, jumping out to an early 7-2 lead before expanding their advantage to as much as 10 points in the first half. The Owls maintained their lead heading into halftime, taking a 33-25 advantage into the break.
The second half was a different story, however, as Memphis battled back to take the lead with just over seven minutes remaining. The Tigers led by as much as four, but Florida Atlantic kept their composure and tied the game with less than a minute to play.
With the game tied at 65-65, Florida Atlantic forward Jailyn Ingram drained a three-pointer with just seconds remaining to seal the victory. The Owls held off one final Memphis attempt at the buzzer to secure the win.
Florida Atlantic was led by Ingram’s team-high 23 points and 7 rebounds, while guard Michael Forrest finished with 16 points and 6 assists. Memphis was paced by forward Raynere Thornton, who recorded a season-high 24 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.
The Owls will now face off against top-seeded Michigan in the second round of the tournament.
In a tightly contested clash, the Florida Atlantic Owls secured a hard-fought 66-65 victory over the Memphis Tigers in their inaugural NCAA Tournament appearance Thursday night.
The Owls, who had never before played in March Madness, sprinted out to an early 7-2 lead, and grew their advantage to 10 points at one point in the first half. While the Tigers kept the contest close, FAU took a 33-25 lead into the break.
The second half saw Memphis mount a strong comeback, taking the lead with seven minutes remaining. The Tigers led by as much as four, but the Owls remained composed and tied the score at 65-65 before Jailyn Ingram’s three-pointer with seconds left on the clock delivered the win.
Ingram was the Owls’ top performer, recording 23 points and 7 rebounds, while Michael Forrest added 16 points and 6 assists. Opposite them, Raynere Thornton scored a season-high 24 points and 8 rebounds for the Tigers in a losing effort.
FAU now awaits their second round matchup with top-seeded Michigan.