BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Johnell Davis scored 25 points as No. 21 Florida Atlantic won its school-record 19th straight game, beating Middle Tennessee 85-67 Thursday night.
The victory gave FAU (20-1, 9-0 Conference USA) only the second 20-win season in the program’s Division I history and coach Dusty May his first 20-win season.
“These guys have learned how to win,” said May, who’s led FAU to at least a .500 record in each of his five seasons.
An announced crowd of 3,082 — an FAU record — enjoyed the Owls’ first-ever home game as a ranked team. FAU remained undefeated at home, with its lone loss coming at Mississippi.
Davis, the Owls’ leading scorer, once again came off the bench early in the first half, this time calming what had been a jittery FAU offense that missed its first eight shots. The sophomore hit six of his eight first-half shots and scored 19 points in the first 20 minutes.
“The way I was warming up, I was giving it my all so I would be ready to give it my all off the bench,” Davis said.
MTSU (13-8, 6-3 C-USA) cut FAU’s lead to three on Camryn Weston’s jumper with a little less than 15 minutes to play, but never drew any closer.
“FAU was just a little bit tougher than we were, particularly in big moments,” MTSU coach Nick McDevitt said. “I thought we settled for some early 3s. We made a couple that made it a three-point game, and then as soon as it stopped going they were able to make a run because they kept getting twos at the basket.”
FAU's reserves totaled 52 points.
Nick Boyd and Bryan Greenlee added 13 points each for FAU. Eli Lawrence led MTSU with 17 points.
Middle Tennessee State: The Blue Raiders began the day riding a four-game winning streak that had elevated them into third place in C-USA play. ...MTSU didn’t shoot a free throw in the first half and only attempted four on the night. ...MTSU’s lone win over Top 25 team remains its 2016 NCAA Tournament upset over No. 2 Michigan St.
Florida Atlantic: FAU entered Thursday night as one of only three teams nationally with at least 19 wins this season. No. 18 College of Charleston (21) doesn’t play again until Saturday. No. 1 Purdue played Illinois later on Thursday. ... FAU’s current 19-game winning streak is second only to College of Charleston’s 20. ... FAU’s only other 20-win season came in 2010-11 under coach Mike Jarvis.
Middle Tennessee State: Visits Florida International on Saturday.
Florida Atlantic: Hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday.
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