GAINESVILLE, Fla (AP) — Michael Forrest hit a pair of clutch free throws with 38 seconds left to allow Florida Atlantic to hold off a late surge and upset Florida 76-74 on Monday night, the Owls first win over the Gators.
Johnell Davis’ jumper with 4:48 left capped an 11-point run by Florida Atlantic that pushed FAU’s lead to 14 points. Kowacie Reeves hit back-to-back 3-pointers and scored eight of the Gators’ 10-points in a run that cut the lead to 71-67, but Alijah Martin answered with a 3 to push the lead back to seven.
Colin Castleton and Will Richard each hit two free throws to get Florida to within one possession, 74-71, but Forrest hit two from the line to make it 76-71. Florida Atlantic turned the ball over and Richard hit a 3 with 13 seconds left to once again get the Gators within two points. The Owls beat the Florida trap at midcourt and dribbled out all but a tenth of a second before Alex Fudge was able to foul Martin, leaving the Gators with no time to take a final shot.
Forrest led the Owls (2-1) with 20 points off the bench and Davis, who drained four 3-pointers, finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Castleton shot 11 of 25 from the field for Florida (2-1), finishing with 30 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Richard and Kyle Lofton each added 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Lofton added six assists.
Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May was a Florida assistant coach from 20150-2018. Assistant coach Kyle Church was also a member of that Florida coaching staff.
Florida Atlantic returns home to host the Paradise Invitational against Bryant and Detroit Mercy, Thursday through Saturday.
Florida plays at Florida State Friday.
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