Florida Atlantic’s Alijah Martin made two of three free throws with less than a second to play and the No. 24 Owls held off Tulane 85-84 on Thursday night in New Orleans.
After Collin Holloway’s layup with 28 seconds left gave Tulane (10-5, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) an 84-83 lead to cap a 10-0 run, Martin was fouled by Jaylen Forbes on a 3-point attempt as time was set to expire.
With 0.4 seconds left, Martin (14 points, five rebounds) sank the second and third attempts from the free-throw line to give the Owls (12-4, 2-1) their first win in six tries against the Green Wave.
Nick Boyd netted 21 points for Florida Atlantic, while Vladislav Goldin had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Johnell Davis had 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Bryan Greenlee scored 10.
Forbes matched his season high with 28 points, while teammate Kevin Cross had 20 points and 11 boards. Holloway had 14 points and Sion James added 13.
FAU was able to do something it had not been able to in recent losses to Florida Gulf Coast and Charlotte — get off to a fast start.
The visitors jumped out to a 19-8 lead just over five minutes into the game. Boyd knocked down two three-pointers during the run.
But Tulane got a strong effort from Cross in the first half, as he scored 12 points and added six rebounds as the Green Wave trailed 39-38 at halftime.
In the second half, FAU extended the lead to 10 in the first 3:34 thanks to a trio of three-pointers — two by Boyd, one by Martin — to build a 54-44 edge.
However, Forbes got hot for Tulane, scoring 14 points during Tulane’s run to cut the FAU lead to 71-70 with 8:05 to go.
Boyd hit a three-pointer and was fouled at 5:36, increasing the Owls’ lead to 77-72 after his four-point play.
The Green Wave moved to within three points less than a minute later, but Boyd and Brandon Weatherspoon answered with one three-pointer apiece.