Bryant stuns No. 10 Florida Atlantic for 1st victory over ranked opponent
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Sherif Gross-Bullock scored 19 points, Earl Timberlake added 13 and Bryant stunned No. 10 Florida Atlantic 61-52 on Saturday night to end the Owls’ 19-game home winning streak.
Daniel Rivera scored 12 and Rafael Pinzon added 10 for the Bulldogs (2-3), who were 0-10 against ranked opponents since becoming full members of Division I — losing those games by an average of 28.8 points, the most recent of those contests by 67 points against Houston in 2021.
Didn’t matter. They held the Owls to 26% shooting, 20% in the second half.
The Bulldogs had been 0-3, all blowouts, against Top 10 competition. They lost to then-No. 1 Indiana by 43 in 2012, lost to then-No. 3 Ohio State by 38 in 2013 and lost to then-No. 5 Duke by 38 in 2015.
Consider the week for Bryant coach Phil Martelli Jr. His team lost at Rutgers on Sunday. He experienced his former boss — now-former head coach Jared Grasso — resigning on Monday. He got promoted to head coach on Wednesday, shedding the interim title he had during Grasso's absence. His team lost to previously winless Boston University on Thursday.
And now, the most significant win in the program's history.
FAU ran out to a fast 10-2 lead. The Owls started 4 for 6. They went 4 for their next 25. And that cold shooting never stopped — not on 3’s, not on layups, not even on free throws.
The Bulldogs went on runs of 11-0 and 8-0 in the first half and went into the break down only 29-26 despite shooting 32%, which was 1% better than the Owls managed in the first 20 minutes.
Bryant didn't shoot much better in the second half. But the Bulldogs made FAU shoot even worse.
Bryant: The Bulldogs had been close to pulling off upsets over ranked teams twice before, losing to No. 15 Providence 74-67 in 2015 and No. 24 Iowa 72-67 in 2018.
Florida Atlantic: The Owls' 19-game winning streak at home was tied for the second-longest in the country entering Saturday. It took FAU until the final minute to break the 50-point mark; the last time the Owls scored under 50 was when they managed 46 in a loss at VCU on Dec. 15, 2021.
FAU will fall. How far is anyone’s guess. Poll shakeups are common in November, but it’s rare for a team to go from Top 10 one week in November to unranked the next. It happened to Villanova in November 2018 – the Wildcats were No. 8, then lost to No. 17 Michigan and unranked Furman to fall completely out of the AP Top 25.
Bryant: Hosts Howard on Monday.
Florida Atlantic: Faces Butler at Kissimmee, Florida on Thursday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball
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