KISSIMMEE. Fla. (AP) Vladislav Goldin scored 19 points and Johnell Davis added 15 as No.19 Florida Atlantic beat Butler 91-86 in a first-round matchup at the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday.

Jalen Gaffney added 14 points as six FAU players scored in double figures. The Owls (3-1) rebounded from a 60-51 home loss to Bryant last Saturday.

“Anytime you face adversity, we have this week, you learn and grow from it,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “If it causes you to splinter at all, then it's catastrophic.”

Butler (3-2) got 19 points from Jahmyl Telfort. The Bulldogs had five player in double figures.

“When you play a team like Florida Atlantic, that is an unbelievable basketball team, when you deviated and you make mistakes they make you pay,” Butler coach Thad Matta said. “I thought that was the difference in the game.”

After Posh Alexander's 4-point play got Butler within 78-77 with 4:40 remaining, Gaffney's long-range jumper then keyed an 8-1 run for FAU.

FAU trailed by four points before using an 11-1 run to take a 77-71 lead with six minutes to play. Goldin, Davis and Tre Carroll all had three-point plays.

Carroll finished with 11 points off the bench

“There's no way we win this game without the things he brought to the table," May said. “He settled us down.”

FAU led 46-42 after an up-tempo first half.


FAU: The Owls returned most of the nucleus from last season's Final Four team, and are expected to be a top contender for the title in their first season in the American Athletic Conference.

Butler: The Bulldogs' other loss was 74-54 at then No. 18 Michigan State on Friday. They entered allowing 58.0 points a game.

“I know the guys were a better team today than we were (last week), and that's very important to me,” Matta said.


FAU is no longer flying under the radar after last season's success.

“We're going to get everybody's best shot,” May said. “When you had the season we had, we're going to be a big games on team's schedule.”


FAU: Plays No. 12 Texas A&M (5-0) in the semifinals on Friday. The winner advances to Sunday's championship game, and with a victory will enhance their Top 25 standing.

Butler: Will face Penn State (4-1) in Friday’s consolation round. The Nittany Lions lost to Texas A&M 89-77 in another opening-round matchup.

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