NEW ORLEANS (AP) Alijah Martin hit two of three free throws after being fouled by Tulane's Jaylen Forbes on a desperation 3-point attempt with less than a second left, and No. 24 Florida Atlantic escaped with a 85-84 victory over the Green Wave on Thursday night.

“We hate it that it came down to the play that it did,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “I wish we could have separated earlier when we had a nice lead, but these guys stayed the course.”

Martin - who had family and friends from Summit, Mississippi, in attendance - missed the second free throw, but made the third. That final free throw secured a result that helped FAU avoid what would have been a second straight loss after being upset Saturday at Charlotte - where they fell 70-68 on free throws with 1.7 seconds left after a foul had been called on an 18-foot jumper.

“We didn't like that call; I'm sure Tulane didn't like this call,” May said. “I'm sure we're going to have some more battles with Tulane going forward because that's a really good basketball team.”

Tulane coach Ron Hunter avoided criticizing the late foul call specifically, but made it clear he wasn't pleased with how the game ended.

“Let the kids decide it,” Hunter said. "As I was walking over here, I'm glad I saw my family sitting there in the stands because I don't want to be fined and take some money away from them. We can't control the calls. We can control how hard we play and we did that. That's all I can ask of this team."

Nick Boyd tied a career high with 21 points and six 3-pointers to lead FAU (12-4, 2-1 American Athletic), which led 83-74 after Brandon Weatherspoon's 3 with 3:03 left, but nearly collapsed.

Tulane responded with a stunning 10-0 run that included Forbes' 3 and a pair of contested driving layups by Collin Holloway, the second giving the Green Wave an 84-83 lead with 28 seconds left.

FAU then missed twice but got the ball back both times - on a tie-up and an offensive rebound - to set up the third shot on which the decisive foul was called.

“There's a lot of randomness to winning and losing - and that randomness on the last play favored us,” May said.

Vladislav Goldin had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Johnell Davis and Martin each scored 14 points for FAU, a Final Four team last season which had lost two of its previous three games to nearly fall out of the AP Top 25.

“I feel like the last couple weeks we kind of took our foot off the gas in terms of holding each other accountable,” Boyd said. “We have to understand we have a target on our back no matter where we go or who we play. So to beat a good Tulane team on the road in a hostile environment at the end is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Forbes scored 28 points and Kevin Cross added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Tulane (10-5, 1-2), which dropped its second straight league game.


FAU: The Owls made eight of their 14 3-pointers in the second half. ... FAU outrebounded Tulane 42-33, including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points (including the winning points).

“We don't have the size that a lot of teams have and we've always prided ourselves on being quicker to the ball, being more physical,” May said.

The Owls have won 39 of their last 41 games in which they have outrebounded their opponent.

Tulane: Tulane has lost 53 straight against Top 25 opponents since a 72-63 win over then-No. 25 North Carolina State on Dec. 22, 1999. ... Tre' Williams, a transfer guard from Oregon State who has scored 10 or more in half of his games this season, was expected to be available but remained sidelined for a third straight game with an ankle injury.


FAU: Hosts UAB on Sunday.

Tulane: At Tulsa on Sunday.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here.


AP college basketball: and

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.