Ryan Langborg leads Northwestern past FAU in OT

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 04:02 AM

Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- Ryan Langborg scored 12 points in overtime Friday afternoon for No. 9 Northwestern, which squandered a nine-point second-half lead before recovering to beat No. 8 Florida Atlantic 77-65 in an East Region first-round game at Barclays Center.

Brooks Barnhizer forced overtime by hitting a floater with nine seconds left for Northwestern (22-11), which will face top-seeded UConn in a second-round game Sunday.

"We've played so many overtime games in our league and we just said when we go to overtime, we're going to find a way because that's what we've done all year," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. "And it's a credit to these guys for their toughness and their will just to dig down and win the game."

Langborg scored Northwestern's first seven points in overtime and finished with 27 points overall for the Wildcats, who outscored Florida Atlantic 19-7 in the extra session. Boo Buie had 22 points, including 19 after halftime, while Barnhizer added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Vladislav Goldin scored 19 points for Florida Atlantic (25-9), which returned every player who had remaining eligibility from last year's Final Four team. Johnell Davis had 18 points while Brandon Weatherspoon finished with 10 points.

Neither team led by more than four during a grinding first half. Davis' baseline floater just before the buzzer gave Florida Atlantic a 20-19 lead at halftime.

Northwestern led for 16-plus consecutive minutes in the second half and opened a trio of nine-point leads, the last at 54-45 on a layup by Langborg with 6:43 left. Goldin hit a layup to begin a 13-2 run for the Owls, who took the lead on Davis' floater with 1:04 left.

Florida Atlantic forced a turnover on Northwestern's next possession and Davis missed a layup but the Owls retained possession after an inadvertent whistle. Goldin was fouled on the in-bounds and missed the front end of a one-and-one before Barnhizer hit the game-tying shot. Davis missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Weatherspoon missed a jumper to open overtime and Langborg scored on three straight trips to give Northwestern a 65-59 lead. Alijah Martin missed a 3-pointer for Florida Atlantic and Buie followed with a jumper. The Owls missed two 3-pointers on their next trip and Langborg delivered the dagger with a 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer to put the Wildcats up 70-59 with 1:38 left.

Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May had nostalgia for the team with which he'd spent so much time and built so many memories.

"Like to express gratitude to this group for taking so many people on a great ride. We had a lot of great moments," May said. "Today, credit Northwestern. They were statistically better in almost every facet of the game and we just weren't at our best.

"We just looked like we were a little bit, I guess, out of gas in overtime and emotionally spent. But definitely proud of our effort to claw back in and make a game out of it."

--Jerry Beach, Field Level Media