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Mar 22, 2024 3:05 pm

Ryan Langborg leads Northwestern past FAU in OT

ryan langborg

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 Regional 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 the winner of the game between top seed UConn and No. 16 Stetson in a second-round game Sunday.

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, when Davis’ baseline floater just before the buzzer gave Florida Atlantic a 20-19 lead.

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, before 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 following 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.

–Jerry Beach, Field Level Media

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