Jan. 9, 2003
TROY, AL -- Florida Atlantic University was outscored by 23 points at the free throw line as it was defeated by Troy State University, 77-72, Thursday night in Troy, AL. Earnest Crumbley led the Owls with 17 points while Troy State's Rob Lewin also shared game-high honors with 17.
FAU (4-10, 0-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) had a chance to tie the game on its final possession trailing 75-72. However, a turnover and a resulting basket by TSU's Herb Evans with two seconds remaining secured the five-point win for the Trojans.
FAU outrebounded and outshot Troy State but allowed the Trojans to go 24-for-32 from the line compared to FAU's 1-for-8.
The Owls finished the game shooting 44. 1 percent while the Trojans were held to 38.1 percent. FAU went 11-for-25 from beyond the arc while TSU finished just 5-for-24.
Troy State (12-3, 3-0 A-Sun) led most of the night and owned a 44-31 lead, its largest, with 2:39 left in the first half. The Trojans would lead 44-34 at the half.
In the second half, Troy State led 48-36 before the Owls went on a 10-0 run to pull to within 48-46 with 14:38 to play. That would be as close as FAU would get as Troy State would regain as much as an 11-point lead with 7:11 left.
The Owls would chip away again, due in large part to 14 second half points by Crumbley. The junior made four of his five treys in the final five minutes, the last coming with 1:10 to play to pull the Owls within five points. After Greg Davis went 1-for-2 from the line with 1:03 left, Jeff Cowans connected with a three-pointer to make it a 75-72 TSU lead.
In the ensuing TSU possession, the Owls defense forced a turnover to get the ball back with the chance to tie. FAU largest lead of the game was one point on three occasions.
"Our players are playing as hard as they can," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "Unfortunately, in a forty minute game, you can't go to the free throw line eight times to your opponent's 32 and expect to win."
"We had some mental errors down the stretch that I hope we'll eventually learn from," added Green.
Cowans scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half. Chris Thomas scored 13 points points before fouling out.
Lewin led TSU in points and rebounds, grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. He also set a school record with seven blocks. Ben Fletcher finished with 13 while Davis had 11.
Florida Atlantic next plays at Mercer Saturday at 7:00pm.