Jan. 11, 2004
DeLAND, FL -- Florida Atlantic University was defeated by Stetson University, 91-89, in overtime Sunday afternoon in DeLand, FL. The Hatters erased an eight-point deficit in the final 6:12 of regulation as they picked up their first Atlantic Sun Conference victory of the season. The loss drops FAU to 7-6 overall and 4-2 in the A-Sun. Earnest Crumbley led all scorers with 22 points while Stetson's E.J. Gordon had 21.
FAU, which had erased a 10-point first half deficit, led 69-61 at the 6:12 mark of the second half after a three-point play by Jeff Cowans. The Hatters responded with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes, capped off by a pair of free throws by Mark Stiles with 3:13 to play.
The Owls came back with four straight points to lead 73-71 at the 2:20 mark. The Hatters took a 76-75 lead with 1:00 remaining on a three-pointer by Derrick DeWitt, who finished with 16 points. A lay-up by Crumbley put the Owls ahead 77-76 with 42 seconds remaining, and Mike Bell, who finished with 14 points, went 1-for-2 from the line with 19 seconds left to give the Owls a 78-76 lead. Gordon tied the game with three seconds left in regulation on a put-back to send the game into overtime.
Stetson (3-8, 1-4 A-Sun) scored the first four points of overtime as Anthony Register had seven of his 18 points in the period. The Owls tied the game at 84-84 on a three-pointer by Pierre Tucker, who finished with 14 points. The Hatters then went on a 6-2 run to lead 90-86 with 19 seconds remaining as FAU never had the ball with a chance to tie.
The Hatters opened up a 39-29 lead with less than a minute left in the first half before FAU closed the first half on a 6-2 run and trailed 41-35. Crumbley scored 14 of his points in the first half when he made four of his six threes. Crumbley's effort helped prevent the Owls from being further down as Bell was held scoreless in the first half.
"We knew coming in we couldn't take Stetson lightly," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "They are a very good team. I thought the first half was one of our worst halves of the year, and it proved to be the difference at the end."
FAU committed 19 turnovers and was outshot 44 percent to 42 percent. The Owls did have success from beyond the arc, going 12-for-29. Crumbley, alone, went 6-for-11 from long range as he scored in double-figures for the first time in six games.
Robert Williams scored a season-high 15 points to go along with nine rebounds. Bell also finished with nine boards.
Stetson's Borislav Djordjic scored 12, and Josef McNeal had 11.
Florida Atlantic next hosts Central Florida January 14. Tip-off is at 6:00pm at FAU Gymnasium, and the game will be televised live on Sunshine Network.
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