Jan. 19, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL - Mike Bell scored a career high 35 points as Florida Atlantic University men's toppled Lipscomb University, 90-69, Monday evening at FAU Gymnasium. The win stopped a three-game skid by the Owls and evened their record at 8-8 overall (5-4 Atlantic Sun). Lipscomb fell to 4-10 overall (1-5 A-Sun). Bell also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
FAU used a menacing pressure defense to force nine Lipscomb turnovers in the first nine minutes of play and 12 miscues in the first half. Poor shooting, though, canceled out FAU's efforts as the team took only a 43-39 advantage into the break. The Owls finished the half 15-of-43 (35 percent) from the floor.
Bell and the Owls came out firing in the second stanza. Two three-pointers by Bell sandwiched around a Jimmy Bishop layup gave FAU a 53-42 lead with 17:32 showing on the clock. The lead swelled to 72-53 before the Owls coasted to the final score. FAU ended the game shooting 33-of-72, good for 45.8 percent.
Head coach Sidney Green attributed the second half turnaround to the players' confidence in themselves. "We worked hard on our shooting in practice the last couple days, but the key was that the players always believed in themselves," said Green.
Bishop and Jeff Cowans also scored in double digits for the Owls with 16 and 14, respectively. Bell's point total was just three points shy of FAU's all-time single game record of 38, recorded by Ray Schultz in 1989.
For the game, the Bisons outshot the Owls, draining 53.5 percent of their shots. Rebounds and turnovers made the difference as 24 of FAU's 42 rebounds came on the offensive end, 19 of those in the first half. On defense, FAU forced LU into 21 turnovers, while commiting only 13.
FAU will next take on Troy State in Troy, AL, 4:00 pm, January 25.
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