Kahleaf Watson goes up for a break-away dunk in the second half against UCF.
Jan. 20, 2005
ORLANDO, FL - Mike Bell scored a game-high 24 points to lead Florida Atlantic University to a 73-61 victory over UCF Thursday night as the Owls ended a three-game losing streak and a six-game losing streak to the Golden Knights. FAU (4-12, 4-5 Atlantic Sun Conference) trailed only once as it put together its most impressive game of the season. The win snapped a four-game winning streak by UCF and was the first for FAU at UCF since February 22, 1997.
FAU scored the first four points of the game and led 11-4 before UCF (12-5, 5-4 A-Sun) came back to take a 14-13 lead, its only one of the night, at the 10:42 mark. FAU came back with a 14-4 run, capped off by a Pierre Tucker three, to take a 27-18 lead with 5:51 left in the half. Tucker helped spark the Owls with 11 first-half points, including three treys. He finished with 15.
The Owls led 35-28 at the half and extended it to 39-29 three minutes into the second half. UCF stormed back with a 16-6 run and tied the game at 45 with 11:17 left.
FAU regained the lead on a free throw by Robert Williams followed by a Williams' put-back at the 10:19 mark to make it 48-45. A Marcus Avant three-pointer a minute later pulled UCF to within 50-49.
Bell responded with another timely shot, this time a three-pointer, in the Owls' next possession to make it 53-49. UCF would get as close as two points with 6:25 left before the Owls slowly pulled away and led 65-55 with 1:26 left. The 12-point margin at the end equaled FAU's largest lead.
"We played very good defense, we played a complete game, and we finished the game," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "I'm very proud of our players. They played well from start to finish."
FAU shot 48 percent from the field and held UCF to just 37 percent. Bell was 10-for-17, including 2-for-6 from beyond the arc. Kahleaf Watson added eight points and three steals. Williams and Tywain McTyer scored seven points each.
Anthony Williams led UCF with 15 points. Avant added 12, and Joshua Peppers 11.
The win also snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Owls at UCF. FAU entered the game 1-11 all-time at UCF.
Florida Atlantic next faces Lipscomb Sunday in Nashville, TN. The game tips at 2:00pm EST and can be heard live on WLVJ 1040-AM and www.fausports.com.