Jan. 25, 2005
NASHVILLE, TN - Mike Bell scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Florida Atlantic University over Belmont University, 76-68, Tuesday night in Nashville, TN. Robert Williams added 13 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high five blocks as FAU improved to 5-13 overall and 5-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Rodney Webb scored 11 while Pierre Tucker was the fourth Owl in double figures with 10.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the first half. With the game tied at 18, a Tucker layup with 9:44 left in the half gave FAU a lead it would never give up. The Owls built as much as a 33-26 lead before settling for a 33-29 halftime advantage.
The Owls started the second half with a quick bucket by Bell on the first possession. After a steal on its full-court pressure, FAU converted with a Quinton Young lay-up and led 37-29 at the 19:22 mark, forcing Belmont into a timeout.
Belmont (7-11, 6-4 A-Sun) came back with a 12-4 run and tied the game at 41 on a Jesse Snyder lay-up with 16:28 to play. Snyder finished with 24 points, including five three-pointers.
Bell then hit a long three-pointer from the left side to give the Owls a 44-41 lead. Bell connected on the next two possessions to make it seven straight points as the Owls led 48-41 at the 14:53 mark.
After the Bruins cut it to 48-45, the Owls seemed poised to run away with the game. Over the next four minutes, FAU outscored Belmont 15-3, a run capped off by consecutive treys by Webb. The lead was 63-48 with 8:27 to go.
Belmont came back with a 13-3 blitz to trim the deficit to 66-61 with 5:02 to play. The Bruins would get as close as 69-66 with 1:17 to play before the Owls sealed the win with their final seven points coming from the foul line.
FAU shot 47 percent and held Belmont to just 35 percent for the game. The Owls also outrebounded the Bruins 46-37.
Florida Atlantic next faces Lipscomb Saturday night at 7:00pm at FAU Gymnasium.
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