Feb. 1, 2003
Florida Atlantic University's men's basketball played a spirited second half in which it caused 13 turnovers to give North Division leader Belmont a scare before falling 76-69 at FAU gymnasium, Saturday night. Avery Headley tied a career-high by scoring 16 points. FAU fell to 5-16 and 1-8 in the Atlantic Sun while Belmont improved to 12-9 and 7-2.
After opening the game at a 5-5, Belmont used a 26-9 run to go up 31-14 with 4:14 remaining in the half. FAU used an 8-4 run to pull back to within 13 at the intermission, 35-22.
Coming out of halftime, head coach Sidney Green elected to keep floor general, and leading scorer Earnest Crumbley, and seven-foot center Nick Neumann on the bench. Crumbley went into the half with three fouls. Instead, Wesley Edwards and Drew Skeeter got the call in the second half.
The gamble paid off, as FAU opened the second half with a menacing full-court press and an 8-0 run. During that stretch, Belmont did not get off a shot. FAU pulled within 35-30 with 1:42 running off the second half clock.
Just as soon as FAU pulled close, Belmont responded with a 6-0 run of its own pushing the lead back to double digits at 41-30 with 17:41 showing on the clock.
The Owls pulled back within 10 at the 8:17 mark when Earnest Crumbley nailed a three to make the score 59-50. Then after a Belmont layup, FAU reeled off nine straight points to pull within two. The run was capped off when Jeff Cowans hit a three point bomb pulling FAU to within 61-59 with 5:04 left to play. Belmont answered with two treys of its own to push the lead to six at 67-61 with 3:10 remaining.
Belmont was able to hold off the surging Owls as they made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch.
For the game, Belmont out rebounded FAU 38-31 and out shot the Owls by making 52 percent of its attempts compared to 41 percent by FAU.
"We shot 14 more shots than Belmont and the bottom line is that they made 52 percent of their shots," explained head coach Sidney Green.
Also scoring in double digits for FAU was Cowans with 15 and Crumbley with 12. Antoine Stevens had a career night in assists and steals with seven and five respectively.
Belmont had four players reach double digits. Adam Sonn and Steve Drabyn had 18 and 17, respectively. Adam Mark and Jese Snyder also reached double digits with 13 and 10 points apiece.
FAU travels to Gardner-Webb for a 7:30 p.m., February 4 match-up.
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