Feb. 4, 2003
BOILING SPRINGS, NC -- Nick Neumann's tip-in at the buzzer lifted Florida Atlantic University to a 59-57 victory over Gardner-Webb University, Tuesday night, in Boiling Springs, NC. Jeff Cowans and Avery Headley each led FAU (6-16, 2-8 Atlantic Sun Conference) with 14 points while Earnest Crumbley scored 10. Headley posted his third double-double of the season with 11 boards.
FAU led most of the night as the Owls jumped out to a 23-12 lead with 6:28 left in the first half. GWU (3-19, 1-9 A-Sun) then went on a 15-0 run and took a 27-23 lead with 48 seconds left in the half. FAU closed the half with three free throws as it was held without a field goal for the final 9:13 of the first half.
FAU scored the first nine points of the second half to push its lead back to eight points. GWU would never lead again but did give the Owls a scare late in the game. Cowans hit one of his four three-pointers at the 5:50 mark to give the Owls a 53-44 lead. GWU then went on a 13-4 run to tie the game with 34 seconds left. That set up the final possession for the Owls.
Cowans had a shot in the lane blocked with six seconds left, but Crumbley gathered the rebound on the right wing and fired a shot up with four seconds left but missed. That's when Neumann reached up and tipped the ball in as time expired to give FAU the two-point victory.
"This was a very good win for us tonight," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "I'm very happy with the way our guys hung on. The ball seemed to bounce our way, and Nick was able to get a good tip at the end."
Both teams shot miserably from the field. The Owls managed just 21 field goals in 62 attempts for 33.9 percent. GWU was worse, hitting just 17 times in 52 tries for 32.7 percent. FAU controlled the boards, 44-41, with Neumann hauling in 10 rebounds.
"That's what we've been hoping for all season long," said Green on Headley and Neumann combining for 26 rebounds. "I'm hoping they can continue that kind of play the remainder of the season."
Headley's performance included a career-high eight free throws in 12 attempts. Drew Skeeter added seven points for the Owls. Jeff Hamilton had four while Chris Thomas had two to complete the FAU scoring.
The win helps keep FAU's hopes alive of earning a spot in the A-Sun Tournament. Heading into Tuesday's game, FAU was three games out of the eighth spot for the tournament.
Florida Atlantic next faces Campbell University February 7 at FAU Gymnasium.