Feb. 16, 2002
BOCA RATON, FL - Four seniors played their final home game for Florida Atlantic University's men's basketball team Saturday night and despite the dramatic turnaround the team has made this season, it was unable to pull off a victory against a focused Samford University in a 68-50 loss. One of those seniors, Raheim Brown, led FAU with 13 points.
Entering the game, six teams were within two game of each other for the coveted eight-team Atlantic Sun Conference tournament field, with FAU sitting tied for third. With the loss, FAU falls to 14-11 on the season and 11-7 in A-Sun play. Samford improves to 14-12 and 11-7.
Samford opened the game with a 16-5 run behind 52% shooting from the field. FAU clawed to within five, 21-16, with six minutes remaining in the half, before the Bulldogs outscored the Owls 13-8 in the closing minutes of the half for a 34-24 advantage at the break.
Samford returned to the floor to shoot 64% during the second half by taking advantage of an open back door and going away from their better known offense, the three-point attack. Samford entered the game 212-586 from beyond the three point line, while FAU held them to just 4-of-13.
"Everyone is hyped to play us," said Brown. "I think they were more focused to play us this time than when we played at their place. They know how to keep a lead once they have established it."
Earnest Crumbley added 12 points while Daryl Dingle scored 11 for FAU. Dingle and Brown each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Dingle, Anthony Slater, and John Smart also played in their final home game for the Owls.
Philip Ramelli led Samford with 21 points, including an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line. Corey Green and Chris Weaver added 16 and 11, respectively. Green had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Owls conclude their regular season with two road games beginning with Thursday's contest at Jacksonville and Saturday's season finale at Stetson. FAU enters the final week of play in a four-way tie for third-place, one game behind Troy State and a game and a half behind first-place Georgia State.
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