Feb. 17, 2005
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University had its three-game winning streak snapped in an 80-76 loss to Georgia State University Thursday evening in Boca Raton, FL. FAU's Mike Bell led all scorers with 22 points while GSU's Herman Favors scored 19 of his team-high 21 in the second half. The loss drops FAU to 9-15 overall and 9-8 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. GSU improves to 13-12 and 10-7 in the A-Sun. In addition, FAU's Robert Williams had nine rebounds to become the Owls' all-time leading rebounder.
It was a struggle all night long for FAU to put together any kind of run. The Owls, who came into the game with three straight wins on the road, returned home and had just one lead the entire night. FAU led 2-1 before GSU built an 11-4 lead. The advantage grew to 20-11 at the 10:24 mark of the first half. After FAU cut the deficit to six, the Panthers took their largest lead of the night, 37-25, with 3:13 remaining in the half.
The Owls closed the half on a 12-4 run, capped off by a Kahleaf Watson lay-up with less than a second remaining, to make it 43-39 at the break.
The Panthers regained a double-digit lead on a Marcus Brown jumper with 14:45 left to make it 55-45. The Owls then appeared to awaken from their offensive slump as they went on a 12-2 run over the next three minutes. The run included two treys by Quinton Young, the last tying the game at 57 with 11:09 left.
The Owls were never able to get the lead, though. After tying the game at 59 less than a minute later, FAU fell behind 68-61 at the 5:45 mark after a pair of free throws by Favors. The junior finished 9-for-9 from the line.
FAU was not able to make the one final push to overcome the Panthers. The closest they came was with 36 seconds remaining when a Derrick Simmons three-pointer made it 75-72. The Owls would pull to within three two more times but never had the ball with a chance to possibly tie the game. GSU went 7-for-8 in the final 45 seconds to help clinch the victory.
"They showed more will and determination than we did," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "We just didn't bring it tonight like we had the last five games."
FAU shot just 38 percent while the Panthers were 44 percent from the field. The Owls held a 47-39 advantage on the boards. Rodney Webb finished with a career-high 14 boards. Williams pushed his career total to 560, moving ahead of Damon Arnette's record of 551 set after the 1998-99 season.
Watson added 12 points for the Owls while Pierre Tucker scored 10, all in the first half. Boyd Copeland scored 18 points for the Panthers, all in the first half. Kevin Thomas had 16, and Brown finished with 13.
Florida Atlantic takes part in its home finale Saturday afternoon when it hosts Mercer. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00pm.
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