Feb. 20, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL -- Florida Atlantic University was defeated by Mercer University, 87-72, Thursday night at FAU Gymnasium. Mercer used a dominating effort in the second half, outscoring FAU 56-32 after trailing by nine points at the half.
Mercer (19-5, 11-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) had six players in double figures while FAU's Earnest Crumbley led all scorers with 22 points. Scott Emerson led Mercer with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
FAU (7-19, 3-11 A-Sun) scored the first five points of the game before Mercer responded to take a 21-15 lead. FAU then went on an 18-6 run to lead 33-27 before closing the half leading 40-31.
Mercer took control of the game in the second half after FAU extended its lead to 47-36. The Bears went on a 20-3 run to take the lead for good. It started with 11 straight points which tied the game at 47-47 with 14:54 remaining.
After a Crumbley three-pointer put FAU on top 50-47, Mercer ran off another nine points to lead 56-50 at the 11:08 mark.. The Bears continued to add to their lead, which never grew past 15 points.
All five Mercer starters finished in double figures. Wesley Duke had 15 points while Delmar Wilson poured in 14. Aleem Muhammad had 13, and Clarence Baker scored 11. Mercer went 29-for-36 for the game from the line, including 24-for-26 in the second half.
Crumbley went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, giving him 200 for his career. He is FAU's all-time leading three-point shooter.
Jeff Cowans scored 13 in the Owls' effort. He went 5-for-7 from the field with one trey.
"You are looking at a very tired team," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "Our guys were out there trying their best. I have to take my hat off to them because they never quit and they always work hard."
Mercer shot 54.9 percent from the field while holding FAU to just 37.1 percent. FAU was held to just 29.6 percent shooting in the second half while the Bears made 61.5 percent of their shots. Mercer controlled the boards, grabbing 42 rebounds to FAU's 21.
Florida Atlantic next hosts Troy State Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm.