Feb. 21, 2004
MACON, GA - Mercer University defeated Florida Atlantic University, 85-79, Saturday night in men's basketball action in Macon, GA. Scott Emerson, Delmar Wilson, and James Odoms all scored 20 points to lead the Mercer attack. Earnest Crumbley scored 15 to lead FAU and pulled to within 16 points of becoming FAU's all-time leading scorer.
Mike Bell had his 10th double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Pierre Tucker scored 14 while Kahleaf Watson added 13 for FAU, which dropped to 8-17 overall and 5-13 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Mercer improved to 11-16 and 9-10 in the A-Sun.
The loss keeps FAU in eighth-place in the A-Sun as the Owls could have clinched a berth in the A-Sun Tournament with a win. They lead Campbell by two games for the last spot left.
Mercer took and early 6-2 lead but the Owls stormed back with an 18-6 run to lead 20-12 with 12:41 left in the first half. FAU led 24-16 before Mercer scored 11 straight points for a 27-24 advantage at the 7:07 mark. The Owls came back and ultimately scored the final four points of the half for a 40-39 halftime lead.
The Bears came out strong in the second half and led 60-52 with 12:02 to play. FAU then went on a 13-3 run, which was capped off by a Watson jumper, and led 65-63 with 9:08 remaining.
Neither team led by more than three points until Wesley Duke hit two free throws with 1:38 left to put Mercer up 77-73. The Bears would score six more points for a 10-0 run and led 83-73 with 21 seconds left.
"We played hard for 40 minutes," said FAU associate head coach Ken Huber. "It's something to build on as we head home to conclude our regular season."
FAU outshot Mercer 46 percent to 44 percent but was outrebounded 46-28. The Owls committed a season-low eight turnovers and forced 14 Mercer miscues.
Huber guided the Owls in the absence of head coach Sidney Green who is with his family as his mother recovers from an operation.
Florida Atlantic will attempt to secure a berth in the A-Sun Tournament when it faces Campbell Thursday night at FAU Gymnasium.