Nov. 2, 2006
BOCA RATON, FL (November 2, 2006) -- Rex Walters won his head coaching debut as Florida Atlantic University defeated Florida Institute of Technology 87-70 in an exhibition game on Thursday at FAU Arena.
Carlos Monroe led the way for the Owls with 23 points and 15 rebounds, while Paul Graham added 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Jeff Parmer added 12 in his FAU debut, shooting 4-of-5 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Coach Walters knows rebounding will be the key for his team this season, with only four players on the roster listed at 6-6 or taller. FAU out-rebounded FIT 43-35 on the night.
"It was a point of emphasis for us all week in practice. We're going to face a physical team in Stillwater," Walters said. "We're going to have to be ready."
With several players missing time due to injury, there has been a shortage of bodies in practice. Walters saw the exhibition as an opportunity to have his players see game-speed action for the first time this year.
"Some of our guys are going to be starting two steps behind because of the time they've missed, but we'll keep working hard.
The Owls shot 52% (29-for-56) from the floor including 72% in the second half (18-for-25).
FAU held a slim 41-40 lead at the 18:35 mark of the second half, but went on a 23-7 run over the next 7:45.
Florida Atlantic led 39-36 at the half on the strength of 14 points from Monroe, who was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. He shot 4-of-7 from the floor and grabbed six of FAU's 22 first-half rebounds, including four off the offensive glass.
Graham had 10 points and two assists to go with one defensive rebound at the break, while Derrick Simmons chipped in six rebounds, ending with eight for the game.
Carl McNally led the way early on for Florida Tech, shooting 3-of-8 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the line for 11 first-half points. Justin Sedlik was also an early contributor, shooting 3-of-5 with six rebounds for the Panthers in the first 20 minutes. McNally finished with 16 points while Sedlik finished with 15.
The Owls shot 11-for-31 in the first half, while Florida Tech hit 13-of-33 shot attempts. FAU was aided by a 14-for-17 half from the free-throw line.
The Owls will open the regular season on November 10 in Stillwater, OK against Oklahoma State.