Nov. 13, 2005
A balanced offensive attack and a 59 percentage field goal percentage from the floor allowed the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team to beat Florida Tech 94-73 in an exhibition contest on Sunday afternoon at the PBCC campus in Lake Worth, FL. Seeing his first collegiate action, freshman Paul Graham led FAU with 20 points off the bench. Five other players finished with double-digit points for the Owls.
"We wanted to take care of the basketball and we did that," said FAU head coach Matt Doherty. "We were very unselfish with the ball."
Graham (Philadelphia, PA) finished the afternoon going 8-for-10 from the floor. The 6-4 guard was 5-for-6 in the second half as the Owls finished the contest on a 27-7 run.
FAU went to the locker room at halftime with a 55-38 lead. The Panthers came out with the momentum and pulled to within one at 66-67 before FAU pulled away. Rodney Webb (Long Beach, CA) started the run with a dunk as the Owls scored the next nine points. Webb finished the contest with 19 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
"Against a talented team, we got a lead and even when we lost the lead, we didn't lose our poise," said Doherty. "I was very proud of the way the players kept their composure."
Returnees Derrick Simmons (Lake Wales, FL) and Quinton Young (Chicago, IL) both added 11 in the winning effort. FAU newcomer DeAndre Rice (Flint, MI) finished one assist shy of a double-double as he poured in 15 points. Brent Crews added 10 points in 14 minutes of play by shooting 5-for-6 from the floor in his FAU debut.
Titas Vainauskas finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for Florida Tech. The Panthers were held to a 41 percentage field goal percentage and had 18 turnovers in the loss.
The team opens the regular season on Friday at Colgate and then travels on to Northwestern on Monday. The Owls play their first home game on Nov. 30 against Atlantic Sun Conference foe North Florida.