Nov. 19, 2002
FORT COLLINS, CO -- It took 50 minutes and career performances by Earnest Crumbley and Robert Williams as Florida Atlantic University (2-1) defeated IPFW, 93-86, Tuesday night in double overtime in Fort Collins, CO. Crumbley led all scorers with 24 points as he tied his career-high with six three-pointers.
FAU closed the second overtime period on a 9-0 run as it concluded play at the Dell BCA Invitational.
The Owls trailed by as many as 13 points with 13:58 left in the second half before going on a 27-12 run to take a 62-60 lead with 5:06 remaining. A pair of free throws by Cowans with eight seconds left gave the Owls a 68-65 lead. With time expiring, IPFW's Terry Collins connected on an off-balance three-pointer to tie the score at 68-68 and send the game into overtime.
FAU fell behind 79-75 with 36 seconds left in the first overtime before closing on a 5-1 run. Williams cut the deficit to 79-77 with a tip-in with 20 seconds left. After a free throw by IPFW's DeAngelo Woodall gave the Mastodons an 80-77 lead, Crumbley connected on a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 80-80.
The Owls handled the Mastodons in the second overtime period by a 13-6 score. With 1:47 left, Ric Wyand made a pair of free throws to give IPFW an 86-64 lead, but that would be the last time the Owls would trail. FAU went on a 9-0 run the rest of the way that included a 5-for-6 effort by Crumbley at the line.
In the first half, with FAU leading 15-11 with 12:17 left, IPFW (0-3) went on a 19-4 run to take a 30-19 lead with 5:23 left. The Owls then battled back to closed the half on an 8-0 run. The run included a pair of three-pointers by Crumbley and a 15-footer by Drew Skeeter just before the end of the half to pull FAU to within 30-27.
"Besides winning our conference tournament last year, this is by far the biggest win for this team since I've been here," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "Not only how we won, but how our kids played down the stretch. I can't begin to describe in words the will, the desire, and the determination they had tonight."
Williams' previous career highs were 16 points and 11 rebounds. The junior pulled down nine offensive rebounds.
"Along with the rest of our team, Robert showed a lot of guts and heart tonight," said Green. "Despite the fact he's been battling soreness in his back, he came out and put together one of the best games of his career."
IPFW outshot FAU 47 percent to 44 percent. Both teams shot well from beyond the arc as IPFW went 14-for 31 while the Owls shot 45 percent (9-for-20). Crumbley went 6-for 13 from long range while Cowans went 2-for-4.
FAU outrebounded IPFW 43-42, which included 17 offensive rebounds. The Owls forced 26 turnovers while giving the ball up just 14 times.
The victory snapped a five-game losing streak by the Owls in overtime dating back to the 1998-99 season. The Owls are 2-1 for the first time since 1991-92.
Florida Atlantc next plays at Drake November 22 in Des Moines, IA.
Note: Earnest Crumbley was named to the All-Tournament team. The junior averaged 17.5 points in three games and went 9-for-25 from beyond the arc.