Simmons played his best game of the season on Sunday.
Nov. 19, 2006
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Derrick Simmons scored a career-high 15 points off the bench and Paul Graham led Florida Atlantic University with 20 points but Marist used a 33-6 second-half run earn an 83-67 victory at the McCann Center in Poughkeepsie, NY on Sunday.
"Our defensive energy was much better in the first half," Head Coach Rex Walters said. "They can really shoot the basketball."
A Simmons steal and score gave FAU its first halftime lead of the 2006-07 campaign at 55-54. Carlos Monroe led the Owls with 10 first-half points, while Simmons and Graham each added nine.
Like the meeting last year between the two schools, the game was decided by a second-half run. This year it was FAU who held a one-point lead after the half, but it was Marist who duplicated their effort last year.
The Owls went 11:27 without a field goal after a Simmons layup gave the Owls a 51-48 lead at the 14:31 mark of the second half. Marist forward James Smith then hit back-to-back triples to give the Red Foxes a 54-51 lead and start the 33-6 run. Last season, FAU trailed at the break, 34-33, but Marist came out on a 10-2 run to earn an 84-75 victory.
The run was stopped at the 3:04 mark by a Paul Graham layup. FAU would finish on a 10-2 run, but it wasn't enough to get the Owls back into the game.
Monroe finished with 14 points giving FAU three players in double-figures for the first time this season. Marist had four players score in double figures, led by Smith's 22. Jared Jordan scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
"Their inside players really caused us some problems," Walters said.
The Owls (0-4) return to action on Wednesday in Jacksonville, FL, when they visit a familiar face in North Florida. UNF joined the Atlantic Sun conference last season, FAU's final campaign in the conference.