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Hot Shooting Lifts FAU Past NSU, 77-64

Dec. 2, 2006

Box Score

BOCA RATON, FL (December 2, 2006) -- Carlos Monroe and Derrick Simmons led the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team to a 20-point halftime lead and the Owls earned their third victory in a row, 77-64 over Norfolk State at FAU Arena on Saturday.

The Owls held a 47-27 halftime lead thanks to 12 points from Monroe and 10 from Simmons. Monroe's six rebounds were a game-high in the first 20 minutes. FAU held NSU to 34.8 percent shooting in the half.

"That was our best defensive half of the season," Head Coach Rex Walters said.

FAU opened the game with six-straight points, including a pair of jumpers by Monroe. They would stretch the lead to 12-2 following back-to-back triples by Jeff Parmer and Sean Alarcon.

A three-point play by Simmons sparked a 22-4 run, pushing the FAU lead to 37-11. Avery Holley capped the run with a three-point shot. Simmons had seven points in the run while Monroe had eight.

The Owls hit 70.8 percent of their shots in the first frame, going 17-for-24. They went 8-for-10 from downtown. NSU went 11-for-13 from the line, helping them trim the lead before the half. Rebounds were even at 12, but the Spartans grabbed seven offensive boards in the first-half.

A Simmons layup and Brent Crews three-pointer stretched the lead to 52-27 early in the second-half, but NSU scored 15-straight points to cut the FAU lead to 10 at the 12:22 mark in the second frame.

FAU would stretch the lead back to 14 on a made layup by Monroe, 61-47 with 8:06 to play, but a trey by NSU's Brandon Plummer trimmed the lead back to 11 and sparked an 8-2 Spartan run, bringing the visitors back within eight, 65-57, with 4:05 left. The eight-point margin was the closest NSU had been since the score was 15-7 with 13:43 left in the first half.



The Owls would make 8-of-10 free throws over the final four minutes to seal the victory.

Paul Graham finished with 13 points, four rebounds and seven assists after missing the last two practices with a viral infection.

"That was his most efficient game of the year," Walters said. "Paul has unbelievable ability and he has a chance to do great things if he continues to work. He and Carlos are young guys and we put a lot on their shoulders and they've responded well."

The Owls (4-3) have won three in a row and will have seven days off before their next game, a road match-up with UCF in Orlando, FL on December 9 at 7:30 p.m.

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