Dec. 2, 2006
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.
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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