Dec. 3, 2002
BOCA RATON, FL -- For the first time in school history, Florida Atlantic University (4-3) defeated the University of Miami (3-1), 74-73 in overtime, Tuesday night in Boca Raton. Earnest Crumbley tied an FAU record with eight three-pointers on his way to a game-high 25 points. Jeff Cowans scored 12 for the Owls while Nick Neumann had 10. Avery Headley scored four of his eight points in overtime.
After the Owls led by five at the half, the Hurricanes opened up a 65-57 lead with 7:09 to play on a pair of free throws by Rodrigue Djahue. FAU then put on a defensive show, holding Miami to just three points for the remainder of regulation, allowing them to tie the game at 68-68 on Crumbley's eighth trey of the night.
Crumbley scored 14 of his 25 points in the second half, including six in the final 1:36. The late rally started with a lay-up by Wes Edwards that pulled FAU to within 65-59 at the 5:05 mark. Crumbley connected from long range with 3:55 remaining to pull FAU to within 65-62. A jumper by Darius Rice gave Miami a 67-62 lead with 1:52 left before Crumbley's seventh trey with 1:26 remaining pulled the Owls to within two.
Rice then went 1-for-2 from the line with 52 seconds left before Crumbley's three eight seconds later tied the game at 68. A jumper by Neumann as time expired in regulation just missed.
In overtime, the Owls scored the first six points on a pair of jumpers by Headley and one by Neumann to take a 74-68 with 3:39 left. UM would only muster one field goal by Robert Hite and three free throws in its comeback attempt. A jumper by James Jones with four seconds left missed and time expired in the scramble for the rebound.
In all, FAU's defensive effort down the stretch held UM to just two field goals in the final 12:45 of the game.
"Besides winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament last season, this is the biggest win for this program since I've been here," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "It should prove to the nation that, with last year's success and this win, we belong as one of the best programs in the nation. It shows we can play with anybody and, like we showed tonight, beat anybody."
For the game, FAU shot 48 percent and held Miami to 40 percent shooting. The Owls went 10-for-23 from beyond the arc for 44 percent. It was the second straight game the Owls shot better than 43 percent from long range. Crumbley's eight treys tied Cowans' mark set December 2, 2000 at Troy State.
"I'm not shy about taking the big shot," said Crumbley. "If we need to make a play, whether that means a big shot or a big defensive stop, I feel as captain that's my job and it might as well be me."
The difference in the first half was three-point shooting as the Owls went 6-for-11 and the Hurricanes 0-for-8. A jumper by Armondo Surrat with 13:36 left in the half gave Miami a 15-9 lead before the Owls went on a 28-12 run to take a 39-27 lead. The run included a three-pointer by Drew Skeeter that put FAU on top 25-23 at the 7:52 mark. After a pair of free throws by Edwards, Crumbley connected for a three to put the Owls in front 30-23 with 4:53 left in the half.
A quick 4-2 run by the Hurricanes drew them to within 32-27 with 3:39 left. The Owls followed with another three from Crumbley and a jumper by Skeeter to extend their lead to 39-27 with 1:47 left in the half.
The Owls shot 50 percent in the first half on 15-for-30 shooting. That included a 6-for-11 effort from beyond the arc. Crumbley connected on his first four tries from long range on his way to a game-high 12 points at the half.
For the game, UM shot just 2-for-17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range. Jones led the Hurricanes with 19 points and nine rebounds. Rice and Hite each added 12. The win snapped a 15-game losing streak by the Owls in the series that dates back to FAU's inaugural 1988-89 season. The closest the Owls had come up until this win was a 79-74 loss at Miami February 14, 1989. It's the first time FAU has defeated a team from the Big East.
Florida Atlantic next plays Virginia Commonwealth December 5 in Richmond, VA.