Dec. 5, 2002
RICHMOND, VA -- Virginia Commonwealth University used a 24-2 second half run to defeat Florida Atlantic University, 90-72, Thursday night in Richmond, VA. The loss drops the Owls to 4-4 on the year while the Rams improve to 2-2. Jeff Cowans led FAU with 17 points while VCU's Willie Taylor led all scorers with 29.
FAU trailed 51-30 at the half and then fell behind 54-30 with 19:19 to play. The Owls promptly went on a 10-0 run over the next 2:41 to pull to within 54-40. The run included three-pointers by Cowans and Earnest Crumbley. After a 7-0 run by VCU, Florida Atlantic then went on an 11-3 run and trailed 62-51 with 11:14 left in the game.
That was as close as the Owls would get as VCU ran off 12 straight points and outscored the Owls 24-2 during a 6:12 stretch to blow the game open and lead 86-53 with 4:48 to play. The Owls would outscore the Rams 19-4 the rest of the way.
"We put VCU on the line 42 times tonight, and we can't do that and expect to win," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "But credit VCU, they played exceptionally well tonight." VCU went 32-for-42 from the line with Willie going 12-for-16. FAU managed just 18 attempts from the line and made 11. FAU committed 26 fouls compared to VCU's 19.
In all, VCU outshot FAU 51 percent to 38 percent. The Owls were also outrebounded 43-29. Crumbley finished with 13 points. Jeff Hamilton came off the bench to add 12. Cowans also led FAU with seven rebounds.
In the first half, VCU opened the game on an 8-0 run and led by as many as 23 points. The Owls never led in the game.
Cowans' 17 points moved him into fifth place in FAU history with 906. Crumbley is now seventh with 854 career points.
Taylor was helped by a career-high 19 points from Emanuel Mathis. Nick George added 16 while Domonic Jones scored 14 for VCU.
The game was the first of eight straight for the Owls on the road. However, they will have 11 days off before their next game.
"It's now time for our guys to focused on their finals," said Green. "Being .500 at this stage of the season is very good for us. We're now looking forward to getting everyone on our team available to play."
Florida Atlantic next plays at James Madison December 16 in Harrisonburg, VA.