Jan. 24, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL - Entering Saturday's game against Troy State University, Florida Atlantic University head coach Chancellor Dugan felt the Lady Owls team she envisioned before the season had not yet emerged on the court. After a thrilling 69-63 come-from-behind victory over TSU at FAU Gymnasium, it appears Dugan's wait may be over. FAU trailed 52-38 with 9:36 to play and then outscored the Lady Trojans 31-11 the rest of the way. The win improved FAU to 4-12 on the year and 3-6 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. It also snapped TSU's five-game winning streak.
Trineca McCleod led FAU with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Cristal Randolph had 14 points, including four three-pointers. It was a trey by Randolph with 3:38 left that gave FAU its first lead of the night. Sharia Young added a career-high 14 points. Shontavia Williams and Jackie Brown each scored eight.
A jumper by Laura Lee Holman, who finished with a game-high 28 points, gave TSU (6-9, 5-3 A-Sun) the 14-point lead at the 9:36 mark. FAU then went on an 8-0 run, capped off by a Randolph three, to pull to within 52-46 with 7:09 remaining. TSU's Kim McGriff scored on a lay-up to stop the run before FAU ran off another seven points to close the gap to 54-53 at the 5:26 mark.
McGriff again stopped the run with a lay-up to give TSU a 56-53 lead with 4:38 remaining before the Lady Owls orchestrated another 7-0 run. This time, Randolph's trey gave FAU a 58-56 lead, and a lay-up by Young with 2:48 left gave FAU a four-point advantage.
A three-pointer by Holman cut the FAU lead to 62-61 with 1:45 left, but that was as close as the Lady Trojans would get. Brown hit a jumper at the 1:20 mark to give FAU a 64-61 lead, and Young scored the Lady Owls' last five points at the free throw line.
"In the second half, we came out and played probably our best defense of the season," said Dugan. "We also played smart down the stretch and made shots when we had to and grabbed rebounds when we had to. Hopefully now we'll go into games thinking we can win."
FAU finished the game 22-for-27 from the free throw line. McCleod was 9-for-12, and Young was 7-for-8. The Lady Owls outshot TSU 43 percent to 34 percent.
The win was the fifth straight for FAU against Troy State and the eight in nine tries in the Chancellor Dugan era.
Florida Atlantic next faces Belmont January 29 in Boca Raton.
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