Jan. 29, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University jumped out to an early 23-5 lead and never trailed as it defeated Belmont University, 74-64, Thursday in Boca Raton. The win marks the first time this season FAU has won two straight games. Trineca McCleod led FAU with 16 points. Shontavia Williams added 13, and Cristal Randolph scored 11. FAU improved to 5-12 on the year and 4-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Sharia Young opened the game with a three-pointer on FAU's first possession, which led to a 7-0 lead after a pair of jumpers by McCleod. Threes by Randolph and DeeAnna Hanscom in consecutive possessions gave FAU a 15-2 lead with 13:58 left in the half. Belmont (8-8, 6-3 A-Sun) did not make its first field goal until the 13:17 mark.
FAU continued its blitz and took a 23-5 lead with 10:54 left in the half. A layup by Jenny Conkle, who led the Bruins with 14 points, pulled Belmont within 33-24 at the half.
In the second half, it was just a matter of the Lady Owls trying to preserve the lead. Twice Belmont gave FAU a scare. The first came with a 9-1 run that closed the gap to 44-40 with 11:59 to play. FAU promptly went on an 11-2 run and led 55-42 at the 8:54 mark.
With 4:07 left, Belmont's Destri Bockey hit a jumper to make it 61-56. Three times, Belmont had a chance to cut the lead even further. However, a Randolph steal, a blocked shot by McCleod, and a missed layup by Conkle prevented the Bruins from getting any closer. FAU scored its last 11 points from the line as it went 11-for-12 in the final 1:37.
"I was pleased with how hard and how intense we played," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "Especially in those first few minutes. The way we executed to start made it easy for the shots to fall."
"We've been on such a roller coaster this season," said Dugan about the two-game winning streak. "It was good to be able to come out here and build off of Saturday's win against Troy State."
For the game, FAU shot 50 percent, including 60 percent (12-for-20) in the second half. FAU held Belmont to just 32 percent. The Bruins held a 41-38 advantage on the boards and did force 30 FAU turnovers. The Lady Owls finished 18-for-24 from the line.
Belmont's Brandi Miller added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Hollie Davis scored 12 off the bench.
Florida Atlantic next faces Lipscomb Saturday at 7:00pm at FAU Gymnasium in the first game ever between the two teams.