Feb. 6, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL -- Florida Atlantic University took sole possession of first-place in the Atlantic Sun Conference South Division with a 96-83 victory over Jacksonville State, Thursday night, in Boca Raton, FL. Crystal Boyland led FAU (9-10, 7-1 A-Sun) with 22 points, including 17 in the second half as FAU forced JSU into 37 turnovers.
Tamica Pierce had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Angie Rodgers scored 11 while Julie Goad added 10. Trineca McCleod had nine while DeeAnna Hanscom and Shontavia Williams each added eight.
FAU used full court pressure all night long to force JSU (11-8, 5-3 A-Sun) into the miscues. The pressure helped FAU take a 51-47 lead at the half. Neither team led by more than six points in the first half, and it would take more than 12 minutes in the second half before that would change.
JSU took a 62-61 lead at the 14:52 mark on a three-pointer by Kelly Nye. That would turn out to be JSU's last lead of the night. FAU then went on a 7-0 run over the next 3:07 to take a 68-62 lead. Leading 70-66 with 8:17 left, the Lady Owls went on another 7-0 run and led 77-66 with 6:42 to play.
The Gamecocks would score seven straight points to pull to within 77-73 with 4:50 left in the game. During that run, Pierce left the game with a left ankle injury and would not return. Leading by just four points, FAU closed the door with a 12-2 run to take an 89-75 lead with 1:37 to play. McCleod scored five of her nine points during the run. JSU would only get as close as 11 the rest of the way.
"Our kids really gutted it out," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "They played terrific defense. They denied the ball and put pressure on them, and it resulted in 37 turnovers."
Each team shot 41 percent from the field. JSU went 25-for-26 from the line, including 22-for-22 by Freeman.
The 96 points were the most scored this year by FAU and the most since scoring 101 against South Florida on December 28, 2001. It was the highest total for the Lady Owls in A-Sun play since scoring 96 against Troy State on January 6, 2000.
Shanika Freeman led JSU with 42 points and 13 rebounds in the loss as the Gamecocks dropped their third straight game. FAU's largest lead was 14 while JSU led by as many as six.
The win, coupled with Central Florida's loss to Georgia State, gives FAU sole possession of first-place in the A-Sun South and the best conference record in the A-Sun at 7-1. FAU has won 9 of its past 12 games since opening the season 0-7.
Florida Atlantic will next face Georgia State Saturday at 7:00 at FAU Gymnasium. GSU leads the A-Sun North, and the game will be a rematch of last year's A-Sun Tournament championship game in which FAU fell 64-63.