Feb. 10, 2005
MACON, GA - Mercer University overcame an 18-point second half deficit and defeated Florida Atlantic University 74-71 in overtime Thursday night in Macon, GA. FAU's Shontavia Williams led all scorers with 20 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Bears from putting together a furious rally down the stretch in regulation. FAU led 59-41 with 9:32 remaining before Mercer began its comeback. The loss drops FAU to 10-11 overall and 8-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The game was tied 33-33 at halftime before FAU seemed to take complete control of the game. With the game tied at 37, FAU put together a 15-0 run and led 52-37 at the 12:02 mark. The Lady Owls increased the advantage to 18 two-and-a-half minutes later.
Mercer (9-12, 7-7 A-Sun) then scored 11 straight points to pull to within 59-52 with 5:53 to play. After a Williams' jumper, the Bears went on a 5-0 run to make it 61-57 with under five minutes remaining.
Williams made two free throws with 4:16 left to give FAU a 63-57 lead. The Bears then would go on a 7-0 run, capped off by a Karen Hickman trey, to make it 64-63 Mercer with 1:01 remaining. The final point of regulation came with 12 seconds left when Jackie Brown went 1-for-2 from the line to tie it at 64. Mercer held FAU to one field goal in the final 9:32 of regulation.
In overtime, FAU led 69-68 before Jessica Miller made a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left to give the Bears the lead for good at 70-69. Sally Skeldon added two more free throws with 17 seconds left to make it 72-69.
Williams missed a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining that would have tied the game. On the same play, Sally N'Diaye had a put-back lay-up to pull FAU to within 72-71 before Mercer's Rhonda Owens closed the scoring with two free throws at the other end.
FAU opened the game with a 10-0 run before Mercer finally got on the board at the 15:41 mark. After a Sharia Young three-pointer made it 13-2, Mercer strung together 15 straight points and led 17-13 with just under nine minutes remaining in the half. After FAU tied it at 17, Mercer went out in front 26-19. The half of runs continued as the Lady Owls responded with a 14-2 run to regain the lead at 33-28. Mercer scored the last five points of the half to make it 33-33 at the break.
Mercer shot 49 percent compared to FAU's 39 percent. The Lady Owls committed 26 turnovers. FAU held a 37-34 edge on the boards and went 16-for-19 from the line. Jackie Brown finished with 15 points, and N'Diaye had 12. Hickman led five Bears in double-figures with 15 points.
Florida Atlantic concludes its road trip Saturday at Georgia State. The game tips at 2:00pm and will be broadcast on WLVJ 1040-AM.
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