Feb. 14, 2002
MACON, GA - Florida Atlantic University picked up a crucial 90-84 road victory against Mercer University Thursday night in Macon, GA. FAU and Mercer entered the game in a four-way tie for second place in the Atlantic Sun Conference and, with the win, the Lady Owls improved to 10-5 in the A-Sun and 12-11 overall. Tamica Pierce led FAU with 16 points and seven rebounds. She went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in just 19 minutes of action before fouling out. Mercer (12-10, 9-6 A-Sun) was led by April Dyer, who scored a game-high 21 points.
Pierce scored the first eight points of the game for the Lady Owls, who led 8-4 in the early going. Mercer would respond to take what would be its largest lead of the game, 34-30, with 4:49 left in the first half before FAU came back with an 11-1 run on their way to a 41-37 halftime lead.
After a Crystal Boyland jumper with 12:17 remaining gave FAU a 60-49 lead, Julie Goad stole the inbounds pass and scored to put the Lady Owls up 62-49. That would be FAU's largest lead of the game as the Bears would chip away with a 7-0 run to trail by six with 10:06 left.
Leading 70-65 with 6:49 left, FAU would not allow the Bears to get any closer as Angie Rodgers connected from beyond the arc with 6:14 left to give FAU a 75-65 lead. Mercer would get no closer than six points in the closing minutes as FAU would go 9-of-10 down the stretch from the free throw line, including four straight by Janka Deckerova in the final 30 seconds.
"What I was proud of the most was the way we withstood the storm," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "Mercer cut it down to five with less than seven minutes left, but our team just did a great job down the stretch."
FAU outshot Mercer 42 percent to 40 percent and held a 51-46 advantage on the boards. Besides Pierce, four other Lady Owls finished in double figures. Kristy Halvorsen scored 13 to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. Rodgers had 12, Chantale Jones 11, and Boyland 10.
The loss snaps a four-game losing streak to Mercer and improves FAU to 5-2 on the road this season against the A-Sun.
Florida Atlantic next plays at Troy State Saturday at 3:00pm EST.
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