March 1, 2003
MACON, GA -- Florida Atlantic University was defeated by Mercer University, 71-68, Saturday afternoon in Macon, GA. Trineca McCleod led FAU with a game-high 20 points, but it wasn't enough as FAU fell to 12-13 overall and 10-4 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
McCleod finished with a career-high in points to go along with nine rebounds. Tamica Pierce had 13 points and 10 rebounds. However, turnovers and free throw shooting did in the Lady Owls who turned the ball over 28 times and went just 14-for-16 from the line.
Mercer (11-15, 9-6 A-Sun) was led by Amanda Parker, who finished with 16 points. Jo Jo Carter and Lee Lee Cannon each scored 11.
The game was close throughout the second half, and as time wound down, a jumper by Jennifer Olson gave FAU a 67-66 lead with 3:35 remaining. Mercer's Tanya Kessenich responded with a lay-up to give the Bears a 68-67 lead with 2:17 to play.
Crystal Boyland, who saw her first action in four games, went 1-for-4 from the line in the final 1:28 as FAU was unable to regain the lead. DeeAnna Hanscom missed a 24-footer at the top of the key just before the final buzzer that would have tied the score.
"We just didn't execute our offense," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "It's really disappointing, but when you turn the ball over 28 times and go 14-for-26 from the line, you're not going to win."
FAU led by as many as five points early in the game before trailing by five at the half. FAU battled back to lead by as many as three with 7:59 to play.
Florida Atlantic next hosts Jacksonville University, March 6, at FAU Gymnasium.