March 8, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL -- Julie Goad scored a career-high 24 points to lead Florida Atlantic University past Stetson University, 91-79, Saturday night in Boca Raton, FL. FAU outscored Stetson 57-36 in the second half as it concluded its regular season with a 14-13 record and a 12-4 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference South Division.
FAU used a 17-0 run in the second half and 28-for-32 shooting from the free throw line to overcome a 12-point deficit. With the win, FAU finishes second in the South and will be the no. 2 seed out of the South in next week's A-Sun Tournament in Orlando.
FAU started the game with a 7-2 run but struggled the remainder of the half and trailed 43-34 at break. The Lady Owls were in all kinds of foul trouble in the first half as four of their post players combined for 10 fouls. Stetson (6-21, 5-11 A-Sun) shot 53.8-percent in the first half compared to FAU's 34.2-percent.
In the second half, Stetson scored the first three points and led 46-34 with 17:49 remaining. That's when the Lady Owls finally showed signs of life and went on a 17-0 run over the four minutes and led 51-46 at the 13:48 mark. Six different players scored during the run. After Joslyn Giles broke the run with a lay-up, Sumika Alexander hit a three-pointer to put FAU on top 54-48.
A pair of free throws by Pierce at the 8:13 mark gave FAU a 70-58 lead. The Lady Owls would withstand a Stetson rally later in the half as the Hatters would pull to within 77-71 with 2:29 remaining. However, FAU proved to be on the mark from the free throw line and finished 28-for-32 on the night.
Goad's 24 points eclipsed her previous career high of 16. The junior went 6-for-12 from the field, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. She also went 10-for-12 from the line and dished out a team-high six assists.
"I think you saw Julie (Goad) step up and be a leader tonight," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "She had a career night and played great. I have not seen that much animation out of her in three years."
Pierce, who was recognized along with Crystal Boyland before the game as part of senior night, finished with 18 points. Pierce went 5-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the line. Trineca McCleod had 13 points. Alexander finished with 11 while Shontavia Williams had 10.
"Pierce and Boyland really have put us on their backs and carried us for two years," said Dugan on her two seniors. "Those two mean everything to our team and will be missed."
Giles led all scorers with 29 points. Renee Barnes added 15 while Kristy Brown scored 14. Stetson committed 29 turnovers while FAU had 22.
The win gives FAU a winning record for the first time this season. The Lady Owls have won 14 of their past 20 games after opening the season 0-7.
Florida Atlantic will next face Jacksonville State, Thursday afternoon at 1:00pm, in the quarterfinals of the A-Sun Tournament. FAU advanced to the championship game of last year's tournament before falling by one point to Georgia State.
"I have been waiting for this tournament all year, ever since last year's buzzer sounded," said Dugan. "It's anybody's tournament."