Nov. 21, 2004
COOKEVILLE, TN - Florida Atlantic University (0-2) was defeated by Tennessee Tech University, 81-65, Sunday afternoon in a non-conference game in Cookeville, TN. Cristal Randolph and Jackie Brown both came off the bench to lead the Lady Owls in scoring. FAU trailed by as many as 22 points before rallying to within seven points in the second half.
Randolph posted a career-high 18 points on six three-pointers, also a career-high. She went 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. Brown, coming off of an 18-point performance Friday at Middle Tennessee, scored 17 and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. She made 8 of her 13 field goal attempts.
TTU (1-1) scored the first seven points of the game and led 13-4 at the 14:01 mark of the first half. The Lady Owls came back with a 14-7 run over the next six minutes and, on a layup by Brown, cut the deficit to 20-17 with 7:54 left in the half.
The next run belonged to the Golden Eaglettes as they held FAU without a field goal for the next five minutes and led 34-22 with just under three minutes left in the half. Brown stopped the drought with a layup, but the Lady Owls would wind up trailing 43-27 at the half.
TTU scored the first six points of the second half to gain its largest lead of the day, 49-27, with 15:54 left in the game. FAU scored its first points of the half at the 15:05 mark when Brown connected from short range.
Trailing 51-29 with 14:33 to go, FAU put together its best stretch of the game. Sharia Young started it with a three-pointer. Two minutes later, down by 19, FAU ripped off 10 straight points. The run included two Randolph treys sandwiched around buckets by Shuteamia Brayboy and Brown. The Lady Owls trailed 56-47 with 11:37 to play.
FAU would cut deeper into the deficit when a Shontavia Williams layup at the 8:53 mark made it 60-53 and completed a 24-9 run. That's as close as the Lady Owls would get, though, as TTU outscored them 21-12 down the stretch.
"We had about an eight-minute span where we outscored them by 15 points," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "We just couldn't carry that over for the rest of the game. I expect us to play like that for 40 minutes, and that's what we have to work toward."
TTU (1-1) outshot FAU 47 percent to 38 percent. The Golden Eaglettes had a 12-point advantage at the line, shooting 23-for-31 for 74 percent. FAU made just 61 percent of its free throw tries (11-for-18). The Lady Owls committed 15 turnovers while TTU turned it over 11 times.
TTU's Emily Christian led both teams with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kristina Tyler added 15 off the bench.
The game concluded a challenging two-game road trip to start the season for the Lady Owls. On Friday, they lost to Middle Tennessee, the defending Sun Belt Conference champions, despite trailing by just six points in the second half. Tennessee Tech, along with Middle Tennessee, is a preseason favorite to win its conference.
"The two teams we played will probably win their conferences and play in the NCAA Tournament," added Dugan. "Our players know they can play with them. We just need to get smarter than we are right now."
Florida Atlantic returns home to host the FAU Thanksgiving Classic November 26-27 at FAU Gymnasium. The Lady Owls face Youngstown State in the opening round and take on either James Madison or Morehead State on the final day.
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