Dec. 30, 2002
ATLANTA, GA -- Florida Atlantic University (2-8) was defeated by East Carolina University, 86-78, Monday afternoon in Atlanta, GA. The contest was a first-round game at the Georgia Tech Atlanta NW Holiday Invitational. FAU was led by Tamica Pierce, who scored 21 points and picked up her seventh career double-double with 10 rebounds. ECU's Alisha Bishop scored a game-high 23 points.
The lead changed hands several times in the first 10 minutes of the game. With FAU leading 20-19 on a layup by Jennifer Olson with 10:38 left in the half, ECU (5-4) took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Stefanie Warner. ECU would go on to lead 41-31 at the half.
In the second half, FAU launched several rallies to try to get even. The first came after Tali Robich hit a three to give the Pirates a 44-33 lead with 18:54 to play. The Lady Owls would hold ECU scoreless for nearly three minutes and, with a trey by Angie Rodgers and a jumper by Pierce, would close the gap to 44-38 with 16:02 left.
However, ECU would edge back out in front by 10 points before another Rodgers three and free throws by Pierce pulled FAU to within 48-43 with 14:05 to play.
The Pirates would once again lead by 10 points at the 8:28 mark before back-to-back threes by Rodgers and Crystal Boyland and a free throw by Olson closed the gap to three points with 6:42 remaining.
FAU would get no closer than three points the rest of the way but did trail just 75-72 with 1:19 to play on two free throws by Rodgers. However, ECU would score the next six points en route to the eight-point win.
"We kept fighting back all game long," said FAU head coach Chancellor Dugan. "It just seemed that each time we had a chance to tie or take a lead we would commit a foul or not get a rebound."
"While it's disappointing to lose, I was encouraged by the fact we didn't give up. We brought a two-game winning streak into the tournament, and I think our team has really started to come together."
ECU finished the game going 32-for-48 from the line while FAU went 19-for-28. Rodgers ended up with 19 points and made a career-high four three-pointers, all in the second half. Boyland had 18 points, including a career-high three treys.
FAU shot 38.5 percent for the game while ECU was 37.7 percent from the field. Each team shot well from beyond the arc with FAU going 9-for-25 for 36.0 percent. ECU went 8-19 for 42.1 percent. Bishop, alone, went 5-for-6.
The Pirates outrebounded the Lady Owls 49-37. Both teams turned the ball over 20 times.
Florida Atlantic next faces St. John's in Tuesday's consolation game at 1:00pm.
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