SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2004
Basketball Downs FAU, 70-69, To Clinch A-Sun Berth
Feb. 14, 2004
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Sophomore point guard Aubrey Conerly (Calumet, Ill.) hit a lay-up and a free throw with 7.8 seconds to play, and Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.) blocked Kahleaf Watson's shot attempt at the buzzer as JU won for the sixth time in the last eight games in a 70-69 thriller over Florida Atlantic Saturday night at FAU gymnasium. The win clinches a spot for the Dolphins in the A-Sun Tournament in March and makes head coach Hugh Durham the first coach in NCAA history to be the all-time winningest coach at three Division I schools as he records his record-setting 89th career win at JU (12-12, 7-20 A-Sun). It was the seventh straight loss for FAU (8-15, 5-11 A-Sun).
Trailing 69-67, Conerly took a quick outlet pass from Quaintance and scored in transition, while being fouled in the waning moments. After hitting the free throw to give JU a 70-69 lead, Watson's last attempt to score at the buzzer was rejected by Quaintance. Quaintance tied the game at 65 with a hanging jumper in the lane with 3:11 to play, but Iyke Okafor scored underneath and Watson stole the ball from Jure Lozancic (Omis, Croatia) and dunked it in transition to give the Owls a 69-65 lead. Quaintance hit a pair of free throws and then grabbed Jimmy Bishop's miss to feed Conerly for the tying lay-up.
Conerly finished with 16 points, while hitting 7-of-7 free throws in 40 minutes of action. Senior forward Nolan McBride (Hartford, Conn.) continued his hot play with a game-high 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Quaintance scored 17 points, grabbed nine boards, dished out five assists and had five blocks. JU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, including 55 percent (12-22) in the second half, while hitting 14-of-16 free throws.
JU trailed by eight in the first half, 32-24, but battled back to take a two-point halftime lead. Conerly hit a three and then a pair of free throws following a steal to pull the Dolphins within 32-29 with 2:50 to play. Conerly picked Earnest Crumbley again and David Lee (Columbus, Ga.) hit a lay-up in transition to pull the Dolphins within one. Conerly added back-to-back jumpers and McBride converted a three-point play to give JU a 38-36 halftime lead.
Mike Bell led Florida Atlantic with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Crumbley scored 10 points, but turned the ball over six times.
The Dolphins return to action on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb at Swisher Gymnasium in the first of three straight home games to end the regular season.
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