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FAU downs Troy State

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Florida Atlantic’s Jeff Cowans put back with 3.5 seconds left gave the Owls a 67-66 win over Troy State in an Atlantic Sun Conference game, tying the two teams atop the league standings.

Cowans scored 17 points, going 6-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from behind the arc.

Lamayn Wilson led all scorers with 18 points for Troy State, while Robert Rushing scored 13. The Trojans did a solid job on the boards, holding a 38-33 advantage over the Owls. But Troy State struggled shooting the ball, hitting just 37.3 percent from the floor. The Trojans also turned the ball over 17 times, nine in the second half.

"Tonight was one of our worst executed games of the season," Maestri said. "We had chances to ice the game at the free throw line and we didn’t. It was a tough game to lose but we have to regain our focus and bounce back against UCF."

The Owls (16-7, 9-4 A-Sun) trailed by one, 66-65, with the Trojans’ Lacedrick Pettway going to the line to shoot two free throws. Pettway, who had made 1-of-2 to put TSU ahead, missed both free throws, with FAU coming down with the rebound.

Florida Atlantic moved the ball up the floor quickly, with Earnest Crumbley getting off a shot, but Cowans was there for the tip in.

"They made a good rebound at the end and put the shot in," Maestri said. "You have to give them credit for not giving up and making the plays when they needed it."

The Owls opened the game quickly, scoring the first five points of the game, sparked by a Jeff Cowans three-pointer. The Trojans would score the next five points, capped by a Lamayn Wilson three-pointer to tie the game.

The two teams would have five ties and five lead changes the rest of the half, with the Trojans biggest lead being five. Marcus Millhouse’s three-point play with eight seconds left gave Troy State a three-point halftime lead, 39-36.

Florida Atlantic roared out of the locker room, scoring the first five points of second half to take a 41-39 lead. Andre Garner started the run with a three-pointer, with Cowans adding another basket to put the Owls on top.

The Trojans (13-7, 9-4 A-Sun) answered back with a 15-4 run to take a 59-51 lead with just under eight minutes left in the game. Troy State was received a spark off the bench, with Herbert Evans hitting a three-pointer to go on top of the Trojans hitting six free throws to extend the lead.

During the run, Florida Atlantic’s head coach Sidney Green was called for a technical foul, with Donnie Pemberton converting the free throws to put the Trojans on top 44-43.

The Owls would charge back, going on a 9-0 run to take a 61-60 lead. Raheim Brown put FAU on his back, scoring seven points during the run, including a 12 foot jumper from the baseline to put the Owls back on top with just under three minutes left in the game.

"It just didn’t bounce our way tonight," Maestri said. "You have to tip your hat to FAU for the way they played tonight."

The Trojans continue their Florida road trip as they head to Orlando to take on UCF. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on Monday night.