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Mean Green home streak snapped at 17

Florida Atlantic bounced back in a big way last night.

After having their eight game winning streak snapped by Western Kentucky last Saturday night, the Owls dismantled North Texas and in the process snapped the Mean Green home winning streak at 17 games.

FAU (17-7, 9-1 Sun Belt), handed North Texas its third straight loss, a slump which began at the Cajundome last Thursday night.

The Owls closed the first half on a 12-4 run to lead 35-27 at the half.  North Texas  (16-7, 5-5) shot just 34 percent in the first half and turned the ball over 10 times.

FAU continued its assault early in the second half and led by 15, 47-32.

But the Mean Green came back and closed to within three points, 58-55 with just over four minutes to go.  But FAU’s defense shut out the Mean Green the rest of the way, closing on a 14-0 run.

FAU placed four players in double figures, led by sophomores Raymond Taylor and Greg Gantt, who combined for 32 points.  North Texas shot just 37 percent for the game.  Guards Josh White (0-9) and Dominique Johnson (1-7) struggled all night from the field.  Tristan Thompson played only 23 minutes and was benched in the second half.

SOUTH ALABAMA 80, WESTERN KENTUCKY 76

Western Kentucky had won four in a row, including a win in Boca Raton over Florida Atlantic.  The Toppers opened a five game homestand at Diddle Arena.

And promptly laid an egg.

South Alabama got 26 points from Gary Redus, including a free throw with 14 seconds left, to pace the Jaguars (10-11, 4-6.)  Montrell Brock added 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists for USA.

WKU (9-12, 4-5) was led by four double figure scorers, with Sergio Kerusch leading the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Steffphon Pettigrew also had 18 for the Hilltoppers, who trailed by nine points in the second half, but cut the lead to one late in the game.  An Allyn Cooks jumper with 26 seconds left followed by a free throw by Redus provided the final margin.

Redus hit 9-11 shots from the field, including 5-6 from the free throw line.

UALR 75, DENVER 72 (OT)

Matt Mouzy made his first start of the season a memorable one.

The senior guard scored 24 points on 8-10 three point shooting to lead UALR past west division leading Denver 75-72 last night at the Jack Stephens Center.

Denver (11-11, 7-2) led by seven at the half, 30-23,  after opening the game on a 10-0 run.  The Pioneers increased the lead to 39-29, but the Trojans (13-11, 5-4) went on an 18-1 run to take the lead.  Denver chipped away and tied the score at 59 on a three pointer by Chase Hallam with 1.3 seconds left to force the overtime.

Denver led in the overtime 72-71, but freshman Chuck Guy hit two free throws with 18 seconds left.  After a Denver miss inside, D’Andre Williams hit two more free throws with 4.8 seconds left for the winning margin.

The two teams, both ranked in the top five in the nation in three point percentage, combined to go 21-38 from beyond the arc in the game, led by UALR’s 11-17.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE 60, LOUISIANA-MONROE 54

James Gallman’s three pointer with seven seconds left proved to be the game winner for the Blue Raiders as they held off the Warhawks in Murfreesboro.

ULM (6-18, 1-9) trailed by four in the final minute, but Marcellus Hansberry hit a three pointer to cut the Blue Raiders lead to one point, 55-54.  Middle Tennessee then got the answer from Gallman to move the margin back to four.  After a Fred Brown missed three pointer, James Washington hit two free throws for the final margin.

Gallman led MTSU (11-12, 6-4) with 14 points.  Tommie Sykes also had 14 to lead the Warhawks.

The win, combined with WKU’s loss to South Alabama, gave the Blue Raiders sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt East, three games behind Florida Atlantic.

FIU 81, TROY 80 (OT)

In a game that featured 23 lead changes and eight ties, Florida International broke a six game losing streak by winning on the road at Troy.  DeJuan Wright’s jumper with seven seconds left in the overtime won it for the Golden Panthers.

Phil Gary had 21 points to lead five men in double figures for the Golden Panthers (8-13, 4-6).

Troy had the final possession of regulation with the score tied at 72.  But FIU, who had not yet reached the bonus, smartly fouled with 2.7 seconds left and the Trojans couldn’t get a good shot as time expired.

Vernon Taylor had 23 points to lead four men in double digits for the Trojans (5-17, 3-7).  Bernard Toombs had a double double in a losing effort.

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