Career-High 26 For Bell Not Enough Against FAU

Box Score

 

BOCA RATON, Fla. (1/19/08) Despite a career-high 26 points from guard Ben Bell, Florida Atlantic rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to defeat North Texas 86-81 from FAU Arena. The Owls (6-13, 2-6), trailing 76-68 with 4:23 left, closed the game with an 18-5 run to complete the comeback.

 

“We did a great job to start the second half with a lot of energy and got that big lead, but we have to a better job of defending than we did tonight,” said North Texas head coach Johnny Jones.

 

Playing the second half without guard Josh White who left with an injury late in the first half, the combo of Dez Willingham and Bell fueled a 19-7 run in the first five minutes to give North Texas a 58-49 lead. North Texas extended its lead to 12 points at 67-55 with a 3-pointer by Bell at the 10:32 mark of the second half.

 

FAU started its comeback with back-to-back 3-pointers by Jeff Parmer and Sean Alarcon to cut the North Texas lead to 76-71 with 4:15 to play. A jumper by Paul Graham III and then a free throw 30 seconds later made it a just a two-point Mean Green lead at 78-76 with 1:56 left.

 

A steal and a basket by Carderro Nwoji tied the game up five seconds later at 78-78. Two free throws by Bell gave the Mean Green an 80-78 lead. The lead grew to three at 81-78 with 51 seconds left for North Texas.

 

Carlos Monroe hit two free throws and then Graham scored the go-ahead basket with 37 seconds left to make it 82-81 FAU with 37 seconds left.

 

The Mean Green had one final chance to tie it down 84-81, but Willingham’s 3-pointer with six seconds left was off the mark.

 

Willingham had a season-high 21 points off the bench with four 3-pointers in the game in 29 minutes. North Texas connected on 12 3-pointers in the game.

 

North Texas has eight days off as they won’t return to action until Sunday, January 27 at Middle Tennessee.

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North Texas Mean Green