BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic earned its 20th win of the season, knocking off the Troy Trojans 77-60 on Thursday night in Sun Belt action in FAU Arena.
The Trojans (8-19, 6-9) got behind early and were never able to catch-up as they dropped their second-straight contest. The Trojans never led in the contest.
"Our goal was really to have the lead at halftime," Troy head coach Don Maestri said. "Every time we've won here we've always had the lead at halftime. This team, especially since they are conference champions, you've got to be able to score early against them.
"Us not scoring early helped them, because they were struggling early too. It's a shame, because if we had been able to do that early, this game could've been different."
Kore White's jumper in the paint gave Florida Atlantic (20-9, 12-3) a 20-10 lead. Troy hit just four of its first 20 shots and reverse lay-up by Pablo Bertone gave the Owls a 13-point advantage with 6:29 left.
In total, the Trojans shot just 34.4 percent (11-of-32) in the opening stanza and committed 10 turnovers. Bernard Toombs' lay-up closed Troy to within single-digits the closed first half scoring at 36-27 in favor of FAU going into the break.
The Owls started the second half with a 16-8 run to stretch their lead out to 17 on a three-point play by Shavar Richardson. Richardson sank two free throws with 11:22 left widen Troy's deficit to 61-44.
Troy battled in the second half, but was able to get no closer than 12 in the final 10 minutes. The Trojans' final total of 60 points marked the third straight game in the 60's.
Richardson led the way for the Owls with 19 points.
Vernon Taylor scored 16 points to mark his ninth-straight game in double-figures. Toombs finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
Will Weathers was the third Trojan in double-figures with 12 points. He added six assists.
The victory by FAU secured the top seed for the upcoming 2011 Sun Belt Conference tournament, along with the guaranteed bid to the National Invitation Tournament and the regular season league title.
Troy closes out the regular season on Saturday at FIU. Tip-off is set for 6 pm central time.
INFORMATION SOURCE: TROY UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
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