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Florida Atlantic pulls away from Lady Trojans

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Tamica Pierce scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Florida Atlantic past Troy State, 83-70, in Atlantic Sun Conference women’s basketball here on Saturday.

Troy State (3-8, 2-2 Atlantic Sun) committed 18 second-half turnovers and scored just four points in the last five minutes of the game in dropping its sixth straight contest. The Lady Trojans trailed just 42-39 at the half.

"I thought we had great effort tonight," Troy State head coach Jerry Hester said. "We saw some improvement in a lot of areas, and showed some signs of life offensively. Turnovers were a big factor, however, and there was also a big disparity at the foul line. Those two areas were the difference in the game."

Florida Atlantic (6-8, 4-2 Atlantic Sun) hit 24-of-32 free throw attempts, while Troy State hit just 10-of-16. The Lady Owls also forced 25 total turnovers.

Chaquita Alexander led Troy State with 18 points, while freshman Laurie Tinsley added a career-high 15 and hit 4-of-8 attempts from 3-point range. Sophomore center Thea Herring scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The teams battled back-and-forth early, exchanging leads seven times and forcing 11 ties in the first half, the last time at 26 with 7:11 to play. An 8-3 FAU run pushed the Lady Owls in front over the next three minutes, however, and FAU maintained its advantage from there.

Behind a relentless full-court press, the Lady Owls then used an 8-2 run early in the second half to forge comfortably ahead. Troy State sliced its deficit 59-55 with 13:57 to play but could never get closer.

The Lady Trojans shot 35 percent (26-75) from the floor and 29 percent from 3-point range (8-28). FAU shot 41 percent (28-68) and won the rebounding battle, 52-46. Kristy Halvorsen added 17 points and LaKeita Lee 15 for FAU.

The Lady Trojans complete their two-game road swing through Florida on Monday when they play at UCF. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Orlando.