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GAME THREAD: FIU vs FAU - 03/06/14 @ 7:00 PM

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What: FIU (14-16, 6-9 C-USA) vs FAU (10-20, 5-10 C-USA)

When: Thursday, March 6th @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: Here *FEE

Radio: ESPN 106.3

Live Stats: Here

Panther Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


FIU

G Dennis Mavin 11.5 ppg
G Jason Boswell 3.3 ppg
F Jerome Frink 8.6 ppg
F Tymell Murphy 16.8 ppg
F Rakeem Buckles 13.6 ppg

FAU

G Marquan Botley 10.3 ppg
G DeAndre Johnson 6.8 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 9.0 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.4 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.9 ppg


The Series:

The Owls and Golden Panthers met earlier in the year in Miami, which resulted in a 66-57 FIU victory. The Owls had trimmed the Golden Panther lead to five before losing the ball on a second chance play resulting in an FIU steal and score. FIU leads the series 18-15, and has an average margin of victory of 14 points in 18 wins against the Owls.


FIU at a Glance:

The Panthers closed out their home schedule and broke a four game losing streak with an impressive 73-47 domination of Tulane last Sunday, and it was forward Rakeem Buckles made the most of his senior day.

Buckles finished the contest with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Aiding Buckles double-double effort was fellow senior Tymell Murphy. Murphy has been a staple in the Golden Panther offense all season, averaging 16.8 points per game, and 7.4 rpg.

FIU is ranked 5th in C-USA in field goal percentage (.447) and steals per game (6.93). Rakeem Buckles is ranked 33rd in the nation for rebounds (263), and 9th in C-USA in blocks. Junior guard Dennis Mavin is currently ranked 7th in the conference in steals (1.6 spg).

The Golden Panthers have strung together a less than memorable season with a 14-16 record and went 6-9 in their first year in Conference USA.  Though the team has had strong success at home this year, FIU posted only 4 wins on the road in 2013-14.  

Head coach Anthony Evans is finishing his first season with FIU after spending six seasons as the head man of Norfolk State, and left after leading the Spartans to two of the programs most successful seasons including the first round upset of no.2 seeded Missouri in the 2012 March Madness tournament.


FAU at a Glance:

FAU will close out the Jarvis era on Thursday night against in state rival Florida International.

After six years and a 77-110 record Head Coach Mike Jarvis announced his retirement last Friday. Jarvis became the all-time winningest coach in FAU program history earlier this season, though hasn’t put together a 20-win season or a post-season appearance since the 2010-11 campaign.

Though keeping it upbeat when asked about the end of his time at FAU, Coach Jarvis said the thing he will miss the most is more personal than just his title as head coach.

“Not only is it an important night for the seniors and I hop to see them play well, but it will also be the last time at FAU and possibly the last time ever that I will coach with my best friend and great associate head coach Mike Jarvis II,” stated Jarvis. “I remember the first game I ever coached with Mike, and I am sure to remember this one.”

Jarvis has been coaching with his son, Mike Jarvis II, for the better part of 20 years now, and hiring him to his George Washington staff in 1992, and kept him on his staff though his time at St. Johns.

Continuing to rehab, senior Pablo Bertone will have to watch his last home game as an Owl, after leading C-USA in scoring for the majority of 2013-14. He has been called “Mr. Consistency” this season by Jarvis and deservingly so with averages of 18.9 ppg, 2.1 apg, and 1.3 spg. Bertone also became the 11th Owl to score 1000 points in a career with FAU.

The Owls other senior, center Dragan Sekelja has worked his way back into the starting lineup after missing a good portion of the year with disc issues in his back. FAU’s big man has hope for a chance at the next level from sheer size alone, his pass-first European style of play is not what most American teams are looking from a center, but a foreign endeavor is definitely in the cards for Sekelja.

Many rising stars emerged from the 2013-14 campaign, such as freshman point guards Marquan Botley and D’Andre Johnson. The two freshmen have stepped into leadership roles with the team due to the lack of a true point guard, and made the most of their opportunities. Although Botley ultimately became the starter and court general for the Owls, Johnson fell into a role as a spark plug off the bench.

Center Justin Raffington had a great season as well, grabbing the 40th most boards in the country this season, as well as becoming an Academic All-American. Raffington averaged 10.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 1.0 bpg.

FAU is closing out their 2013-2014 season 10-20 with a 5-10 C-USA record. The Owls conference record has landed them the 11th seed in the conference tournament in El Paso, Texas next week, and are more than likely to play Marshall in the first round. But if UTSA/ECU wins their final games and the Owls fall to FIU, the squad would drop to 12th or 13th slot.



Latest Line:

FAU -5


Owl's Nest Prediction

Though the loss of Pablo Bertone has put a dent in the FAU's offense, FIU's weak scoring defense and the Owl's ability to rack up boards, gives them somewhat of advanatge. We think that it will be close, and FAU will have struggles with Murphy, but a home crowd and FIU's road game phobia will bring a win to the final game of the regular season.

FAU -3


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I love dropkicks and fat guy touchdowns.

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Tonight's Starters:

FIU

G Dennis Mavin
G Jason Boswell
F Jerome Frink
F Tymell Murphy
F Rakeem Buckles

FAU

G Marquan Botley
G DeAndre Johnson
G Jackson Trapp
C Dragan Sekelja
C Justin Raffington

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Twitter: @jakobsansom
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Dragan Sekelja gets the start tonight over Kelvin Penn.

It is senior night.

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Pablo, as expected, is in street clothes tonight.

Javier Lacunza is in an arm sling, but on the sidelines for moral support.

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FAU is in the all reds for the "FIU red out"..


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Owls take early control of the ball,

FIU playing strong man-to-man tonight.

I love dropkicks and fat guy touchdowns.

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D'Andre Johnson strikes first and puts up a beautiful 3!!!

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Botley gets his first foul..

FIU goes 2 for 2

FAU 3 FIU 2

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Raffington stays persistent and makes the most of it!

FAU 5 FIU 2

I love dropkicks and fat guy touchdowns.

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