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GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

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GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: Arkansas Little-Rock (15-13, 9-8 SBC) vs FAU (12-17, 7-11 SBC)

When: Saturday, Feb. 23rd @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Trojans Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


UALR

G Josh Hagins 8.1 ppg
G Leroy Isler 6.7 ppg
G Ben Dillard 6.3 ppg
F Michael Javes 6.0 ppg
F Will Neighbour 10.9 ppg

FAU

G Stefan Moody 14.3 ppg
G Greg Gantt 21.2 ppg
G Richard Morrow 3.8 ppg
F Jordan McCoy 5.8 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 1.3 ppg


The series:

The schools have met just eight times on the hardwood, with UALR holding a 5-3 all-time advantage. The Trojans have won two straight over the Owls including a come-from-behind victory earlier this season.

FAU led by as many as 22-points on the road, but a second half collapse allowed for UALR to pull out a 65-62 win. Will Neighbour scored 24 points for the Trojans, while Stefan Moody produced 24 points of his own. The Owls shot 70.0% from three-point range, but 16 turnovers - including two by Pablo Bertone in the final minute of regulation - proved to be fatal.


UALR at a Glance:

The Trojans enter Saturday night's contest on a three-game losing streak, but currently stand as one of the top teams in the Sun Belt Conference with a 15-13 (9-8) record.

UALR fell to FIU on Thursday night losing 65-52 on the road. The Trojans trailed by just four points at halftime, but shot a poor 39.3% from the floor including a dismal 2-for-22 (9.1%) effort from 3-point range.

Michael Javes led the Trojans with 12 points, but the team's starting lineup struggled to find any offense as the squad chalked up 21 turnovers. The Trojans are now 0-4 when scoring 52 points or less and 1-9 when shooting 39.3 % or worse from the floor.

UALR ranks fifth in the conference with a 42.6% shooting percentage, and is led by junior forward Will Neighbour. The 6'10" big man scored a career-high 24 points in the Trojans win over FAU earlier this year and is averaging 10.9 points and 7.0 rebounds this season.

Neighbour is UALR's most talented player and ninth-year head coach Steve Shields makes it a priority to get him involved in the offense. The forward leads the team in field goals attempted and has reached double figures in scoring on 15 separate occasions this season.

Neighbour will provide FAU's frontcourt with a challenge, but Javes will add another dimension to the Trojan's attack.

The 6'10" sophomore forward has scored 12 points in back-to-back games and is averaging 10.0 points in his last four outings. The native of Colombia has worked his way into the starting lineup and developed over the season.

“I thought he (Javes) was very good - he was aggressive at the rim. We want Mike dunking it as much as he can,” Shields said of Javes earlier this season. “He continues to get better.”

Javes and Neighbour will give the Trojans a 1-2 punch and a solid presence under the basket.

Josh Hagins is the team’s point guard and is averaging 8.1 points and 3.0 assists this season.  The freshman has the ability to distribute the ball and score when needed, while working alongside John Gillon in the backcourt. Gillon is the team’s second-leading scorer and is shooting 40.7% from 3-point range this season off of the bench.

The Trojans are a young squad that features six freshman on the roster, but a trio of them see significant minutes. The duo of Hagins and Gillon handles the starting guard duties while forward James White is a key reserve. White is averaging 8.0 points this season and scored a career-high 18 points against UT-Martin.

UALR is 3-9 this season on the road, and 1-9 when allowing opponents to shoot 46.8% or better from the field. The team is shooting 66.3% from the free throw line which ranks 10th in the conference.


FAU at a Glance:

FAU lost their third overtime game of the season Thursday night, dropping a 66-57 decision to North Texas.

The Owls led by as much as eight points midway through the second half, but went scoreless in the five-minute overtime period, failing to record a single bucket. The loss moved the squad to 12-17 (7-11) on the season and capped what has already been a difficult campaign.

"I think our record should be better at home and away," head coach Mike Jarvis said. "If we could just find a way to win all of the close games that we're in it would be great."

FAU will now try to avoid their third straight loss with a visit coming from UALR. With the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on the horizon, the Owls are looking to improve their seeding in the final slate of games.  The Trojans were able to rally for a come-from-behind victory over the Owls earlier this season, so the opponent will prove to be a difficult matchup.

Greg Gantt led FAU with 18 points against North Texas, but it was a subpar performance from him and Stefan Moody that stymied the disappointing finish. The duo shot a combined 11-of-44 (25%) from the field and were just 3-of-15 (20%) from behind the arc.

Moody finished with 13 points, but missed a pair of key free throws in overtime.

The Owls shot 35.8% as a team, and are now 0-7 when registering a clip below that mark. The team's five free throws made set a new season-low, as the squad failed to get to the line.

"We didn't attack the basket as much as we had to, we wanted to, but we didn't," Jarvis said.

Jordan McCoy posted another solid outing registering 8 points and 9 rebounds, but fouled out for the first time all season in the overtime period. He appeared to be somewhat of a factor against the Mean Green's forwards and will need to have another solid showing against the Trojans if FAU would like to win.

McCoy, Kelvin Penn and Dragan Sekelja should see a heavy dose of the Trojan's big men, as the frontcourt will be tasked with limiting the scoring abilities of Neighbour. The Owls statistically hold a better advantage in rebounding against UALR, and should be able to use that to their advantage.

"I'm expecting them (UALR) to be fired up and ready to play. We should have beat them the first time, but hopefully this time we will be able to," Jarvis said.

With Pablo Bertone doubtful to play because of a stomach illness, Jackson Trapp should continue his featured roles in the lineup. Jarvis was happy with Trapp's production on Thursday, although the freshman only scored 5 points in 27 minutes of action in his first outing in three games.

The Owls didn't practice on Friday because of travel and are expected to hold a shoot around Saturday morning. FAU is 0-8 this season when scoring 57 points or less and is 8-4 at home this season.

"Hopefully we have something left in the tank," Jarvis said.


Latest Line:

FAU -1.5


Owl's Nest Prediction

It's crunch time for FAU with the Sun Belt Conference Tournament a little under two weeks away. The Owls desperately need wins to improve their seeding in the tournament, but UALR is a talented team. The Trojans where able to rally from a double-digit deficit earlier this season to beat FAU and stand as the better club on paper. Neighbour and Javes will provide difficult match-ups for the Owl's frontcourt, and if the team wants to grind out a win it needs to start there.

FAU should be looking for to rebound after the tough loss, however we see yet another close game in which the Owls stumble late.

UALR -4

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Game Preview: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAU doesn't stream the basketball games online?
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Re: Game Preview: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

"Hopefully we have something left in the tank," Jarvis said.

you f#cking loser jarvis. what kind of coach says that? great motivation for everyone. You make Sidney Green look good.
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Re: Game Preview: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

Bertone not dressed tonight, Owls will be without him again.
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Re: Game Preview: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

It's Pride Day here at the Arena…Rally Towels lining every seat in the Student section……..

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Re: GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight's Starters:

UALR

G Josh Hagins
G Leroy Isler
G Ben Dillard
F Michael Javes
F Will Neighbour

FAU

G Stefan Moody
G Greg Gantt
G Jackson Trapp
F Jordan McCoy
F Kelvin Penn
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Re: GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

Why won''t Bertone be playing?
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Re: GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAUfasho said

Why won''t Bertone be playing?

Still recovering…
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Re: GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

I can't wait for this year to be over so we can redo our intros, lol. It's such a weak attempt at an intro.
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Re: GAME THREAD: Arkansas-Little Rock vs FAU - 02/23/13 @ 7:00 PM

And, we're…….

Going to re-jump.
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