GAME THREAD: FAU vs. Rice - February 22nd, 2018
FAU MBB Ready for Final Homestead of Season
What: FAU (11-15, 5-9) vs. Rice (5-22, 2-12)
When: Thursday, February 22nd, @ 7:00 PM Eastern
Where: FAU Arena
Series: Rice has a slight 3-2 advantage in the Battle of the Owls.
Live Video: CUSA.tv *FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Rice Team Site: Here
Rice at a Glance:
Offense - 68.0 PPG, 41% FG, 33% 3PT
Defense - 76.1 PPGA, 45% FGA, 36% 3PTA
Rebounding - 36.4 PG Rice, 36.9 PG Opponents
If there are any FAU fans thinking that Boca Owls are having a rough season, then they should check on their aviary brethren from Houston. Sitting second from bottom, Rice currently sits one win behind UTEP for the last spot in the C-USA Tournament. Therefor, this is a must-win scenario for the scrappy Rice Owls, who challenged FAU at the Tudor Fieldhouse in January.
This season's poor form stems from Rice's two best players transferring last offseason. Arguably the best Point Guard and Center in the conference, PG Marcus Evans is now at VCU and C Egor Koulechov is finishing his collegiate career with big numbers at UF.
This exodus of these two stars leave Junior Guard Connor Cashaw on his own to carry the squad. Fourth on the team in scoring last season, Cashaw is now one of just two Rice Owls scoring in double digits, the other being Sophomore Guard Ako Adams. The backcourt players average 16.1 and 10.2 PPG respectively.
As a squad, there is plenty of room for improvement. Rice is last in average turnovers per game and turnover margin, 15.4 TPG and -3.56 respectively. The turnover parties are paired with C-USA's worst scoring margin at -8.1. Giving away possessions, and making poor shot selections when able to keep possession, is a losing cocktail one would see at the local JCC rec leagues. At the D1 level, it's downright humiliating.
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 68.9 PPG, 41% FG, 33% 3PT
Defense - 69.3 PPGA, 44% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 38.2 FAU, 36.8 Opponents
Finally back to winning ways. Last Saturday, FAU beat rival FIU, splitting the season series with the Panthers. The victory snapped a four game losing streak, and moved the Owls one win away from punching their ticket to the C-USA Tournament.
This season of FAU Men's Basketball has all been about "The Big Three." Coach Curry can draw up the best play he can, but it can only go as far as C Ronald Delph, SG Justin Massey, and SG Gerdarius Troutman are able to carry it. In last week's win vs. FIU, The Big Three lead the Owls in scoring with 24, 18, 12 points respectively. If these players can maintain that level of output, then the can cause some trouble in the C-USA Tournament.
Speaking of Justin Massey, does anybody need a reminder of the last time Rice and FAU meet on the hardwood?
Owls left Houston victorious, 63-62. Hopefully Pfister will slam the ball down to the court in celebration again tonight.
Sloppy start for #FAU. Rice is in the midst of an early 7-0 run, while FAU has turned the ball over 3 times in the last 2:30.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 23, 2018
Rice 9 - FAU 4, 15:43 1H
Rice 14 - FAU 10, 11:40 2H
We have hit the last media stoppage of the first half. #FAU has finally starting to show some life, but 3 turnovers in 1:30 has slowed any momentum.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 23, 2018
Rice 28 - FAU 20, 3:15 1H
FAU is shooting 35% FG, Rice 42% FG.
FAU is 0-8 3FG.
FAU has committed 10 first half turnovers, compared to 3 from Rice.
The only statistical category where FAU is beating Rice is on the boards, 19-17.
MBB HALFTIME:#FAU is struggling to the second to worst team in C-USA. The Boca Owls end the half on a 2:06 long scoring drought, and having not scored a FG in over 4:00. The Owls from Houston have forces 10 FAU turnovers.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 23, 2018
Rice 35 - FAU 22
Stats don't lie, that was an abysmal half for #FAU.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 23, 2018
Ron Delph is the only FAU Owl in double digits, with 10 points.
Still waiting for Massey and Troutman to get open shots around #Rice's zone defense.
Anthony Adger has stepped up in the meantime with 6 points. pic.twitter.com/OtnL3amb23