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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

What: Florida Atlantic (4-5) vs Mississippi State (9-1)

When: Tuesday, Dec. 13th @ 9:00 PM EST

Where: The Hump

TV: CSS, ESPN3.com

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Bulldog Team Site: Here

Probable Starters:


G Alex Tucker 3.4 ppg
G Dennis Mavin 4.7 ppg
G Greg Gantt 13.9 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 10.7 ppg
F Kore White 9.6 ppg

Mississippi State

G Dee Bost 18.1 ppg
G Jalen Steele 7.5 ppg
G Rodney Hood 12.3 ppg
F Renardo Sidney 9.6 ppg
F Arnett Moultrie 17.1 ppg

The series

11/30/10 A W 61-59

Thanks to a depleted roster, and an 0-of-6 showing from downtown by the Bulldogs in the second half, the Owls were able to overcome a six point deficit at the break en route to 61-59 upset over MState last season in the two team's only meeting. FAU saw three players with double figures in Kore White (18), Brett Royster (12), and Greg Gantt (12). Royster and White almost made their efforts double-double's as well, adding 9 and 8 rebounds respectively. It was the first victory for the Owls over an SEC opponent.

Owls at a Glance

Florida Atlantic nipped a two game slide in showmanship fashion with a 98-70 romp over Warner Southern on Saturday night at FAU Arena. Three point shooting was lights out in the first half (10-of-15) - before cooling in the second - but the defense was not so stellar as the Royals almost shot at will to the tune of 52.8% from the floor themselves.

Of note, junior point guard Ray Taylor has had his struggles as of late, but dialed up 10 dishes on the night, and was perfect from the floor at 3-of-3 for 8 points to boot. Much needed improvement in FT % was also seen by the Owls, who posted a 73.7% showing.

"If we shot 74% every night, we win most of our games. That's what we should be shooting", head Coach Mike Jarvis said. "The mystery is how come our shooting percentage is so bad."

The Owls notched season highs for total points, assists, and field goals made, and Greg Gantt saw a personal best 75% FG from the floor.

But the homecoming party is over just as soon as it began, as now comes a tough road stretch against three potential post season squads.

"We've got three super teams coming up in a row with Mississippi State, Miami, and Harvard", said Jarvis. "I'm sure that they've (Mississippi State) already started to prepare. They are going to be waiting for us."

"Last year, I think they underachieved. They were talented but they weren't good. This year, they are talented and they are good."

Freshman guard Omari Grier has now broken into double digits in scoring and boasts a team best 44.2% (7th SBC) from long range, while also leading in attempts (52).

"I felt like I would be able to make an impact with the team by coming here", said Grier recently of his production.

FAU continues to offer the best point guard tandem in the conference, with Taylor and Alex Tucker combining for nearly a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio collectively.

Bulldogs at a Glance

Suffering from eligibility problems, the Bulldogs did not wow as expected in 2010-11 finishing with an overall tally of 17-14, and getting bounced in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. However they are a much improved unit this year, currently enjoying a #16 national ranking and riding an eight game win streak. Part of the reason for this is the emergence of 6-8 freshman guard Rodney Hood, who has made an immediate impact with 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Featuring a non conference schedule laiden with five Belt contests, MState might be up for honorary membership into the Sun Belt for 2011-12. So far they have faced, and downed, South Alabama (W 80-65), Louisiana-Monroe (W 78-63), North Texas (W 82-59), and most recently Troy (W 106-68).

For those keeping track, that's a +22 average margin of defeat, with the tally going up as the contests go by. The Owls will represent the league's last attempt at a win against the Bulldogs, who are 67-14 all-time against SBC teams. MSU tied a school record with 16 triples against the Trojans.

"That was a good win for us, because Troy had been playing really well," Coach Rick Stansbury said. "But we'll face a different type of team with Florida Atlantic. They'll be bigger."

With last year's contest still fresh on their minds, they have their thoughts set clearly on victory.

"This will be revenge for us," said Bulldog's starting point Dee Bost. "They came in here last year and shocked us."

Depth is still not MState's strong suit, with eight players making up the primary rotation and four of those averaging 32.6 minutes per contest collectively. One of which is F Arnett Moultrie, who leads the SEC in rebounding (11.3 pg) and double-doubles (5).

Earlier in the season the Bulldogs took to the floor in exhibition action against Pikeville, coming away with 94-70 win against former Owl's Chris Watson, Darren Stewart, and DeMonte Simpson. Watson had the best showing amongst the trio with 7 points and 8 rebounds in 13 minutes of action.

Latest Line:

MSU -13.5

Owl's Nest Prediction

Florida Atlantic fans received an early Christmas present in the Owls' 2010 victory at The Hump. However, repeating that feat this year will be a tall order - literally.

MState will feature three talented players at 6-8 or better for most of the contest, and that spells trouble once again for an undersized FAU squad. That is unless they can shoot the way they did against the Royals. Stranger things have happened, but the numbers don't indicate that they will.

MSU -17
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM



G Alex Tucker
G Dennis Mavin
G Greg Gantt
G Pablo Bertone
F Kore White


G Dee Bost
G Jalen Steele
G Rodney Hood
F Renardo Sidney
F Wendell Lewis

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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

Owls catch a "big" break with an injured Arnett Moultrie out of the starting line-up (knee). May or may not play tonight...
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

Owls bb in HD, c'mon man!

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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM


FAU 3  MSU 6

Owls 1-of-7 from the floor thus far (14.3%)
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

White battling nicely against Sidney…2 fouls for the Big Bulldog already @14:21…he'll be sitting for a while!

With Moultrie out, that is just about the best set-up we could hope for.
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

Of course a 9-1 run has Jarvis calling T/O though…….


FAU 4  MSU 15
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

Gotta box out!...and shoot better
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

dusky256fc said

Owls bb in HD, c'mon man!

It looks pretty good, but is it HD??
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 12/13/11 @ 9:00PM

FAUfasho said

Gotta box out!…and shoot better


Make the most of the situation with their big fellows riding the pine right now!
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