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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM




What: Florida Atlantic (11-15, 7-6) vs Middle Tennessee (23-4, 12-1)

When: Saturday, Feb. 18th @ 6:30 PM EST

Where: Monte Hale Arena, Murphy Center

TV: None

Live Video: ESPN3

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Blue Raiders Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:

FAU

G Ray Taylor 9.7 ppg
G Alex Tucker 4.5 ppg
G Shavar Richardson 6.3 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 7.3 ppg
F Kore White 7.9 ppg


MTSU

G Marcos Knight 12.0 ppg
G Bruce Massey 5.6 ppg
G Raymond Cintron 7.7 ppg
F JT Sulton 10.8 ppg
F LaRon Dendy 14.7 ppg


The Series

Factoring in the Blue Raiders' 67-54 win at FAU Arena back in January, they now lead the all-time series 8-4. FAU was outshot 52.9% to 31.1% from the floor, and saw Greg Gantt and Shavar Richardson each with 10 points. The Owls are 2-3 overall in Murfreesboro.


Owls at a Glance

Florida Atlantic finishes up the seemingly never ending road portion (5-12) of 2011-12's schedule tomorrow night versus the Blue Raiders.

Ray Taylor had a night to forget on Thursday against Western Kentucky in the Owls' 57-64 loss. The junior found net on just two shots, while missing 10. But it all can't be pinned on Taylor, as the squad at large has now been outpaced in scoring percentage for the last five straight contests.

Meanwhile, Kore White continues to produce at record pace, this time moving to the glass where his pulled down a career high 11 rebounds. If he continues this trend it can only mean good things for FAU.

Having head to head tiebreakers in place against both North Texas, and Denver, the Owls control their own destiny as far as day one in the Sun Belt Tournament goes. But they will need to win out (3-0). Should they drop one, it will take one of the above teams losing an extra game as well. The Mean Green and Pioneers are still yet to meet, but that contest is not factored into the equation. Bottom line, drop one of the remaining games, and the plot likely thickens to an unhappy ending.

After the season's earlier loss to MTSU, Jarvis was quite frank in his feelings towards Saturday's meeting.

"Right now they’re the best team in the league. Notice how I said right now they’re the best team in the league", Jarvis proclaimed. "I think we are going to beat Middle Tennessee the next time we play them."

It will in fact be a tough act to pull off, but in all fairness to his assertion, FAU was without an asset that has been traditionally solid against the Blue Raiders in Taylor.

"Ray makes a huge difference against a team like them; he’s going to beat people", commented Jarvis. "He’s had some pretty good games against them doing that."

True statement all around. In fact, Taylor has posted an impressive 17 point average mark against Middle Tennessee in his four appearances, and even credits his career best 26 point performance to them as well.

Will he shake off the dust from Thursday's disappointing result to lead the team to perhaps their most important victory thus far? Time will tell.


Blue Raiders at a Glance

Middle Tennessee has had a break out year while riding the 6-9, 230lb frame of Iowa State transfer LaRon Dendy. Hopefully it will be a good final few games for them, as the courtship will be over not too long after it began. Having just this season on the active roster, MTSU will honor the outgoing senior along with fellow upperclassman Jimmy Oden (79.4% FT) just prior to tip-off.

But for now, the journey continues as Dendy had a monster last two contests putting up averages of 24.6 ppg and seven boards to boot. Fittingly, that was good enough for a second showing in the league's player of the week slot.

And he's garnering some national award consideration as well having been nominated for the Lou Henson Player of the Year Award. Established in 2010, the award is presented to the nation's most outstanding mid-major men's college basketball player.

Coming off of a full week away from the floor, Middle Tennessee last took care of Western Division leader Arkansas-Little Rock 68-60 at home.

The Blue Raiders are 13-1 on the year at The Murphy Center, with the only loss coming to in state foe Belmont 87-84 in 2OT.

Double digit advantages at the final horn are becoming commonplace for them as they have accomplished that mark eight out of the last thirteen games.

Middle Tennessee has already clinched the Sun Belt's East Division title and can sew up the outright title with either a win over FAU or a UALR loss.

Hopeful to also set an all-time program best for most victories in a season, they will be looking to add to their current mark of 23, which ties the current record last accomplished during the 1988-89' season.


Latest Line:

MTSU -10


Owl's Nest Prediction

FAU was able to somewhat contain Dendy earlier (11 points), but paid the price with others stepping up for solid outings (Sulton 14, Marcos Knight 12). The only way they are going to control the pace on Saturday is to keep offensive pressure applied throughout the contest. A good half is not going to cut it, and since they have yet to string together two as of late, have to stick with the Blue Raiders.

Really hate to bump the scoring deficit over Vegas' prognostication as well, but our standard number crunch unfortunately yields it.

Obviously would love to be wrong.


MTSU -13
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Starters:

FAU

G Ray Taylor
G Alex Tucker
G Shavar Richardson
G Pablo Bertone
F Kore White


MTSU

G Marcos Knight
G Bruce Massey
G Raymond Cintron
F JT Sulton
F LaRon Dendy
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Owls out to a quick 4-2 lead and our favorite Sun Belt Coach (Kermit Davis) calls T/O!

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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

15:35

FAU 7  MTSU 4

The boys INITIALLY look like they came to play tonight…….
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Early numbers…

FAU 37.5% FG

MTSU 50% FG
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

10:54

FAU 10  MTSU 14

Blue Raiders pull ahead as the Owls' shot percentage dwindles:

4-of-16 (25%)

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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Another announcer reference for "FIU".

Dude, get a clue!

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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

7:42

FAU 12  MTSU 16
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Rick said

Another announcer reference for "FIU".

Dude, get a clue!



And another…….

@$$clown!
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Middle Tennessee - 02/18/12 @ 6:30PM

Let's go owls….. Pick it up.

It's Owl Time!
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