GAME THREAD: FAU @ Western Kentucky - January 19, 2019
What: FAU (11-7, 2-3 C-USA) vs. Western Kentucky (8-9, 1-3 C-USA)
When: Saturday, Jan. 19th @ 3:00 PM Eastern
Where: E.A. Diddle Arena
Series: FAU is 5-15 all time against WKU. The Owls most recent win against WKU was in February of 2013.
Live Stream: FaceBook
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Western Kentucky Team Site: Here
Hilltoppers at a Glance:
Offense – 72.6 PPG, 47% FG, 36% 3PT
Defense – 72.1 PPGA, 44% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 35.9 PG, 33.6 PG Opponents
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers enter Saturday’s contest amidst a three game losing streak. However, those three loses are by a combined 5 points. The Hilltoppers have several notable non-conference wins against West Virginia, Arkansas, and Wisconsin.
The Hilltoppers are led by Guard Taveion Hollingsworth, who is one of the more talented Guards in the conference and places third in the most minutes a night (36.5) while averaging just under 17 points per game.
Accordingly, expect Hollingsworth to be on the court for just about all of Saturday’s game. Hollingsworth shares the back court with Guard Jared Savage (14 PPG), who is coming off a 19 point performance against FIU. Savage is one of the best rebounding Guards in the conference.
Inside, the Hilltoppers feature true Freshmen Charles Bassey. He is averaging 14 points to go along with 9 rebounds per game. The near 7-footer has had a relatively smooth transition to collegiate basketball. Bassey scored 21 points in an upset at Wisconsin in December. It will be very interesting to see how FAU`s bigs manage him inside.
The Owls will have their hands full with the big three of Hollingsworth, Savage and Bassey. FAU will must have sound transitions on defense. Sealing rotations on pick and rolls/ball screens will be key in keeping Hollingsworth, Savage and Bassey in check.
Owls at a Glance:
Offense – 72.9 PPG, 41% FG, 32% 3PT
Defense - 69.9 PPGA, 42% FGA, 31% 3PTA
Rebounding - 40.3 PG, 36.2 PG Opponents
After beginning the season with an 11-5 start the Owls have dropped two straight. Dusty May’s club is now 9th in the Conference USA standings. Still, the window for the young squad to climb up conference standings is open.
In FAU’s last game, G Michael Forrest exploded for a career high 32 points. He showed excellent range with 7 three pointers. Forward Aleksandar Zecevic had his best game of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double.
The Owls will need a strong supporting cast against Western Kentucky to take pressure off Guard Anthony Adger and Forward Xavian Stapleton.
Western Kentucky is very efficient from the perimeter. The Hilltoppers’s rank third in 3 point percentage within the Conference. FAU’s Guards will need to play sound defense to help limit the outside scoring. The battle between Michael Forrest and Taveion Hollingsworth will be very interesting to watch.
Florida Atlantic currently holds the best offensive rebound mark in the league with 13.1 grabs per outing, and are tied for 3rd with 27.2 just behind UTSA (27.8) and Old Dominion (27.9).
From long range, they own 4th place while connecting on 8.8 three pointers a contest. Adger accounts for 2.9 of those net rattles.
Opening Line: FAU +11
Dusty May makes no changes to #FAU's starters:— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) January 19, 2019
PG - Michael Forrest
SG - Anthony Adger
SF - Richardson Maitre
PF - Simeon Lepichev
C - Aleksandar Zecevic
Zecevic, Maitre, and Adger combine to hit back-to-back-to-back three pointers for FAU.
Owls up 11-2 early.