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GAME THREAD: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

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GAME THREAD: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: Florida International (16-12, 11-8 SBC) vs FAU (13-17, 8-11 SBC)

When: Saturday, Mar. 2nd @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Panthers Site: Here


Probable Starters:


FIU

G Deric Hill 5.7 ppg
G Malik Smith 13.5 ppg
F Jerome Frink 10.6 ppg
F Tymell Murphy 15.3 ppg
C Ivan Jurkovic 1.8 ppg

FAU

G Stefan Moody 14.7 ppg
G Greg Gantt 21.4 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 5.4 ppg
F Jordan McCoy 5.7 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 1.3 ppg


The series:

FIU picked up another inch of space to lead 16-14 after defeating Florida Atlantic 84-65 earlier this month in Miami.

Thirteen first half Owl turnovers wreaked havoc to the tune of 21 points for the host Panthers. Falling behind by as many as 26 points with 6:10 to play, fortunately FAU was at least able to outscore FIU in the second period, although by a narrow margin. Three point shooting played little part though, as the team managed just a 5-of-22 showing on the evening.

Greg Gantt and Jordan McCoy each notched 19 points, with McCoy hauling in nine boards to accompany his career high scoring effort.


FIU at a Glance:

Thanks to a 17-0 closing scoring spree, the Panthers were able to overcome Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The Warhawks took a 30-23 lead at the break with FIU struggling to connect from long range (2-of-10), but in a familiar theme 31 points off turnovers would make a huge difference at the final horn.

Tymell Murphy registered his 19th straight double-digit scoring effort, and was one of three players in that category along side Malik Smith (16) and Jerome Frink (13). The Panthers were chilly from long distance however, managing just a 5-of-21 effort (23.8%).

Last Saturday, the squad completed their 2012-13 home schedule at 10-3 with a 65-52 win over UALR 10-3 at U.S. Century Bank Arena. With the win, FIU recorded its highest number of conference victories (10) since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 1998-1999.

It also marked the 15th victory of the season for the Panthers, giving FIU its most wins since the 1999-2000 season and securing the program’s first .500-or-better record in 13 years.

Florida International entered the final week of the regular season averaging 70.0 ppg (3rd SBC) on 43.1% overall shooting (2nd SBC). However, they are still allowing 70.3% ppg (9th SBC) behind a 45.7% success rate from the floor to the opposition.

On the ball pressure defense continues to be a mainstay, and Florida International remains camped out as the Sun Belt's best takeaway team with 9.6 per outing. That mark is also good enough for 8th on the national scale, and better than every top 10 team in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

FIU enters the contest on a three game win streak. They are a perfect (4-0) on the year when holding opposing teams to 58 or fewer total points, and 10-2 after keeping their shooting percentage to 44.6% or lower.

The Owls have eclipsed this threshold percentage of importance 12 times on the year.


FAU at a Glance:

Florida Atlantic will have had a full week off to prepare for the Panthers, and arguably their biggest home venue of the year. Additionally, they welcome back the services Pablo Bertone who has missed time while dealing with a lingering stomach condition.

His return offers another set of fresh legs into the equation, along side that of Jackson Trapp, who also made his way back into the lineup recently after being knocked out early during the first half of the season's first meeting against FIU in Miami.

"We were going small, and early in the game Jackson got hurt, and that hurt us a lot too", said Coach Mike Jarvis. "Having him back, and having that extra player, is a big plus."

Cavon Baker is another player that has been absent as of late but has been practicing well, and could also see some time on Saturday. The game plan won't change though, as the initial lineup will continue to employ a 2-3 set, with an occasional four guard backup. FAU simply needs to take care of the ball.

"It was their pressure (last time), but I think we had more to do with it than they did", Jarvis explained. "We've thrown the ball away as much against teams that didn't press, so it wasn't their press, it's more about us than it is about them."

"They put you in a position to make mistakes. We've got to make sure we make good passes, use good ball fakes, and make good decisions."

The Owls improved to a respectable 9-4 on the year at FAU Arena thanks to comfortable 73-59 win against Arkansas-Little Rock last Saturday.

The majority of the scoring came in familiar fashion, as the duo of Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody combined for 51 points. Of note, they are the highest scoring tandem in the conference with a combined 36.1 points per game.

With 285 long balls during his time as an Owl, and a current average of 2.7 pg, Gantt should pass Earnest Crumbley (287) for most career three-pointers in school history.

Gantt, McCoy and Andre Mattison will be honored during a pregame ceremony as the winningest senior class since the Owls moved to DI status.

Saturday's tilt marks the program's final regular season contest as a Sun Belt member, which will be somewhat of a bitter sweet departure for Jarvis, who has come to find comradery amongst his peers, although admitting he will not miss the road destinations.

Accordingly, it's safe to say that no future scheduling will include current conference members aside from those making the transition to CUSA next season - Florida International, Middle Tennessee, and North Texas.

FAU fell out of contention for a day one bye in the 2013 SBC Tournament on Thursday as both Western Kentucky and Arkansas-Little Rock each won. They can finish as high as the 7th seed with a win against FIU and a Louisiana-Lafayette loss, but no lower than 8th with a loss and Louisiana-Lafayette win on Saturday.

Should both teams win or lose, tie break procedures against the top teams will determine the outcome.


Latest Line:

TBA


Owl's Nest Prediction

Fan's hearts likely can't take another fight to the finish, but in all reality, that's a very strong possibility.

Jarvis has been talking about taking care of the ball all season long, but it hasn't translated into tangible results on very many occasions in all honesty.

Expect the Owls to come out on top at the horn, but by a very narrow margin.

FAU -1
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Well well, Vegas finally opens at -1.5 for the Owls and has since adjusted to -1.

Good times.

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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

This just in:

PF Chris Bryant dressed and ready for service.
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Senior Jordan McCoy will not play tonight…

Ankle injury.

What a lousy time for that to happen!

Mattison will start in his place.
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight's Starters…

FIU

G Deric Hill
G Malik Smith
G Cameron Bell
F Jerome Frink
F Tymell Murphy


FAU

G Stefan Moody
G Greg Gantt
G Jackson Trapp
F Andre Mattison
F Kelvin Penn
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

I'd like to see Gantt go for 40 tonight!
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

How's the attendance? (I couldn't be there tonight  :'(

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Owl2Doc said

How's the attendance? (I couldn't be there tonight  :'(

Not great but not the worst I've seen this yeaf. Decent turnout despite it being spring break.
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAUfasho said

Owl2Doc said

How's the attendance? (I couldn't be there tonight  :'(

Not great but not the worst I've seen this yeaf. Decent turnout despite it being spring break.

Oof, just saw this


P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: Game Preview: Florida International vs FAU - 03/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

This might be really good. The FIU fans are loudly booing the introduction and welcomed to "The Burrow" and the mention of the FAU team - at FAU!
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