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GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

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GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: Louisiana-Monroe (3-15, 2-8 SBC) vs FAU (10-12, 5-6 SBC)

When: Thursday, Jan. 31st @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Warhawks Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


ULM

G Trent Mackey 9.9 ppg
G R.J. McCray 8.3 ppg
G Amos Olatayo 14.0 ppg
F Millaun Brown 5.4 ppg
F Jayon James 10.3 ppg

FAU

G Stefan Moody 14.2 ppg
G Greg Gantt 21.6 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 5.2 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 1.3 ppg
C Dragan Sekelja 3.6 ppg


The series:

FAU holds a 5-2 advantage all-time in the series, but fell earlier this season on the road.

Warhawk’s guard Trent Mackey hit a 3-pointer with 10-seconds remaining in the game to give his team a 65-64 win. The Owls led by as many as 10-points midway through the first half, but allowed for ULM to storm back into the contest and steal a win. Pablo Bertone tallied 16 points, but it was Greg Gantt who gave away five costly turnovers.

Two of the last three games in the series have been decided by two points or less.


Louisiana-Monroe at a Glance:

ULM staggers into Boca Raton in the midst of a five game losing streak.

The Warhawks won just one game in their last seven contests and stand at 3-15 (2-8) on the season. Their record places them as one of just eleven teams in the nation that hasn’t won more than three games this season and at the dead bottom of the Sun Belt Conference.

Last Saturday they fell to Troy in overtime losing 74-64 at home. The Warhawks rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to force an extra period of play, but couldn’t find an advantage in the extra frame.

Despite the poor record, the Warhawks where able to knock off FAU earlier this season behind ripe three-point shooting.
Sophomore guard Trent Mackey hit five three's and scored 19 points in the win.

Since the victory, the Warhawks have won just one contest and Mackey hasn’t had an outburst like he did against the Owls.

The return of the team’s leading scorer Amos Olatayo was expected to spark some offensive production, but the results haven’t reflected on the scoreboard. The junior guard and native of Nigeria, missed a slate of games in December due to a leg injury after transferring from Navarro Junior College.

Since returning to the lineup he has scored 17 or more points on five different occasions, including a career-high 24 point outing against Middle Tennessee State. In the loss to Troy he led the team with 21 points and attempted more field goals than anyone else on the roster.

“I think the good news about Amos is first of all he missed all of December due to an injury, and as he's come back here in January, his injury has gotten better so that's helped,” ULM head coach Keith Richard told The News Star.

In his time back, Amos has proved to be the Warhawks main offensive threat and has given the team a presence around the bucket.

“Seventy-five percent of his play needs to be at the rim, running the floor, cutting to the basket to score at the rim, offensive rebounding and play where he can use his athletic ability at the rim,” Richard said.

At 6’4” 190 pounds, Amos might not be the biggest guard, but he has the ability to work in the lane. In a loss  to Arkansas State two weeks ago he snagged a career-high 11 rebounds.

The other player to keep an eye on is forward Jayon James who ranks second in the conference in assists averaging 4.4 a game. James posted a season-high 26 points against FAU earlier this season, while also pulling down 10 rebounds. He has the traits and ability to score, rebound and distribute the ball.

ULM is averaging a conference worst 58.0 points per game, and is 0-6 this season when committing 19 or more turnovers. The squad is 1-8 this season on the road and are last in the conference in rebounds per game.


FAU at a Glance:

The Owls put together one of their worst performances of the season Saturday night, falling 63-38 to Arkansas State on the road.

FAU turned the ball over 21 times and managed a season-low total in points, as the team dropped their third consecutive game. The Owls trailed by double-digits at halftime and couldn't overcome a cluster of turnovers that resulted in an assortment of easy buckets for the Redwolves.

Nine different players turned the ball over at least once, with four of those individuals committing three or more turnovers.

“The only good thing about our turnovers is that we did it as a team. Almost everybody had a part in it. Obviously we are not going to win unless we get better at taking care of the basketball, and no team is,” Jarvis said.

The excessive amount of turnovers isn’t something new for the Owls, as it has been a problem that has hampered the team all season long. The squad ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference averaging 15.7 turnovers a game.

“It’s an epidemic right now in college basketball. If you look at the teams across the country - even the good teams - they turn the ball over way too much. We try to get kids today to pass the ball, but we’re in an age where they all want to dribble. It’s a battle, but we’re going to overcome it,” Jarvis said.

One of the players that had three or more turnovers in the loss is senior guard Greg Gantt. Having scored 20 or more points in eleven straight games, Gantt has been held to just 13 points in each of his last two outings.

With a majority of the Owls scoring this coming from Gantt, the team has felt his dip in production leading many to wonder what has happened to the conference’s leading scorer.

“I think a couple things have happened,” Jarvis said. “Number one his finger was a little worse than he wanted anybody to realize. You take that, and throw it on top of the fact that he stopped moving without the ball as effectively as he was earlier in the year, and that’s what you have.”

The injury to his finger combined with his limited motion in the offense, led Gantt to his worse two-game stretch since the middle of November. Thankfully for the Owls, Jarvis believes his team’s strongest player should rebound from the injury starting with Thursday night’s game.

“The last couple of days he’s been back to moving without the basketball and his finger is a lot better, so I think Greg (Gantt) will be back to his usual self,” Jarvis said.

Reserve guard Richard Morrow saw his first action Saturday night since returning from a concussion injury and responded with seven points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes of action. His role is expected to grow over the next few games as the Owls continue to shuffle guards.

Forward Kelvin Penn - who ranks second in the conference in blocks per game - managed just one block in the loss to the Redwolves, and has tallied just three over the past four games. FAU as a team is 1-6 this season when recording three or less blocks in a contest.

ULM will provide an interesting opponent for FAU, as they cornered the Owls into 20 turnovers in the previous meeting this season. Jarvis will be looking to have his team in better form than the last matchup and keen on snapping a three-game losing streak.

“Neither team played well the first time and we lost a lead late, which we have done on a few other occasion this year. Hopefully we can return the favor this time around," Jarvis said.


Latest Line:

FAU - 10


Owl's Nest Prediction

Both teams enter Thursday night's contest in desperate need of a win. On paper FAU appears to be the better team, but ULM was able to poach a last-minute win over the Owls earlier this season.

A healthy Greg Gantt should bring good news for the squad, but the Warhwaks have their own scoring threat in Amos Olatayo. If Gantt is able to find his normal productive numbers, and the defense can't limit Olayato, the Owls should be able to show win in comfortable fashion.

However, we don't agree with the big cushion that is given with the line, and think that this one will be a tad closer when the final whistle blows.

FAU - 7

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Game Preview: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Famous Amos looks like a good weasel, #10 time to shut down the leading scoring guard (weasel!!!!weasel!!!!weasel!!!!) if your all the old folks side I want to hear it.
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Re: Game Preview: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Pathetic that we lost to this team earlier this season.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: Game Preview: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

walty12 said

Pathetic that we lost to this team earlier this season.

Won't happen again - book it.
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight’s Starters:

FAU

Richard Morrow
Stefan Moody
Greg Gantt
Pablo Bertone
Kelvin Penn

ULM
RJ McCray
Marcelis Handberry
Amos Olatayo
Trent Mackey
Jayon James

Owls go with a four-guard look, but Warhawks counter with four of their own. Interesting.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAU honoring the 2002 NCAA Tournament team in pre-game festivities. Former guard Antoine Stevens on hand to accept an honorary ball.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Woulda been nice to know they were honoring the 02 team.
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Bertone with an early two, crowd rolling in late.

FAU 2-0

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

I questioned going this small when I saw the starting lineups but whoa, ULM is TINY!
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Re: GAME THREAD: Louisiana-Monroe vs FAU - 01/31/13 @ 7:00 PM

Two airballs in this game so far. Yikes.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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