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GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

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GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: Troy (7-10, 2-4 SBC) vs FAU (9-9, 4-3 SBC)

When: Thursday, Jan. 17th @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Trojans Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


Troy

G- R.J. Scott 4.9 ppg
G- Hunter Williams 9.5 ppg
F- Westley Hinton 4.2 ppg
F- Tevin Calhoun 6.1 ppg
C- Josh Warren 1.8 ppg


FAU

G- Stefan Moody 14.3 ppg
G- Greg Gantt 22.4 ppg
G- Pablo Bertone 8.7 ppg
F- Jordan McCoy 5.2 ppg
F- Kelvin Penn 1.4 ppg


The series:

Earlier this season the Owls took down the Trojans on the road winning 61-54 after trailing by double-digits midway through the first half. Greg Gantt scored 26 points in the victory, but more importantly passed Earnest Crubley as FAU's all-time leading scorer. Pablo Bertone came up big with Stefan Moody missing the game due to a suspension, scoring a career-high 21 points. Antoine Meyers led Troy with 16 points, as the Trojans shot just 28% from the field.

The Trojans hold a 20-10 all-time advantage in the series, but the Owls have claimed four of the past five meetings.


Troy at a Glance:

Troy enters the Burrow on a two-game win streak which comes on the tail end of a three-game skid. With a 7-10 (2-4) record, the Trojans sit at the bottom of the Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division standings and own one of the worst offenses in the league.

Despite the struggles and poor record in the conference play, the squad was able to piece together a 67-64 win over Arkansas Little-Rock earlier this month. Junior guard RJ Scott came up in the closing minutes and hit two key free throws to secure the win.

“We finally executed down the stretch tonight,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “We got offensive and defensive rebounds, we hit free throws down the stretch especially with R.J. (Scott) hitting those near the end. Our kids were determined to play hard.”

Scott – a transfer from Central Florida – is one of the team’s best shooters and earlier this season against the Owls he hit a trio of three pointers. Since then, his scoring has dropped off, but his threat to produce from long range has been a problem for opponents.

Senior guard Emil Jones has been one of the answers to the team’s recent success, and is averaging 17.5 points a game in the last two wins. Jones came off the bench in a 64-55 victory over ULMlast Thursday and has provided an instant spark once on the court.

In the loss earlier this season to FAU, Jones was held to just 7 points on 2-of-11 shooting, as he couldn’t penetrate the Owls’ strong defense.

Troy overall as a team, is an offense that has had its fair share of struggles. The Trojans rank second to last in the conference in points per game at 62.2, and have the worst field goal percentage in the league at a poor 38.7%.

Maestri has tried to break out of the sluggish mold over that past few games, and has experimented with different lineups in search of more favorable results. The outcomes have been positive as the team has won back-to-back conference games for the first time all season.

In the win over ULM the Trojan’s bench scored more points than the starters, and also accounted for more rebounds. Forward Ray Chambers, who like Jones started the game on the bench, scored 11 points to mark the third straight game he has found double-digits.

Seven of Troy’s wins this season have come after the squad had trailed at halftime.



FAU at a Glance:

The Owls put together their best performance of the season on Saturday night and beat Western Kentucky 65-52 on the road.

It was only the program’s third win in seven tries at E.A. Diddle Arena, but came at a very important time as it gave the squad a signature win for the season.

“I’m really happy and grateful for the win, but I would have liked for it to be a little bit smoother. I wish we would have made some free throws so we didn’t turn it into a close of game, because honestly we probably should have won by 10-15 easily – but will take the win,” head coach Mike Jarvis said.

FAU was in control for a majority of the contest, but allowed for the Hilltoppers to make a run late in the game and cut into the lead. The team shot a poor 11-of-18 from the free throw line, which was a rare performance for a squad that leads the Sun Belt Conference in free throw percentage.

Despite the struggles at the charity stripe, Greg Gantt (22 points), Stefan Moody (15) and Pablo Bertone (15) were all able to score in double figures.

While the offense was balanced, it was the defense led by Kelvin Penn that made the difference. The forward blocked a career high seven shots, which helped limit the Hilltoppers to just 33.3% shooting from the floor.

Penn – who ranks 10th in the nation with 51 blocks this season – has been the force for an Owl’s defense that is playing some of their best basketball this season.

“I think what’s helping right now is the guys are starting to play really good team defense and helping one another,” Jarvis said. “We’re getting better at defending the basketball, particularly at the dribble and helping on defense – and that’s a good thing because at the end it’s going to come down to who plays the best defense.”

With Penn in prime form, the team has won four of their last six games and has gotten through arguably the most difficult stretch on the schedule.

“I wish had won three games, which I think we should have won, but we can’t get those back now, so we keep moving forward,” Jarvis said.

The Owls will now turn their attention to Troy – a team that they handled earlier this season on the road.

“We’re preparing for them to play loose and put that ball up there as many times as they can,” Jarvis said. “They are a dangerous team.”

A key for FAU will be limiting the three-point shot, as the Trojans like to shoot the ball from long range. The squad is 4-0 this season when they have limited opponents to 33.3% shooting from the field.

Another advantage the Owls will have for them is returning to the Burrow for their first game at home in two weeks. On top of that, the contest will mark the first home game FAU in which school has been in session since a December 1st bout with Arkansas State.

“Our season ticket holders have been great and we have had some community groups, it should be helpful and I’m hoping the students come out as they should,” Jarvis said.


Latest Line:

FAU -9


Owl's Nest Prediction

FAU is fresh off their biggest win of the season, and will be looking to build off of the momentum gained from the victory over Western Kentucky.

The Trojans are a team that they have already faced this season, and an opponent that struggles on the offensive end of the
court.

If the Owls are able to duplicate the team effort they put on displayed last weekend, this game could be a blowout.

However, it’s been difficult for the squad to string together back-to-back favorable performances so expect this one to be close, before Gantt and Moody prove to be too much for the Trojans.

FAU -5

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Game Preview: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

I think Moody comes out strong because he missed the last time we played Troy. Our defense will be too much for them and having Moody back will keep the students happy with lots of points...at least I hope,lol
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Re: Game Preview: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAUfasho said

…keep the students happy with lots of points…

Hoping for a solid showing from the students tonight…the team needs that atmosphere to return!

Get those stand packed once again now that it truly is "basketball season"!
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Re: Game Preview: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight's starters:

Troy

G- R.J. Scott
G- Hunter Williams
F- Westley Hinton
F- Tevin Calhoun
C- Josh Warren

FAU

G- Stefan Moody
G- Greg Gantt
G- Pablo Bertone
F- Jordan McCoy
F- Kelvin Penn

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Students are rolling in, this should be a good crowd tonight.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Gantt was just recognized for becoming the school's all-time leading scorer.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Kind of a weak student section tonight. Threat of rain keeping them away?
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Gantt with a two, then Moody drains a 3!

5-2

16:00

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Barnburner!
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Re: GAME THREAD: Troy vs FAU - 01/17/13 @ 7:00 PM

Moody and Gantt picking up the production on the offensive end of the court.

11-6

12:42

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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