Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Skip navigation

GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Add topic

Post

GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: Western Kentucky (13-12, 7-7 SBC) vs FAU (11-15, 6-9 SBC)

When: Thursday, Feb. 14th @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: ESPN3

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Hilltoppers Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


WKU

G T.J. Price 13.9 ppg
G Jamal Crook 12.7 ppg
G Brandon Harris 8.4 ppg
F George Fant 11.8 ppg
C Aleksejs Rostov 3.7 ppg

FAU

G Stefan Moody 14.2 ppg
G Greg Gantt 21.1 ppg
G Richard Morrow 14.3 ppg
F Jordan McCoy 5.5 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 1.3 ppg

The series:

FAU still trails at 4-10 overall, but made up some ground a month ago by holding off the Hilltoppers 65-62 at EA Diddle Arena. The Owls led by 15 points five minutes into the second period, only to see WKU coming roaring back to within a point in a rally attempt. Held without a field goal during the last 3:30 free throws became crucial, and Jackson Trapp delivered two to ice the game with :10 remaining.

Three players were in doubles figures for Florida Atlantic (Gantt 22, Moody 15, Bertone 15), but the best overall effort came off the glass in a 44-28 team rebounding edge as six Owls posted four or better on the evening.


Western Kentucky at a Glance:

With six games remaining in the regular season schedule, WKU heads to Florida for two games this week beginning Thursday night at Florida Atlantic. They are currently three-and-a-half games out of second place in the Sun Belt's east division.

The Toppers snapped a six-game road losing streak last Thursday at North Texas in a 70-59 decision, but dropped a 49-67 tilt at home to Arkansas State just two days later. The Red Wolves picked up their first victory in Bowling Green in 11 tries dating back to the 1997-98 season.

“I just thought they whipped us in every facet of the game,” said Head Coach Ray Harper. “They were tougher than us. We could not get any second or third opportunities. We did not get a lot of good looks on the first opportunity."

Western Kentucky was paced by T.J. Price’s 21 points, but got little support from their remaining quartet of guards who combined for just 10 points collectively.

The team recently saw the return of senior point Jamal Crook, who went down with foot fracture on December 16th, and is believed to hold the key to a possible late surge for the struggling Hilltoppers. Of note, they are 10-3 on the year with him in the lineup, but 3-8 without him.

Individually, Crook ranks in many conference categories including points per game (12.7, 14th), assists per game (4.4, 4th), field goal percentage (51.2%, 6th), and assist to turnover ratio (2.1:1).

Rebounding has been a strength for the squad this year with their current average of 37.0 per game the best since 2003-04. Additionally, they've out hauled 14 of their last 21 opponents. However, ball handling has not followed the same path with the squad throwing it away at least 10 times in 14 consecutive games as well.

That's no fault of guard Brandon Harris though, as he has dished out a productive 38 assists to just 13 turnovers (2.92:1) in conference games, while seeing a hefty 33.2 minutes of on-the-court time during those outings.

At 64.6 ppg allowed, WKU is the third best overall defensive unit in the Sun Belt, but they continue to struggle at the free throw line (65.6%, 11th), and 3-point percentage (30.1%, 11th).

Coach Harper has employed 13 different starting five combinations on the year. A good chunk of that has resulted from five players being kept out of games due to injury, and four of which would have started: Crook, Price, Snipes, Fant, Dickerson.



FAU at a Glance:

The Owls don't need to take a long look in the mirror for a progress update, as the reflection of an 11-15 overall record is exactly where they were at this point in time last season. Good news is that they won't have to face Middle Tennessee or South Alabama again.

Bottom line, with five contests yet remaining, and considering the opponents, a minor stride should be made in the end. On an immediate note, a win on Thursday would give FAU a season sweep over Western Kentucky, the only team in the Eastern Division they have never done so against.

Crooks didn't play against the Owls last time, and they will have to factor him in for Thursday, although Coach Mike Jarvis isn't sure how effective he will be.

"They're (WKU) not where they want to be, and if Crook doesn't come back (fully), neither will they", Jarvis said. "He doesn't look really comfortable playing right now."

The Owls are looking to rebound from Saturday's 71-72 stinging loss to South Alabama. The official call was Greg Gantt stepped out of bounds just before making what would be the game winner, but Jarvis saw it differently.

"He actually hooked the guy, but the ref didn't want to call that foul to end the game, so he said he stepped out", explained Jarvis. "It was right in front of our bench, he hooked the guy and the ref gave the ball to the other team. It's one of those years."

Gantt dropped 23 points on the evening, is now 11th in SBC history with 1,844 points, while being on pace to finish in the Sun Belt's top-5 all-time listing. The senior guard needs just 27 points to pass Paul Graham III for the program's single season scoring record (575, 31 games), and could possibly become the first FAU player to reach the 2,000 point scoring mark should he continue his pace.

Jordan McCoy arguably had the best two games of his career, scoring a career 19 points against FIU on Thursday and pulling down a career high 12 rebounds against South Alabama later on Saturday. He's now a member of FAU’s 500 rebound club, and recently passed Mike Bell for 5th place in school history in career rebounds.

Stefan Moody is leading the team and the league with an 83.8% free throw shooting percentage, and has sunk 16 straight dating back to January 31st when the Owls knocked off Louisiana-Monroe 76-71 at FAU Arena.

Crazy Eights: Florida Atlantic is 2-8 on the season when recording five or fewer three-pointers, 1-8 when opponents score 72 or more total points, and 1-8 after allowing a three-point percentage of 37.5 percent or better.

Jackson Trapp will not play this week unless a necessity presents itself. It is hoped that he can return next week at some point, possibly against UALR. Accordingly, the Owls will employ the same starting five as last game.

Thursday's contest is being billed a White Out, and the first 500 students will receive free game shirts via the FAU Program Board.


Latest Line:

WKU -1


Owl's Nest Prediction

Both teams are eager for a win. The question to beg is who wants it more? FAU beat the spread by 7.5 points last Saturday, marking the 8th time this season that they have done so.

Three of the four factors to winning go to the Toppers though: FT Rate, Shooting Efficiency, and Offensive Rebounding. The Owls narrowly take Ball Handling.

Even with the home court, still see Florida Atlantic in the underdog role.

WKU -2
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Just got to the Burrow.

Jackson Trapp is in sweats, so like Rick pointed out in his preview, he most likely won't play tonight. Cavon Baker next to him on the bench.

Parking lot is flooded for those on the way to the game.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight's Starters:

FAU
G- Greg Gantt
G- Richard Morrow
G- Stefan Moody
F- Kelvin Penn
F- Jordan McCoy

WKU
G- Brandon Harris
G- Jamal Cook
F- O'Karo Akamune
F- George Fant
F- T.J. Price

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Andrew said

Parking lot is flooded for those on the way to the game.

Tailgating Boating Style!

;D
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Andrew said

Jackson Trapp is in sweats, so like Rick pointed out in his preview, he most likely won't play tonight.

Trapp has a boot on his left leg (no way he plays), that means just 9 guys are dressed tonight.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Hilltoppers control the tip and we're underway.

2-0 WKU lead.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Bertone first off the bench for FAU.

WKU with a 9-8 lead.

16:25 and ticking.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Whoa, rough crowd tonight!
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

FAUfasho said

Whoa, rough crowd tonight!

It's lacking, but the monsoon outside isn't helping.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Western Kentucky vs FAU - 02/14/13 @ 7:00 PM

Ugh, Penn in foul trouble AGAIN…….

Need him in the game.

Not happening for a while now.
Back to the top
Control functions: