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GAME WEEK THREAD: FAU vs. FIU - January 23rd & 26th, 2019

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FAU Basketball Plans "Red-Out" to Greet Rival FIU

What: FIU (12-7, 3-3) vs. FAU (11-8, 2-4)

When: Wednesday, January 23 @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

Series: The Panthers own a 24-18 advantage over the Owls, but FAU won the most recent contest 77-72


Video: CUSA.tv

Radio: ESPN 106.3

FIU Team Site: Here



Panthers at a Glance:

Offense 88.9 PPG, 46% FG, 30% 3PT

Defense 81.9 PPGA, 46% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 36.7 PG, 43.9 PG Opponents


Notables

The Panthers will make their annual trip to The Burrow as one of the biggest surprises in C-USA Basketball. While their positioning in the middle of the conference standings is not that much of a shock, it is how FIU has been able to get there that has many in the college basketball circles turning their heads. The Panthers' 88.3 PPG makes them the fourth highest scoring offense in the nation, sandwiched between Duke at #3 and North Carolina at #5.

The Panthers high-scoring prowess does not stem from out-rebounding their opponents, but from forcing turnovers. In fact, FIU's 21.7 forced turnovers per game and 11.5 steals per game top the nation.

Guard Brian Beard Jr. leads the Panthers in points with 19.1 PPG, making him the 63rd best scorer in Division I. While his 5'10" stature makes him look small-time, his athleticism, which is visibly displayed whenever he drives the lane, is anything but. The Senior from California is coming off of 16, 14, and 28 point performances against Marshall, Western Kentucky, and Old Dominion respectively.
 


Owls at a Glance:

Offense 72.5 PPG, 41% FG, 32% 3PT

Defense - 70.0 PPGA, 42% FGA, 31% 3PTA

Rebounding - 40.1 PG, 36.3 PG Opponents


Notables

The Owls return home amidst a three game losing streak. The two most recent losses come away from home at the hands of Marshall and Western Kentucky. That road trip to Huntington and Bowling Green is the most difficult of the conference slate when considering the talent the Owls had to face, and the logistics of getting to and from each locale.

Owl Nation will welcome FAU Basketball back to Boca with the ever-popular Bury The Burrow in Red game. The annual red-out vs. FIU will be celebrated with the first 500 students receiving red "Beat FIU" shirts.

Offensively, the Owls have shot an impressive 41% from three in their two previous games. This could be the result of Dusty May electing to start three guards recently. While the "small ball" style of basketball has grown in popularity, especially at the mid-major level, this change in FAU's offensive style is not by choice as Dusty May's side has been decimated with injuries at the Forward and Center positions. This could provide an opportunity for the Owls as FIU has the fourth worse three-point defense in C-USA since the start of conference play.


Opening Line: FAU -1

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Favored by 1? This game may be ugly tomorrow - gotta be there!


ROLL OWLS
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It's shaded by their offensive numbers - which are ridiculous.

On the flip side, the defense can be atrocious.

Gave up 121, yes 121, to Arkansas.

105 to Marshall in a 105-97 loss.

So, we will have to play solid D to win.

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Dusty May is sticking with the same starting lineup from the Marshall and WKU losses. I don't disagree with the move, as this is the "oldest" starting five we can reasonably put on the court. Leaning on a experience to open a rivalry game could be a smart move.


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We're underway from The Burrow!


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Fast start for the Owls, who are getting open looks as FIU flirts with a full court press.


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Beard is unable to get much going early, so he's attempting to flop his way to the score sheet. Can somebody tell him that only works for Dan Harden.


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Loving the atmosphere tonight at The Burrow!


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What a sloppy series of minutes from FAU. Owls offense has gone completely dry, while not getting any rebounds nor prevent the Panthers from driving the lane.




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An Adger freebie ends a horrific 14-0 FIU run in which the Owls went over five minutes without a bucket.

But since then, the Owls have made 2 of their last 11 FGs, compared to 6 of FIU's last 8.


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