What: UALR (12-9, 4-2) vs FAU (14-6, 6-0)
When: Saturday, Jan. 22nd @ 1:00 PM EST
Where: FAU Arena
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: Owls GameTracker
UALR Team Site: Here
G D'Andre Williams 6.0 ppg
G Solomon Bozeman 15.5 ppg
G Alex Garcia-Mendoza 8.0 ppg
F Montrell Thornton 3.3 ppg
F Courtney Jackson 6.4 ppg
G Ray Taylor 11.5 ppg
G Greg Gantt 14.9 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 2.9 ppg
F Kore White 9.4 ppg
F Brett Royster 7.5 ppg
Arkansas Little Rock leads 3-2 in the short all-time series. Last time out, Greg Gantt scored 29 points (7-of-12 from downtown) as the Owls held on to down the Trojans 77-74 at FAU Arena.
UALR at a Glance
After defeating FIU 78-70 on Thursday in Miami, Arkansas Little Rock comes in on a hot streak looking for their fifth straight victory in a row.
Thanks to the play of senior guard Matt Mouzy, who tallied 15-points against the Panthers, the Trojans were able to win the programs first Sun Belt Conference road game in their last twelve attempts.
"It was a much-needed win for us tonight. I couldn't be more proud of our senior leadership,” UALR head coach Steve Shields said. "I thought our overall energy level and enthusiasm was very good. I didn't think anyone cared who got the shot on the offensive end or who got the credit."
Spreading the ball around on offense is something that Shields' players have been able to do all season long, as six different players are averaging six points or more. In this week’s win over FIU, four players found themselves in double figures.
As a team, the Trojans rank fifth nationally in three point shooting percentage at 42.4% and are holding opponents to only to only 33.3% from downtown. Both of those figures lead the conference.
Lining up next to Mouzy in the back court is a true-scorer in senior guard Solomon Bozeman. The 6’ transfer from USF, has reached double figures in 11-straight games and ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference averaging 19.7 points per game in league play.
In the post a player to watch out for is senior forward Derrick Bails, who is averaging a team-high 8.3 rpg off the bench during the four-game win streak, and has a career mark of 49 rejections.
Saturday’s game mark the first nationally televised game for the Trojans this season, and the program is 5-10 all time in national broadcasts. UALR is only 1-11 the past two seasons on the road.
FAU at a Glance
Currently enjoying a program best six game win streak since moving to DI, timing couldn't be any better for the Owls this weekend as Saturday's tilt was selected by the Sun Belt Conference as a wildcard choice for an ESPN network broadcast.
Florida Atlantic has never hosted a nationally televised event as the home team, although ESPN2 recently provided coverage of a Pine Crest vs Winter Park match-up from FAU Arena during February of last year.
It will also be the first for coach Mike Jarvis since the 2003 season, whose teams were on consistently prior to his coming to Florida Atlantic.
"It's a big deal, especially when you're not on; it's a real big deal", said head coach Mike Jarvis. "It's make me appreciate it even more because I never ever really appreciated it before because when I was at GW and St. Johns we were on all the time."
A 1:00 p.m. start will mark the earliest start for FAU thus far, but that should be just fine for the Owls, as they are used to hitting the hard wood early during their weekly routine.
"We practice at 8:00 in the morning, so anytime after 8:00 would be perfect. Anytime you get to play on television, nationally, it's a good time. I have a feeling the placed will be rocking", Jarvis said of the tip time.
After a short stint of games where FAU's frontcourt seldom saw the bench outside of normal substitutions, the last two outings have seen the return of bench minutes for Kore White and Brett Royster.
"They're starting to play more defense is technically part of it. Now they just have to do a better job of it. Most of the fouls have had to do with our lack of defensive execution", commented Jarvis.
Most recently, FAU remained perfect in conference play with historical 78-73 win on the road at WKU, while having four players in double figures.
The Owls are a perfect 13-0 when able to keep the opposing team to under 43.7% from the floor, but will see their perimeter defense tested on Saturday in order to make that happen.
"It's going to be a tough challenge, but one I think our guys will be up for", Jarvis said.
A win Saturday would match the program's longest winning streak since the 1990-91 season.
Owl's Nest Prediction
This game could go either way on a neutral court, but the Owls enjoy a couple of advantages that will likely push them over the top. Most importantly, the the game at home on national television. FAU also holds edges in blocks (+3.2 pg), turnovers (-1.0 pg).
Where they give up some performance is in connections from long distance, with the Trojans out shooting at +8.7% per contest.
But UALR doesn't have a strong presence in the paint, which will help FAU's production on the glass and in garbage buckets.
Like the Owls, but not by the spread.
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