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PREVIEW:  FAU @ WESTERN KENTUCKY

 

WKU Logo.jpg

 

FAU (6-23) @ WKU 19-8
Thursday, Feb 26th, 2009
8:00PM EST




MEDIA COVERAGE

TV:  Live on FCS Atlantic 

Radio: FOX 640AM - FAU @ WKU 8:00PM

Scoring:  www.fausports.com


THE SERIES

 

An Orlando Mendez-Valdez triple put the Hilltoppers up 46-39 with 12:56 left en route to WKU's 78-57 win over FAU earlier this season in Boca Raton . WKU led by as many as 22 late in the second half in that game. The Owls are in their third Sun Belt season and have played a home-and-home series with Western Kentucky in each of the last two years. A Sun Belt Conference tournament game in 2007 and the home loss this season brings the series up to six games, which WKU leads 5-1. FAU defeated WKU 78-73 on February 14, 2007 in Bowling Green and are 1-1 all-time at Diddle Arena.

 

WKU AT A GLANCE

Team Site:  WKU Sports

 

WKU Hoops Stats 2009.JPG

 

Alot at stake for the Toppers when they take the floor Thursday:  A perfect home season, saying farewell to four seniors, a 20-win campaign, and retaining first place in the Sun Belt standings with one regular season game left.  Not to mention that a win over FAU would give the Hilltoppers their eighth undefeated home season in the 46-year history of E.A. Diddle Arena.  Saturday's win over FIU was the 1,600th in the 90-year history of WKU Basketball.  WKU is one of just 14 Division I program to accomplish that feat.  Wins over FIU (79-66) and UALR (78-69) last week were fueled by sophomore forward Sergio Kerusch who posted back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 22.0 points and 11.5 rebounds. For his efforts, Kerusch was named the Sun Belt Conference "Player of the Week" - the third WKU player to win the award this season. The well-balanced Toppers have been the best rebounding team in the Sun Belt this season (+6.4). They have scored 74.6 points per night en route to a 13-3 record against SBC teams this season. WKU made national news earlier in the year, beating No. 3 Louisville 68-54 on a neutral floor in Nashville and following that win up with a 67-63 home victory over Georgia. WKU advanced into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 a year ago.

 

FAU AT A GLANCE

 

FAU Stats.JPG

 

The Owls are coming off a stinging loss to Middle Tennessee Saturday, in the last part of the second half, that should have been a win for all intents and purposes.  But Coach Jarvis was optimistic:  "The good news is that we have a couple of weeks left to try and figure out what you do in practice, you have to do in the game. Whether it was not completing a two-on-one fast break, three-on-one fast break, or following your shot, we have to do what we need to do during crunch time."  He and the Owls are hoping that the return of Carlos Monroe will give FAU a legitimate shot to pull off a first-round upset in the upcoming Sun Belt Conference tournament to be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Regardless, having him is a big plus.  Alex Tucker comes into the contest currently in 2nd in the SBC on the year for assists.  As a whole, FAU currently ranks third in the SBC  in assist to turnover ratio.  Brett Royster looks to have the conference blocking title sewed up for the year with a solid 69 swats.  He enjoys a clean 10 spot seperating him from the nearest player, and only two games remaining. Senior Guard Carderro Nwoji will not play for the Owls tommorow night.

 



PROBABLE STARTERS

WKU

04 AJ Slaughter G 6-3 180
20 O. Mendez-Valdez G 6-1 185
01 Sergio Kerusch F 6-5 210
30 Steffphon Pettigrew F 6-5 225
40 Jeremy Evans C 6-9 190

Florida Atlantic 

25 Paul Graham G 6-5 190
05 Alex Tucker G 5-11 160
12 Carderro Nwoji G 5-11
03 Chris Watson F 6-6 210
40 Brett Royster F 6-8 220


LATEST LINE

 

WKU - 14.5

 

OWL NEST PREDICTION



FAU would certainly like to see alot of this tommorow night from Paul Graham:

 

 

 

The Owls also got some much needed rebounding and front court presence from Carlos Monroe in last Saturday's contest versus Middle Tennessee.  However, WKU is clicking on all cylinders right now and will be very tough to beat at Diddle Arena.  Would love to see a way for FAU to get the nod in this one, but it would take a near perfect performance.  And that is doubtful to come on the road, where they are winless this year.  Even more so given the location.


WKU - 10

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