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MTSU (15-12) @  FAU (6-22)
Saturday, FEB 21st, 2009
7:00 PM EST



Video on The Net:  Live at fausports.com

Radio: FOX 640AM - MTSU @ FAU 7:00PM

Evan Cohen and Sanchez Hughley will call the action on Saturday.


Demetrius Green's layup with 2.4 seconds left allowed Middle Tennessee State to sqeak out a 59-57 win in Murfreesboro the last time the two teams met .  The Owls have played a home-and-home series with the Blue Raiders in each of the last two years.  The teams have played a total of six times.  MTSU enjoys a 5-1 all-time series edge, but three of those contests were on their home court. 



Team Site:  BlueRaiders.com 


MTSU Stats 02-19-09.JPG

"That is something our teams have always done, improve in February, and be the kind of team nobody wants to play because of toughness and rebounding and how we game-plan. We're not getting that", said Head Coach, Kermit Davis.  And he's right.  Due to a mediocre backcourt performance, freshman guard DeMario Williams saw his first start Feb. 14 against the North Texas Mean Green.  Forward Montarrio Haddock, a junior college transfer, has made the most of his minutes this season. He is averaging 9.4 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds while only playing 19.5 minutes per contest.  However, foul trouble has plagued him and he has retired to the bench prematurely a whopping seven times this season.  The loss of starting center Theryn Hudson early on has also contributed to the lack of success MTSU was expected to achieve this year.  Picked to win the Eastern Division by most credible sources, the Blue Raiders are in the midst of a four game SBC losing streak that has knocked them out of contention for that title.  However, two more wins would guarantee the Blue Raiders a winning season and make Davis just the second coach in program history to produce six winning seasons in his first seven years.




FAU Stats 02-19-09.JPG

The Owls will likely appear as the last seed in the upcoming Sun Belt Conference tournament, but that does not mean that they will be an easy win for the ensuing opponent.  FAU has won just two league games, but has been very competitive in conference match-ups.  Depth continues to be a factor for The Owls despite the recent return of All SBC Pre-Season pick Carlos Monroe, who saw just seven minutes of action in their last outing.  FAU has played seven conference games decided by seven or fewer points.  Senior Paul Graham leads the conference in scoring at 18.5 PPG, while Brett Royster is tops in blocks at 2.39 per contest.  FAU currently ranks 10th in both scoring and defense within the conference. 



4 Calvin O'Neil F 6-4 190
5 Kevin Kanaskie G 6-2 185
11 Nigel Johnson G 6-2 185
23 Demetrius Green G 6-4 190
31 Desmond Yates F 6-7 225

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


MTSU - 3



We know the drill by now.  Pual Graham, Shavar Richarson, and Carderro Nwoji need to hit on all cylinders for the Owls to pull this out.  Inside scoring, unless Monroe has had a dramatic two days of practice, and is not still tender footed, will be challenged once again.  MTSU is in a slump of their own, but will surely bring their "A Game" to the burrow tommorow night in hopes of obtaining better seeding in the tournament and to take some frustration out for the recent performances they have put up.  Not to say that the Owls won't do the same, but the home court advantage (which is desperately needed right now) has not proved a formidable sixth man for FAU in SBC play this season.  Head to head stat match-ups show us the likley outcome of this one.  However, the Owls are hopeful for an upset.

MTSU - 6


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