What: FIU (9-13, 4-6) vs FAU (17-7, 9-1)
When: Saturday, Feb. 5th @ 8:00 PM EST
Where: FAU Arena
TV: CSS - Comcast 32 Locally
Live Video: None
Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: Owls GameTracker
FIU Team Site: Here
G Phil Gary, Jr. 10.5 ppg
G Marvin Roberts 11.4 ppg
G Jeremy Allen 6.8 ppg
F Eric Frederick 13.5 ppg
F Dominique Ferguson 6.9 ppg
G Ray Taylor 12.3 ppg
G Greg Gantt 14.5 ppg
G Alex Tucker 8.0 ppg
F Kore White 9.1 ppg
F Brett Royster 7.9 ppg
The Golden Panthers lead the all-time series at 15-11, with an even mark of 5-5 occurring between the squads at FAU Arena.
Florida Atlantic won both of last seasons matchups, most recently hanging on for a 77-74 win in Miami as FIU made a late charge in the final minute. Brett Royster tallied a game high 14 rebounds to go with 10 points and four blocks - one of which likely preserved the victory.
FIU at a Glance
Having grabbed their first victory in over three weeks with a thrilling 81-80 overtime win at Troy, the Golden Panthers have snapped their six-game losing streak just in time to take on the Owls in the annual South Florida rivalry.
Trailing FAU by five games in the Sun Belt Conference East division standings, FIU and second-year head coach Isiah Thomas have had their fair share of struggles this season winning just a total nine games thus far compared to the squad’s thirteen loses.
Before Thursday night’s win, the Golden Panthers had dropped six games in a row after starting off conference play with a three game win streak.
Guard DeJuan Wright, who made layup with seconds left to beat the Trojans, has been solid throughout the rough patch coming off the bench and has scored in double figures the past five games. The junior’s 14.5 points per game ranks sixth in the conference right ahead of the Owl’s Gregg Gantt.
Starting at point guard for the Golden Panthers is senior Phil Gary, who is averaging 10.5 points per game and a team-high 3.3 assists. Although Gary has had success passing the ball, the squad collectively hasn’t. FIU ranks ninth in the Sun Belt Conference and 304th in the nation averaging only 11.0 assists per game.
The Panthers have had problems on the road, managing only two wins to accompany eight losses.
FIU ranks second in the league in scoring with 73.5 points per game, but 11th in scoring defense (76.3).
Speculation has recently surfaced that the New York Knicks might be in a position to make a play for Thomas if a coaching change were to occur. Although nothing has officially happened with Thomas, the situation might be a bit of a distraction for the team.
FAU at a Glance
The Owls picked up a big road win on Thursday, knocking off North Texas in handy fashion 77-55 for the program's first victory in Denton, TX. They now need just one more in Sun Belt play to match last season's total of 10.
FAU might have tossed a season low three pointers made, but produced a season high 10 steals to help in the endeavor; matching their last performance against the Mean Green back on Feb 04, 2010.
It was the 400th on the court win for Head Coach Mike Jarvis, who was quick to share credit for the impressive mark upon the team's arrival back in Boca Raton Friday evening before a warm group of alumni, fans, students, and staff gathered in front of FAU Arena donning custom made celebration shirts.
"If my mother was here, she'd be crying because her boy's name would be on the front of the shirt. But, just like we wear our FAU uniforms, the name on the back isn't what it's about, it's the name on the front. Tonight, it's not the name up top, it's the name in the middle (FAU)", said Jarvis to those in attendance.
"The thing that makes me most proud about getting the 400th win is that these guys got it for me and, more importantly, FAU and our program."
Tomorrow's tilt marks the third straight Saturday television appearance for the Owls at home. They are 8-0 when shooting 48.9% or better and have registered more rebounds than their opponents for the past 4 games.
"We're going to win tomorrow night against FIU. These guys will be ready, I know it. They've been ready for every single game all year long", Jarvis said of the game.
Owl's Nest Prediction
FAU has a solid advantage in points allowed, and that will weigh heavily on Saturday. After last season, Jarvis has made it a focal point to install a strong defensive package. It is evident by the -11.4 ppg the Owls show in this match-up.
Additionally, blocks, turnovers, assists, and rebounds land with the home team as well.
The "Sixth Man" will assuredly be an added bonus as Florida Atlantic triumph's for their 10th conference win.
There have been no trackbacks yet