2019 C-USA TOURNAMENT THREAD: FAU vs. LaTech - First Round
What: #9 Florida Atlantic (17-14, 8-10) vs. #8 Louisiana Tech (19-12, 9-9)
When: Wednesday, March 13 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Ford Center at The Star
Series: Following their 72-69 win at FAU last Wednesday, LaTech now owns a 5-2 series lead.
Video: ESPN+ (FEE)
Radio: ESPN 106.3
LaTech Team Site: Here
Bulldogs at a Glance:
Offense – 73.3 PPG, 44% FG, 34% 3PT
Defense – 68.5 PPGA, 43% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 36.7 PG, 35.6 PG Opponents
The Bulldogs enter the C-USA Tournament following a three point victory in their season finale at FAU.
In that game, Eric Konkol's squad relied on Guards DaQuan Bracey (GH 21 points) and Amoire Archibald (16 points) to earn their first conference road win. As a team, LaTech shot 48% FG, 53% 3PT, and 80% from the charity stripe.
Bracey's and Archibald's strong performance last week should come as no surprise considering their recent form. Bracey has hit double digits in scoring in 23 of his last 24 games, allowing him to lead the team in PPG with 15.6. Meanwhile, Archibald has averaged 18.0 PPG in his last three outings, which includes shooting a stellar 51% FG and 56% 3PT.
Last time out, Forward Anthony Duruji had his hands full against FAU's big men. But his 20 double-digit scoring games and 38 blocks prove that he is a threat inside the paint.
LaTech has struggled away from Ruston with a combined 4-11 record either as the road-team or on a neutral court.
Owls at a Glance:
Offense – 68.1 PPG, 41% FG, 34% 3PT
Defense - 67.6 PPGA, 42% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 37.8 PG, 35.3 PG Opponents
The Owls will enter their fourth straight C-USA Tournament, despite a two game losing streak. After falling to LaTech by three last Wednesday, FAU traveled to Huntington for a 76-61 defeat to Marshall.
After the loss at Marshall, the team traveled straight to Frisco via Columbus, Ohio in hopes to be better prepared for a serious push in postseason play.
The Owls split their season series with LaTech, having won the first meeting in January 69-61. With both games taking place at The Burrow, this will be the first meeting between the two sides outside of Boca Raton in over a year.
A win will be FAU's first non-play-in-game conference tournament victory since 2008, and first proper conference tournament win at a neutral site since the A-Sun Conference Tournament Final in 2002. That punched FAU's first and only ticket to the NCAA Tournament, which resulted in a first-round 86-78 loss to Alabama.
Guard Anthony Adger leads the team with 16.6 PPG, 58 assists, 84% FT, and 33.9 minutes per game. In what could be the last game of his career, the senior from South Carolina needs seven more points to crack FAU's top ten for most points in a season. The tenth position is currently held by Carlos Monroe for his 2006-07 sophomore season.
Former LaTech Bulldog Xavian Stapleton is now second on the team in scoring with 14.1 PPG. That includes 47% FG and a team-high 39% 3PT. The grad student was named 2018-19 C-USA's co-Sixth Man of the Year. Playing like a man who knows his basketball career may be winding to a close, he has scored 12+ in the last six games, which covers his 16 points against LaTech last Wednesday.
Opening Line: FAU +4
Stapleton with the ugliest reverse layup we’ve ever seen, but they all count the same!#FAU up 27-20 with less than five minutes remaining the the half.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 13, 2019
HALFTIME | #FAU 34 - #LaTech 20— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 13, 2019
STAPLETON HITS A THREE AT THE BUZZER!!! He makes his defender back off, takes a step back, then calls #BANK from the arc against his former team.
Owls end the half on a 7-0 run, aided by the Bulldogs failing to score in the last 4:15.
This is less than ideal…
FAU's lead us cute to four at the 13 minuted mark of the second half.