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GAME WEEK CAPSULE: FAU vs UTSA | UTEP - Feb. 23rd & 25th, 2023

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FAU Hosts Roadrunners and Miners

What: RV FAU (24-3, 14-2) vs UTSA (8-20, 2-15) | UTEP (12-15, 5-11)

When: Thur. Feb. 23rd, @ 7:00 PM | Sat. Feb 25th, @ 2:00 PM

Where: The Burrow - Abessinio Court at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena

Series: Owls lead 9-6 against the Roadrunners and are tied 6-6 with the Miners. FAU beat both teams earlier this season.

TV Both Games: ESPN+

Radio Both Games: FoxSports 640

Live Stats Both Games: Here

Lines: UTSA FAU -20 | UTEP FAU -12

FAU at a Glance

Offense - 78 PPG, 47% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 66 PPGA, 41% FGA, 34% 3PTA

Rebounding - 39 RPG Owls, 33 RPG Opponents

Owl Notables

The Owls did not enter their bye week on a good note.

After losing to Middle Tennessee on the road last Thursday, they exited the AP Top 25 Poll and are once again on the outside looking in. With a full week of rest now under their belts, head coach Dusty May said it came at the right time for the team to recover mentally and physically.

"We got some bumps and bruises and cleaned a few things up, but more importantly, we reevaluate and refocus and try to get our edge back. Our level of intensity hasn't been what it needs to be when you're getting everyone else's best shot," May said.

FAU has a chance to make history in The Burrow. Should they win their last two home games, this will be the first season the Owls ever went undefeated defending their home court since the program's formation in 1988.

"Going undefeated at home with the schedule we play is extremely difficult," said May, currently owning a spectacular 59-14 record for his career in The Burrow. "Very proud of our guys for playing with the level of effort and togetherness that they have at home. But there's still work to be done and we need to finish the home slate the right way on Thursday and Saturday."

Streak & Record Updates

  • Most wins in a season at 24
  • Record home win streak of 16 games

Home Win Streak National Ranking Breakout

UCLA 23; Next games on March 2nd & 4th
Kent State 20; Next games on Feb. 28th & March 3rd
Providence 17; Next games on March 1st & 4th
FAU 16

A regular season title also hangs in the balance for the Owls. With North Texas (23-5, 14-3) right behind them in the C-USA standings, FAU would need two or three more wins, depending on the results from the Mean Green's last three games, to clinch the top spot and their first regular season title in the conference.

"There's too much basketball left to be played and we don't look too far ahead," May said. "We do know there's a lot at stake at every single game and we're up to the challenge and the pressure that comes with it."

These pair of home games will be the last for senior guard Michael Forrest, who has been a mainstay at the program since 2018. Averaging 9.3 points on 41% shooting from the field and 36% from three this season, he will end his FAU career as the all-time leader in three-pointers made.

"He's helped us in so many ways and hopefully we've helped him as well," said May, the only coach Forrest played for throughout his time at FAU. "He's been an awesome teammate and player for five years, so nothing but gratitude towards Mike Forrest."

FAU will conclude their regular season on the road against Rice and Louisiana Tech next week.

UTSA Team Site: Here

UTSA at a Glance

Offense - 68 PPG, 40% FG, 33% 3PT

Defense - 75 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 35 RPG, 38 RPG Opponents

Roadrunner Notables

FAU should not take UTSA for granted, even as they rank in the bottom of the conference.

The Roadrunners pulled off a surprise 84-79 victory over Rice last Thursday before falling 83-78 to UAB two days later.

"Winning is very difficult and and they just haven't found ways to win but they're more than capable. They're a well-coached program that present a number of challenges," Dusty May said.

Even though they don't possess a high-powered offense, the Roadrunners have four scorers averaging over 11 points per game in conference play. One of those players is guard Japhet Medor who is putting up 14 points a night against C-USA opponents including a 22-point performance against UAB last Saturday.

The FAU frontcourt must keep an eye on Roadrunner center Jacob Germany. He is scoring 13.7 points and grabbing 7 rebounds on 55% shooting from the field in his last three games, so being physical with him inside the paint has to be a priority for Owl centers Vlad Goldin and Giancarlo Rosado.

One Roadrunner on fire is guard John Buggs III. After going scoreless on seven shot attempts against UTEP on Feb. 11, he scored a combined 37 points against Rice and UAB on a scorching 62% from the field and from beyond the arc. Cooling him off will be key to the Owls having a solid defensive performance Thursday night.

After facing the Owls, UTSA will head down to Miami to take on FIU for Saturday.

UTEP Team Site: Here

UTEP at a Glance

Offense - 68 PPG, 45% FG, 27% 3PT

Defense - 68 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 35 RPG, 33 RPG Opponents

Miner Notables

UTEP men's basketball had some unfortunate luck this past week.

The Miners gave North Texas a run for their money by going to overtime before suffering a 80-72 defeat at home. They have lost seven of their last eight contests, with their lone win being on the road against UTSA.

"They are scrappy, gritty, and as athletic as anyone. So our hands are going to be full this weekend," May said.

The Miners' strong point is their defense. They are the best in C-USA and rank 13th in the country in forcing 17.19 turnovers per game, as well as reserving the 18th spot with steals averaging 9.2 per contest. The Owls must be careful with handling the ball and timing passes if they want to reduce the effectiveness of the UTEP defense.

UTEP's main weakness continues to be their three-point shooting. They remain the worst in the conference at a rate of 27%, only making 6-of-29 attempts from long range against the Blazers and Mean Green last week. This is something FAU must take advantage of defensively to cause plenty of discomfort to the Miners.

They enter this matchup without guard Mario McKinney Jr., who played a key role off the bench averaging 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds this season. He is serving an indefinite suspension that began on Feb. 9 for undisclosed reasons.

The Miners will first play FIU on Thursday before heading to Boca Raton for Saturday's contest.
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Prior to game-time for FAU, Athletics Director Brian White and President Stacy Volnick gave out 🍕pizza🍕 to fans attending. GREAT TO SEE OUR FAU OFFICIALS SHOWING THEIR SUPPORT! Go Owls! 🦉🏀

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Presenting the starters for your Owls taking on UTSA. Johnell Davis and Bryan Greenlee will start with Jalen Gaffney and Brandon Weatherspoon coming off the bench.

G Davis
G Greenlee
G Boyd
G Martin
C Goldin

Go Owls!🦉🏀
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No Gaffney tonight (injury).

Nothing major though.
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Keep an eye on 14 for UTSA.

He's got an attitude problem and has tried to bait Goldin into a scrum twice.

If Vlad drops another bucket in his grill (two now) that might just set him off.


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Why does it seem like every team comes here and shoots out of their minds?
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Did prior ESPN+ broadcasts have a yellow tint, or is it just this game? 🤔
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Respect the hustle from Rosado on that loose ball 💪
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Richard said

Did prior ESPN+ broadcasts have a yellow tint, or is it just this game? 🤔
Posted On: Feb 23rd 2023, 7:16 PM #412565

It's the trash fluorescent lighting we have.

Not for long - will be gone soon enough!
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