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GAME WEEK CAPSULE: FAU @ Rice | Louisiana Tech - March 2nd & 4th, 2023

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FAU Plays Rice and Bulldogs In Road Finales

What: RV FAU (26-3, 16-2) vs Rice (17-12, 8-10) | Louisiana Tech (13-16, 6-12)

When: Thur. March 2nd, @ 8:00 PM | Sat. March 4th, @ 7:00 PM

Where: Tudor Fieldhouse | Thomas Assembly Center

Series: FAU leads 5-4 all-time against Rice, while Louisiana Tech holds an 8-4 advantage. FAU beat both teams at home earlier this season.

TV Both Games: ESPN+

Radio Both Games: FoxSports 640

Live Stats Both Games: Here

Lines: Rice FAU -9 | Louisiana Tech FAU -10

FAU at a Glance

Offense - 79 PPG, 47% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 65 PPGA, 41% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 39 RPG Owls, 33 RPG Opponents

Owl Notables

The Owls have done it; they are Conference USA's Regular Season Champions, and looked good doing it.

While they were favorites to win against UTSA (20-point favorites) and UTEP (12-point favorites), FAU secured their first perfect record at home in The Burrow (17-0) and their first regular season title since 2011 during their days in the Sun Belt by annihilating the Roadrunners and Miners by 40 and 26 points, respectively.

"We have a chance to clinch an outright championship," head coach Dusty May said. "If we lose our next two and North Texas wins their next two, they could still be a co-champion, and we don't want to share a championship."

Their success has been quite apparent in the NET rankings. FAU (19th), alongside North Texas (50th) and UAB (57th), represent C-USA as their three teams inside the top 60 of the rankings. C-USA and the Mountain West Conference are the only leagues outside of the Power Six (P5+Big East) to have this.

May noted how finishing the season on the road has the team feeling they have so much to play for with a conference championship and an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament coming into play in the most important month of the season.

"We just have so much at stake that I can't imagine our guys not giving their best effort," May said. "That doesn't always equate to playing great or shooting great, but we'll compete at a high level and have great energy and enthusiasm."

Streak & Record Updates

  • Most wins in a season at 26
  • Record home win streak of 18 games

Home Win Streak National Ranking Breakout

UCLA 23 - Next March 2nd & 4th
Kent State 21 - Next March 3rd
FAU 18 - 2022-23 Home Completed
Providence 17 - Streak ended on March 1st after a 94-89 loss to Xavier

Sophomore guard Alijah Martin (pictured) has experienced a good stretch of games since returning to the starting lineup. He is averaging 17.2 points on a red-hot 59% shooting from the field (58% from three) in his last six games, including 21 points this past Saturday against UTEP which saw him get 19 in the second half to have the Owls run away with the win. He will look to extend his streak of scoring in double-digits to seven and eight this weekend.

The Owls have been shooting lights out from beyond the arc. In their last four games, they have made 48 three-pointers with an accuracy of 43% (season-average is 37%), which will be crucial to them having great performances at the offensive end to finish the season.

Junior guard Jalen Gaffney missed Thursday's contest against UTSA due to a minor leg injury but after playing 16 minutes off the bench in the home finale against UTEP, he will be available to play in this week's games.

FAU will wait for their quarterfinal opponent on March 9 having secured the top seed in the Conference USA Tournament.

Rice Team Site: Here

Rice at a Glance

Offense - 77 PPG, 47% FG, 36% 3PT

Defense - 75 PPGA, 46% FGA, 35% 3PTA

Rebounding - 36 RPG, 34 RPG Opponents

Rice Notables

Currently in the middle of the C-USA standings, Rice men's basketball got humbled in their last two games at UAB and Charlotte.

Despite having the third-best offense in the league at 77 points per game (51st in the country), Rice were unable to reach the 60-point mark in back-to-back blowout defeats that saw them get outscored 155-111 by the Blazers and 49ers. Similarly, Dusty May looks to have defense be the main factor in FAU taking down Rice.

"We need a bit more discipline with our defense approach," May said. "When you play right, you better score the ball because they're very difficult to stop. And there's very few teams that have been able to shut them down completely."

May wants the perimeter defense to be better against Rice, considering they allowed 12 three-pointers in the Feb. 9 matchup. 9 of those makes came from guards Quincy Olivari (team-high 81 3s on 37% shooting) and Travis Evee (66 3s at a 35% clip), who are the team's best shooters from deep and will look to replicate that at home this time around.

One player FAU should look out for is Max Fiedler. The Rice forward leads C-USA in assists per game (5.0) while ranking in the top 50 (46th) of the country as the only player at his position. Denying the ball to prevent him from creating easy scoring opportunities for his teammates can prove advantageous for FAU.

Following Thursday's contest, Rice will host FIU two days later for their season finale.

Louisiana Tech Team Site: Here

Louisiana Tech at a Glance

Offense - 73 PPG, 44% FG, 35% 3PT

Defense - 70 PPGA, 44% FGA, 37% 3PTA

Rebounding - 35 RPG, 33 RPG Opponents

Bulldog Notables

Louisiana Tech men's basketball has gone on a downward spiral throughout the past few weeks.

They are going through a six-game losing streak having lost 8 of their 10 contests, including getting outscored 139-115 in their last two games at Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee while putting up a season-low 49 points against the latter.

"They're extremely athletic. They're a talented group. They're a little bit inexperienced compared to how they normally are with losing a few guys, but we're not going to take LA Tech lightly," Dusty May said.

Louisiana Tech is missing their best scoring punch in guard Cobe Williams, who is out for the rest of the season due to personal issues. He scored 20 points in his last appearance against FAU on Feb. 11, so the Owls will have the upper hand in putting pressure on opposing players who are trying to make up for Williams' absence.

Isaiah Crawford will be one of those players FAU has to keep an eye on. The junior forward has done well stepping up in Williams' place by averaging 17 points on 53% shooting in his last five games, including a 25-point performance (season-high) in last month's loss at FAU. Limiting his scoring impact will be beneficial for the Owls.

The Bulldogs have the best turnover margin in the conference at +2.04 while forcing 15.38 turnovers per game, which puts them at 34th in the nation. FAU must be effective with taking care of the ball if they are to leave Ruston with a win.

Louisiana Tech will first host FIU on Thursday before playing the Owls on Saturday to conclude the regular season.
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Here are the starters for your FAU squad getting ready for their 🦉BATTLE OF THE OWLS🦉 with Rice:

G Davis
G Greenlee
G Boyd
G Martin
C Goldin

Go Owls!🦉🏀
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Good to see Goldin asserting himself inside the paint early on 🔥
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OMG we are looking incredible tonight
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We are peaking!!
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Just tuning in, what'd i miss??

Oh wait, we're blowing them out!


Great to see, need a commanding couple of dubs to close out the regular season and lock up at large consideration.

Let's Go! 🦉
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HALFTIME: FAU 57 Rice 28

FAU concludes the 1st half with a 10-0 RUN TO LEAD BY 29! Davis, Greenlee, and Goldin combined for 33 PTS, and the team is LIGHTING UP Rice from the perimeter, SPLASHING 11 3-POINTERS and FORCING 9 TURNOVERS! THEY ARE LOCKED IN!🔒 Go Owls!🦉🏀
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