GAME CAPSULE: #17 FAU @ Charlotte - January 6th, 2024
What: #17 FAU (11-3, 1-0 AAC) vs Charlotte (6-7, 0-1 AAC)
When: Sat. Jan. 6th, @ 4:00 PM
Where: Halton Arena
Series: Owls lead 8-6 all-time against the 49ers.
Radio: FoxSports 640
Live Stats: Here
Line: FAU -8
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 83 PPG, 50% FG, 37% 3PT
Defense - 70 PPGA, 42% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 33 RPG Opponents
As the saying goes: "It doesn't matter how you start; it's about how you finish".
The Owls certainly took that to heart during their win over East Carolina this past Tuesday, outscoring them 14-1 in the last five minutes of the game to coast to victory in their conference opener.
The dynamic duo of guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin were highly effective, both scoring 20 points each on 7-13 shooting from the field to lead the Owls' offense. It was particularly a strong performance from Martin, who needing a resounding display after having shooting woes over the last few games.
“I just thought he just looked like he was back to having fun playing ball,” FAU coach Dusty May said on Martin during postgame. “He wasn’t thinking about what happened last game or what happened last possession. I thought he (immersed himself in) competing. I thought his defense was better. He brought a lot of positive contributions to the game, as did Johnell.”
It is possible that FAU may not have won against the Pirates if it weren't for Bryan Greenlee's (pictured above via Bob Markey II) heroics. After going scoreless against FGCU, Greenlee scored eight straight points upon his entry to the game, finishing with 13 points and three assists on 5-10 shooting from the field including three triples. It is possible that he will keep up that type of play now that the tough non-conference schedule is now behind him and the team.
Two things the Owls need to maintain moving forward, especially entering Saturday against Charlotte, is their fast pace and ball movement. Not only did they outscore ECU 15-2 in fastbreak points, they also won the assist battle 21-6 to show they are at their best when every player on the court gets a chance to contribute in the offense.
"We're extremely excited to be preparing for Charlotte. Hopefully we can get the game at our pace, get it up and down, and find some offensive rhythm early in the game," May said.
FAU will have a few days of rest before taking a trip to North Carolina as they take on the Charlotte 49ers on January 6th at 4:00 PM. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Charlotte Team Site: Here
Charlotte at a Glance
Offense - 68 PPG, 45% FG, 32% 3PT
Defense - 64 PPGA, 42% FGA, 33% 3PTA
Rebounding - 32 RPG, 32 RPG Opponents
Charlotte has struggled to maintain the form they had after winning the College Basketball Invitational last season.
The 49ers have lost four of their last five games, which includes getting routed 80-56 by 22nd-ranked Duke on December 9th. All four of those losses were on the road, with their lone win in that stretch being a 91-44 blowout over Greensboro College at home.
Scoring isn't a particular strongsuit for Charlotte, ranking among the 50 worst offenses in the country. They are led by Lu'Cye Patterson and Igor Milicic Jr., who combine for 26 of the team's 67.5 points per game as the more aggressive players on that side of the ball.
Center Vladislav Goldin will have his hands full against Milicic Jr., who presents himself as the best three-point shooter on the team while being one of the 50 best rebounders in the nation. He grabs nine boards per game, an area that Goldin will have to be more aggressive in to slow down Milicic Jr's production.
Following this matchup, the Pirates will return home to North Carolina to host Tulsa on January 7th at 3:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.