GAME CAPSULE: #20 FAU @ UAB - February 8th, 2024
What: #20 FAU (18-4, 8-1 AAC) vs UAB (14-8, 6-3 AAC)
When: Thu. Feb. 8th, @ 9:00 PM EST
Where: Bartow Arena
Series: Blazers lead 13-6 all-time against the Owls.
Radio: FoxSports 640
Live Stats: Here
Line: FAU -5.5
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 83 PPG, 49% FG, 37% 3PT
Defense - 72 PPGA, 43% FGA, 33% 3PTA
Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents
Rest was all FAU needed to torch Tulsa on both sides of the court this past Saturday, scoring 102 points while holding the Golden Hurricane to a suffocating 14.3% from beyond the arc. It's the fourth time FAU held an opponent to under 20% from three, with their recent performance being the third-best so far this season.
The Owls continue to shine as the winningest team in the country, having established programs like Houston, defending national champions UConn, Purdue, and San Diego State trailing them.
Wins Since Start of 2022-23 Season
1. Florida Atlantic 53
2. Houston 52
3. UConn 50
4. Purdue 50
5. San Diego State 49
Playing UAB on the road will be a tough challenge for FAU. They haven't won any of their seven contests in program history at Bartow Arena, as they'll hope to end that winless streak for good heading into Thursday night.
The Owls should look to remain balanced in their scoring. Their victory against Tulsa was only the second time this season that the starting five all scored in double-digits, which is something they should emphasize against a UAB team that is looking for payback from their last encounter.
Energy from the second unit will be needed for this road matchup, which is where Tre Carroll (pictured via Bob Markey II) comes in. He was highly productive in 16 minutes off the bench, scoring nine points on 3-3 shooting from the field including back-to-back shots in the sewcond half that got himself and the FAU crowd fired up. Considering he also scored nine points in the team's last matchup agains the Blazers, his presence on the court is worth keeping an eye on.
Making their chances at the charity stripe should also be a priority. FAU made 28 of their 32 attempts at the free-throw line for a success rate of 88% was a season-best from all across the board. They should take advantage of this momentum by drawing a lot of fouls from UAB to slow them down and prevent them sparking any scoring runs throughout the course of Thursday's game.
Vlad Goldin is another player to keep track for the matchup. He had an excellent scoring performance of 18 points on 7-10 shooting, but only had one rebound. While everyone on the team is looking to crash the glass while Goldin competes in box-outs, it wouldn't be surprising to see him assert himself in getting up for boards and fending off his opponents inside the paint.
FAU will next travel to Kansas to take on Wichita State on February 11th at 12:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2.
UAB Team Site: Here
UAB at a Glance
Offense - 77 PPG, 45% FG, 31% 3PT
Defense - 76 PPGA, 45% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 38 RPG, 35 RPG Opponents
Since their loss at FAU on January 14th, UAB has won four of their last six games. Those victories include taking down 19th-ranked Memphis at home, cooling off a potent Tulane offense to 69 points, and getting an overtime road win at North Texas.
However, they are still vulnerable on defense with the third-most points allowed per game in The American. This means they'll need Eric Gaines, Efrem Johnson, and Alejandro Vasquez to step up on that side of the ball.
UABís Yaxel Lendeborg needs to be checked on constantly throughout the game. He recorded a 23-point, 16-rebound performance in the Blazers win over No. 19 Memphis on January 28. It was Lendeborgís fourth game with at least 23 points and 15 rebounds this season. According to Sports-Reference.com, Lendeborg is tied for the nation lead with four games of the kind, alongside Zach Edey of Purdue.
The Owls should be careful about Daniel Ortiz. Coming off the bench in 21 of his 22 appearances this season, he has the most three-pointers made on the team with 33 as he is a perimeter threat that FAU must keep tabs on whenever he's on the court.
Following this matchup, the Blazers will travel to Oklahoma for a road affair with Tulsa on February 11th at 1:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.