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GAME CAPSULE: #24 FAU vs Temple - February 15th, 2024

FAU dukes it out with Temple in a new Battle of the Owls

What: #24 FAU (19-5, 9-2 AAC) vs Temple (8-16, 1-10 AAC)

When: Thu. Feb. 15th, @ 7:00 PM EST

Where: The Burrow - Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena

Series: First matchup.


Radio: FoxSports 640

Live Stats: Here

Line: FAU -19

FAU at a Glance

Offense - 84 PPG, 48% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 72 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 39 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents

Owl Notables

Feeding the 'Spoon paid dividends for the Owls this past weekend.

Brandon Weatherspoon (pictured below via Rick Henderson) was the unsung hero in FAU's bounce-back victory in overtime at Wichita State, scoring 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field. He averaged 15.5 points while shooting 70.6% (12-17) from the field and 55.6% (5-9) from three, getting six rebounds (4 OFF), three steals, and a block in the process.

"He's always been a good shooter, but he does so many other things that do not impact the box score and we asked him to be our energy leader, our energy giver. He never has a bad day, he's a connector for everyone, and you can tell everyone enjoys playing with him," head coach Dusty May said.

FAU has a winning streak to protect: their 16 straight wins at The Burrow in conference play dating back to the end of the 2021-22 season, the longest among major conference teams. Keeping this alive will be needed when they play Temple for the first time in program history.

Being aggressive on defense should continue to be emphasized. FAU recorded a season-high 13 steals against Wichita State, and with Temple being vulnerable on offense, they should look to exploit their weaknesses.

FAU must maintain their newfound success from the free-throw line. They converted a season-high 90.9% of their attempts (20-for-22) against the Shockers, having made 83% (83-100) over the last five games. This would be beneficial in their efforts to reach 90 points again, where they are a perfect 9-0 when they reach that mark.

An assertive Vlad Goldin should also be anticipated. He came alive with his performance at Wichita with 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block. Having him box out opponents for rebounds, bully his matchups in the post, and contest every shot in his sight should be on FAU's checklist to deal with Temple in convincing fashion.

FAU remains in-state as they take a road trip up to Tampa for their encounter with USF on February 18th at 12:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN.

Temple Team Site: Here

Temple at a Glance

Offense - 71 PPG, 38% FG, 30% 3PT

Defense - 74 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 37 RPG, 39 RPG Opponents

Temple Notables

Records can look deceiving, which is something FAU has to be aware of when they face the worst-performing team in conference play.

Temple is going through a nine-game losing streak, getting outscored by 79 points combined. This means they are losing by an estimated 8.8 points per game, showing they are still competitive even when outmatched. This was demonstrated in their recent three-point defeat to Charlotte, a team who currently has a top-four standing in AAC play with the 25th-best defense in the country.

They rely on the three ball a lot, taking the second-most attempts in the AAC with 28 per game (18th nationally). However, they are not efficient with the worst percentage in the conference at 29.8% (29th-worst in the country). It also doesn't help that they have the worst field-goal percentage in the league at 38.3% (fourth-worst in the nation)

This doesn't mean that all of their perimeter shooters are inconsistent. Matteo Picarelli stands out as their best, making a team-high 49 triples for a success rate of 36%.

Temple's leading scorer, Hysier Miller, is second in three-point makes with 45 as he puts up 15.6 points per game but has struggled to shoot the ball at a high level, only making 34% of his total attempts. Despite this, he is undoubtedly the best playmaker on the team with 98 assists so far this season. Keeping him out of rhythm while forcing him to make bad passes should be one of the main priorities for FAU on defense.

Following this matchup, Temple returns home to Philadelphia to host UTSA on February 18th at 2:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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