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GAME CAPSULE: FAU vs SMU - February 22nd, 2024

FAU hosts streaking Mustangs at The Burrow

What: FAU (20-6, 10-3 AAC) vs SMU (19-7, 10-3 AAC)

When: Thu. Feb. 22nd, @ 7:00 PM EST

Where: The Burrow - Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena

Series: Mustangs lead 2-0 all-time against the Owls. This is FAU's first matchup against SMU since November 1998.


Radio: FoxSports 640

Live Stats: Here

Line: FAU -6

FAU at a Glance

Offense - 83 PPG, 48% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 73 PPGA, 44% FGA, 34% 3PTA

Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents

Owl Notables

Losing to USF on the road and falling out of the AP Top 25 Poll may just be what FAU needs to regroup and ignite the spark to dominate for the rest of the season.

Starting off strong on both sides of the court will be needed for the Owls. Scoring more points, moving the ball constantly, and heavily contesting their opponents' shots in the first half would bring them better success.

This matchup is the first time in over 25 years that FAU has faced SMU. The Mustangs won that last encounter with a 30-point blowout in November 1998. Notable alum from that game include the likes of James Turner, Gary Durrant, Damon Arnette, and Cedric Powell.

A big showing from Alijah Martin (pictured below via Bob Markey II) could be in the works. He has scored in double-digits for five straight games, including eight of his last nine. During the streak, he is averaging 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals on 45.6% shooting from the field and 32% from beyond the arc.

A lot of momentum seems to be going in Vladislav Goldin's favor. He tied his career high of 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting against USF, showing his astounding mobility whenever he went up for the multiple dunks he had against the Bulls. He is putting up 15.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and a block on 56.4% shooting overall over his last six games.

A balanced performance from Johnell Davis would also help FAU in this matchup. He led the Owls in rebounds with six and assists with five against USF, while extending his streak of scoring in double-digits to 19 games.

FAU travels to Tennessee for an encounter with Memphis on February 25th at 2:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN.

SMU Team Site: Here

SMU at a Glance

Offense - 78 PPG, 47% FG, 35% 3PT

Defense - 66 PPGA, 40% FGA, 30% 3PTA

Rebounding - 40 RPG, 34 RPG Opponents

Mustang Notables

SMU has pit themselves in the conversation for a top-four seed in the conference, and they have a six-game winning streak to show for it.

The Mustangs have outscored opponents by 71 points combined throughout the streak, including a dominant 27-point victory over Memphis this past Sunday. The 106 points they scored against the Tigers is the most they have put up since they became a member of the AAC.

Defense has been a consistent staple for SMU this year, having the third-best defense in The American (32nd in the nation) by only allowing 65.7 points per game. Their perimeter defense is one of the main reasons why they've won many games this year, allowing just 29.7% of their opponents' shots from downtown to go through the hoop as they possess the best in the league (21st in the country). Their field-goal percentage defense of 39.8% also ranks 15th nationally as they are second in the conference, only behind North Texas' 39.7%.

Battling SMU on the glass at all times must be mandatory for FAU. The Mustangs lead the AAC with 13.8 offensive rebounds per game, which also places them at 11th in the country. They have the best rebounding margin in the conference with a +5.9 advantage. Samuel Williamson is their most active rebounder, grabbing 7.6 per game as the sixth-best in the league.

Selfless ball movement is a specialty for this SMU offense, dishing out 16.7 assists per game. They lead the AAC while ranking 27th in the country, with Chuck Harris, Zhuric Phelps, and BJ Edwards topping the chart as the team's most reliable playmakers.

The Owls also need to have great shot selection while facing SMU's defense. They average the most blocks in the league with 5.1 (21st-nationally), spearheaded by Tyreek Smith's 1.8 rejections per contest as he sees himself among the 50 best shot-blockers (47th) in the country.

Following this matchup, SMU remains in Florida as they head up to Tampa to face USF on February 25th at 12:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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